Loneliness has always been something that I’ve grappled with my whole life. Whether it be for fear of being left behind, or just the thought of missing out on something that could be, the idea of being alone has haunted me. It had me convinced that I was not ok within myself.

Holding the space in my mind to be whole, alone and singular was an uphill battle, one I lost time and time again. It broke me every time I had to pick myself up and push forward. After a breakup. After loss. After sorrow and heartbreak.

It took me many days of looking myself in the mirror and seeing helplessness, to take a step back. To call a friend. To make an appointment, to allow myself space to breathe, to speak and allow others to hear.

My journey was not linear. I took ten steps forward and then two back, my thoughts never settling. But as I allowed myself breathe and let go, I felt my thoughts settle. Slowly, I began to find it easier to smile on my own.

This piece was written by one of the ICLA eFriend Peer Support Workers. eFriend is an online platform where you can connect with a trained peer support worker whom has their own lived experience of feeling lonely, isolated, stressed or worried. You can speak to your eFriend Peer via video or phone call. Your eFriend Peer will listen, validate and provide hope. If you like, they can also assist you to identify any other services you may like to try or help you create plans to improve your personal well-being. Or they can simply listen.

To book your first call visit: https://my.efriend.org.au/preregistration/