One is Not The Loneliest Number, Being Lonely When You’re Not Alone is Worse

Knowing when to reach out is important for our mental health.

Chloe Cuthbert
3 min readMar 22, 2022


Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

It’s often said, one is the loneliest number, but I dispute that argument. One of the worst feelings in the world is to feel lonely when you’re not alone. When you’re surrounded by people and you still feel as if you’re doing things all on your own.

Some days, that’s what mental illness feels like.

Other days, it feels like being alone would be wonderful. The peace, tranquility, and quiet you could experience would be heaven. No noise, no feedback, nothing holding you back from finally being able to release the tension in your muscles. Nothing stopping you from letting go of the ever present need to be ready to run.

But you know better. If you’re actually alone, then your anxiety will convince you to be terrified.

Find some balance, one that works specifically for you. The kind where the dishes get done before they smell up the kitchen, where you shower fairly regularly, and your work doesn’t pile up ridiculously.

Also, the kind where you give yourself grace if those things happen sometimes because you needed to feed yourself and that’s all the energy you had.

Life is a series of choices. Some of us can make a multitude of choices in succession and have them go grandly. Some of us must take our time and ruminate on them, and they still seem to go to shit. Some of us fall somewhere in the middle.

One thing we must all remember is no matter how far down we feel we’ve fallen, there’s nothing wrong with reaching out a hand.

I still struggle with this. I’ve had to learn to swallow the tiny amount of pride I have left and take a leap of faith over the last few months. I’ve extended my hand from the depths of the inordinately large pile of rubble I’m under. I called out into the void.

The void answered.

What I’ve found is, even if the people I reach out to can’t help in the exact way I need, being able to speak with people who really listen helps. It’s something I have been missing lately, and I can’t express how much it means.



Chloe Cuthbert

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