The feeling is like a void … an empty black hole that you’re being dragged towards.
You feel tears well up inside of you. Grief claws at your throat as it tightens. Emotional numbness starts to creep into your body. You know that no one can possibly understand the pain that you’re experiencing. Even when you’re surrounded by people, you feel completely and utterly alone. As you look around at the world, you realize that very little brings you true joy. Life feels grey, dull, and flat. The feeling of loss and unhappiness that you carry inside eats at your heart like boiling acid little by little. Piece by piece, you feel yourself crumble apart. Sometimes it feels too unbearable.
Can you relate to what I’ve just written? If so, this article is for you.
What I just wrote was a description of a profoundly bleak and dark period of my life in which I lost everything that I had ever known: my religious faith, my trust in life, my home, and my entire family. So this article isn’t just another feel-good piece, it’s written from the first-hand experience of a person who has fought battles alone for years, and has learned how to keep moving forward, no matter what.
In this article, I want to help ignite that fire within you again to KEEP GOING. While I’m not claiming to be able to solve all your problems, I will share with you everything I’ve learned so far about how to stay strong.
Types of Battles That We Fight Alone
If you’re fighting inner battles, you’ll know that no matter who you have in your life – no matter how caring others are towards you – the empty black hole within you is still there. You will realize that although others can try to help, they can never really fully understand the kind of suffering you’re going through. The grief, loss, anxiety, or depression still remains.
As such, here are the most common types of battles that we fight alone:
- Death of a loved one
- Romantic breakups
- Chronic sickness
Is this list complete? No. I just want to help create some clarity – and if you can identify with any of these struggles, all the better.
How to Keep Moving Forward When You’re Fighting Battles Alone
It’s not easy walking alone.
The hardest walk you can ever take in this life is the walk you make alone.
But it is THIS solitary path that makes you the strongest.
It is THIS solitary path that makes you the wisest.
It is this solitary path that forges a soul that knows how to never give up – even when the odds are against you.
Remember that the strongest and fiercest wolves are those who stand alone. Even when you feel weak, remember, standing alone takes STRENGTH.
Even when you’ve been struggling for YEARS, remember that you have qualities that few can understand or admire because most haven’t fought to survive alone.
Here’s how to keep moving forward when you’re fighting battles alone:
1. If you throw me to the wolves, I’ll come back leading the pack
This is one of the most empowering sayings of all time in my opinion. When you say this to yourself, you feel like a motherf*cking WARRIOR. So use it to your advantage – you can even adopt it as a daily mantra. This statement means that no matter what other people or life throws at you, you will 100% own it. Not only will you own it, but you will accept the challenge and make it your single-minded mission to overcome it. YOU CAN DO THIS. Embrace the role of the lone wolf and free spirit and fiercely challenge anything that threatens to destroy you.
2. Take every day one step at a time
Put one foot in front of the other. Forget about the past, forget about the future. Focus only on the next step, one after the other. Take every day one at a time. This will help to ground, focus, and empower you. Practice exercises in mindfulness and keep going.
3. Scream or ROAR
The whole “letting go and finding self-love” thing can wait for later … right now we’re in full survival mode. One of the best primal ways to keep moving forward is to literally scream or roar. Find a private place, such as in your car, an empty lot, or in your house when no one is there, stand in a powerful stance (such as with your arms wide) and scream or roar. Do it as loudly as you can. Let go of being “civilized.” Feel the pain and also the simultaneous power surge through you. THIS is the power you will be using to move forward. Do this every day as it is extremely cathartic and empowering.
4. Be a warrior, not a victim
A victim argues with life, a warrior embraces it. A victim dwells in the past, a warrior lives in the present. A victim believes they’re helpless, a warrior takes back control over their life. Although the victim mentality is addictive, the warrior mentality is much more empowering in the long term. Once you start seeing yourself as a warrior, you’ll feel empowered to keep moving forward, no matter what. Living as a warrior is much more refreshing and inspiring than living as a victim who wallows in self-pity.
5. When it all gets too much, BREATHE
When you feel like you’re on the brink of a breakdown, STOP and BREATHE. Focus on nothing but breathing in and out. Block out everything else around you. Cut off completely from your thoughts. Just focus on your stomach rising and falling … nothing else. Why does this work? Because focusing on the breath helps to ground you and take you out of your head and feelings. If focusing on the breath doesn’t help, listen to some music or distract yourself with an absorbing activity. Just find any way you can to disconnect from your thoughts.
6. Listen to empowering / emotional music
One of the greatest things that helped me through my bleak years was listening to music. There are so many free empowering talks on YouTube which can support you each day. Depending on your needs, you may either choose to listen to something that expresses how you feel (e.g. something melancholic or angsty), or something that subdues how you feel (e.g. something uplifting).
7. Give your struggles a PURPOSE
See what you’re experiencing as having an intrinsic purpose – whether that be to help others in the future struggling with the same problems, writing a book, creating inspired artwork, or anything that calls to you. You are gaining a Ph.D. IN LIFE. Absolutely nothing else can teach or equip you with the skills as fighting battles alone can. FIND THE PURPOSE within your struggles.
