Attention fellow lonely humans who want to feel slightly less alone: The Loneliness Project is an interactive web archive where people can submit their honest and real experiences with loneliness and tbh, it's one of my new favorite places on the internet.
It was created by Marissa Korda, a Toronto-based graphic designer, who wanted to showcase just how universal and human loneliness is — and to encourage empathy and compassion.
Since Korda put out a call for submissions five months ago, The Loneliness Project has been flooded with stories. People shared everything from the times they felt most lonely to what loneliness means to them.
Here are just some of the relatable confessions and stories.
"The time I felt the most lonely was at the 17 kilometer mark of my first half marathon. I trained for weeks and begged everyone I knew to please come support me at the finish line. Not one person came. I knew for sure at 17 kilometers that no one was there for me because you had to run near where the finish line was. I spent the next 4 kilometers feeling sorry for myself."
"I think I've felt lonely throughout my life and I am truly alone except for my dog. Christmas guts me every year. I already accept there won't be even a phone call for me. I have bought a precooked meal and a slice of pie. My evening walk with the dog takes my soul every year, for curtains are open into living rooms full of families and friends. I can hear them, sometimes smell their turkey dinners, but most of all, I feel all their happiness knowing I will never have it. I get home and get into bed and cry and will the day away with sleep."
"My partner of nearly five years and I broke up. It was not a healthy relationship. My partner was abusive towards me and people knew she could be difficult to deal with. When we broke up, I was the one who had to leave and the queer 'community' that we shared abandoned me and isolated me because my ex wouldn‘t acknowledge the break up and continued to party and go out.
I‘ve never felt more lonely in my life. All these relationships I had spent nearly five years putting effort into completely disappeared. People who are supposed to have good politics, and work in social work, or are doulas, took the easy route, fully knowing my ex‘s behavior towards me was unacceptable. She offered them more social capital than I did and I lost my entire life."
"I was completely alone and almost fully nocturnal for about six months. I'd maybe see family members for about 10 minutes a day, if I was lucky. This was in the pre-ubiquitous internet era, and before I had a cell phone, so I was completely alone. I was dealing with some health issues, so I couldn’t read books. All I had was TV and my dog (when she wasn’t sleeping/hanging out upstairs with my sleeping family members).
You start talking to things — yourself, out loud, your food, the TV, the walls. You develop an even richer inner life, filled with more characters and more fantasy, because it’s all you have. You try to squeeze every second out of possible interactions, because they’re so special and small and fleeting. I’m sort of amazed I survived it."
"My husband deployed when my son was two days old, after we moved to a new town. People would call but no one would visit. And when they would call, everyone said the same thing. 'This too shall pass.' I didn't want to hear it would pass. I wanted to hear it's okay to be sad.
I don‘t know a soul here. I feel soo alone. The kids don't have friends and families are provinces away. People are so unfriendly here. I just want to go home. This is the most lonely I have ever felt."
"I was adopted at 18 months. I have always felt singular in life. Having a 'blood relative' is something that I have never known. My parents tried as best they could. They simply couldn't be that. When 'The Lonelies' hit, they can hit really hard. The feeling of being TRULY SINGULAR has a feeling attached to it that is really hard to describe."
To read more or submit your own story, visit The Loneliness Project.
And by the way, if you want to talk to someone (because hey, sometimes we all do), you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.