From one lonely soul to another,

I woke up this morning and went back to bed a minute later. I woke up again, laid awake for a few moments then went back to sleep. I again woke up, ate some breakfast then, again, went back to bed. Even though I wasn’t tired, I continued to sleep.

I wasn’t tired, I didn’t need more sleep, in all reality I had woken up the first time, five minutes before my alarm went off, with enough energy to easily power through the day. Yet I slept for an extra three hours.

Time passes, it comes and goes. It feels like nothing changes.

I went to work, I excelled and made money. A coworker asked “if you had to say, what is it that’s holding you back, what would it be?” I replied by saying it was over sleeping and no focus towards a healthy diet. “Oversleeping and overeating are the first signs of depression” was the response to my answer, it was hard to hear but it was the truth.

I’m not depressed, I don’t let these things hold me back, but it is clear that I feel alone.

Have you ever felt alone?

As I sit here and write this I am in a building that I spend most of my time alone in. When I was asked today when the last time I had done a non work related social activity I had to look back several weeks and was only able to point out one night for this past month.

I hurt everyday and it slowly gets worse, it slowly takes over and it slowly becomes who I am.

I’m not afraid to be alone, my best work is accomplished by working alone. I moved across the country to work with the best and become one of the best in my industry, I am known by many and have seen great success. Being alone doesn’t stop me from accomplishing what needs to be done.

Yet I can only imagine what I could be if I didn’t feel this way.

Loneliness is a choice to me, I believe that if you truly don’t want to be alone then it’s as simple as forcing yourself to go talk to people, break your barriers that hold you back, connect with family and friends, make plans with people you like. You are the reason you are alone.

So why do I continue to make myself suffer? Maybe it’s because I want to focus all my energy to my career, maybe I’m scared of spending too much time around people that will inevitably hold me back. Maybe it’s just in my head.

One thing is true, knowing that other people feel alone at times makes me feel not so alone. Knowing that truly successful people can continue to pursue greatness while also feeling alone makes me feel human. When I get the chance to hear someone I respect say “I’ve been there”, I have confidence to push harder every day.

So maybe I’m not so alone after all

I share my stories of suffering not so people will feel bad for me, but to let people know that they’re not the only one. There has been someone in your situation who has made themselves into something great, it has been by knowing such things that I have been able to push back against the world. I hope it can do the same for you.

We will all feel alone at some point, reach out while you seek your greatness and remember that you are not alone.

– Ian Streutker

*Proceeds from The Conversation Event benefit The Mobile Book Library for Homeless kids and families.

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