8. Find the lesson/gift in your circumstance
I know to some this may sound absolutely preposterous, but please give it a try. Reframing what I was going through helped so much, and I have seen it help so many others as well. Whether the lesson is developing inner strength, learning to appreciate the little things in life, or looking inside for happiness, the lesson/gift is ultimately up to you to find. But it IS there waiting for you to find.
9. Take care of your basic needs
This probably seems, well, basic, but it makes a world of difference. Although it may feel 100 times harder than before, make it your goal to take care of your fundamental needs each day. That means, get good quality sleep (I’m talking 7+ hours if you can), drink enough water, do exercise, eat healthy, SHOWER. You may be tempted to let it all slide, but don’t. When you let your basic needs slide, you WILL feel increasingly worse. If you don’t have any goals, make this your goal, and even if you have to do it all robotically, do it. NO excuses.
10. Be courageous and share your feelings with others
When I say others, I mean either a support group and/or a trained counsellor/therapist. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. You can opt to seek a local or online support group (though keep in mind that online support groups can sometimes harbor toxic atmospheres), find a local therapist or online counselor (you can even get free online counseling), or call an anonymous hotline. Note: if you are struggling with suicidal feelings, I strongly recommend that you call one of these helplines or seek professional help as soon as possible. My thoughts are with you and I hope very much that you receive the help you need.
I will repeat again: the strongest and fiercest wolves are those who stand alone. Even when you feel weak, remember, standing alone takes STRENGTH.
Keep moving forward.
NEVER GIVE UP. STAY STRONG. You HAVE what it takes to succeed.
I BELIEVE IN YOU.
More helpful resources:
Dealing with the recent sudden death of my husband, during COVID19..so pretty much alone. Aloneness isn’t new to me, it’s an old friend, but there is a different cadence to it now. This article and site has helped me more then anything so far. I thank you for that. I stumbled across it by “accident.” Sometimes we find what we need where we least expect it. Thank you.
Not only do I feel like I’m fighting alone, I feel like I am fighting against everyone. I’ve been in such a rotten mood and I can’t blame anyone who doesn’t want to be around me. And I don’t know how to face anyone anyway.
I appreciate you being here so I can say this to someone without feeling like I’m a jerk. This will pass, I’m sure, but it certainly isn’t fun…
I love all the articles you write, Aletheia Luna! Just the last sentence you wrote is worth a whole storehouse of knowledge and is extremely empowering and motivational. I am relatively spiritually mature as only a thirteen year old and I don’t have any friends at all. As a reserved and introspective individual, I find it very hard to socialize and articulate my thoughts and feelings to others and prefer to spend time alone doing something more productive and beneficial to my life. The connection I feel with you as the writer when you write about something I can completely relate and associate to makes me love reading your articles even more. Thank you for this AMAZING article!! The quote you mentioned was your favorite also became my favorite :)
The picture in this article is of special interest to me. Can someone please explain to me what the sword is symbolic for in a tough journey alone?
Literally just reading your notes on catharsis and screaming made so much sense, as someone born into a world where repressing emotions is the norm. Definitely needed this one.
Aletheia Luna, thank you so much. This article resonates with me. I have been on this lonely road of achieving my dreams of becoming a successful Writer. It’s not easy. But it pays to stay true to yourself. I have let this song by Jordan Sparks one step at a time and one day at a time by Cristy Lane sink into my body, mind and spirit. I have been exploring Loner Wolf and I I find it to be helpful. Finally, be led by your dreams don’t be pushed by your problems~ Ralph Waldo Emerson. Step into the fire of self-discovery. This fire will not burn you it will only burn what you are not~ Mooji. Life shrinks or expand in proportion to one’s courage~Anais Nin. Don’t go through life crawling on your hands and knees half defeated. Stand up to your obstacles and do something about it. You will find that they have not half the power you think they have~ Norman Vincent Peale. Once again thank you.
Hi Luna, you are awesome. Your article has inspired me to keep moving forward, I am struggling with a few emotional issues, of past and present life and was feeling discouraged. Thank you.
HEY, the article is really empowering! I was wondering if you could also write an article about how social media and overuse of technology has negative impacts on our spiritual lives. Thank you:)
Great article – as always. Thanks for all of your work! You metioned losing your religious faith – have you written a piece on that subject?
This is a bit too simplistic for me.
Self-empowerment means nothing if you hate yourself, and I certainly do.
After 27 years of chronic depression, social anxiety, AvPD, Body Dysmorphia, anorexia, IBS and total social isolation with no friends and no relationships, it would be an understatement for me to say that my problems can be fixed with this sort of generic advice.
I’m sure it works for some people. It may even be just what they need to hear. But it doesn’t work for me. I don’t want to BE me.
I enjoy many things in life, but I enjoy them for what they are, and not because I’m involved with them.
I like things that make me forget that I exist. A great film or a painting, or a book. It doesn’t matter. If something is captivating enough that I don’t have to be reminded of the fact that I’m here, then I’m happy.