How to overcome the soul sickness: Coping with Loneliness, Fear, and Hopelessness

After a layoff, typically a few months later, people with whom you once spent your days occasionally call to inquire about your well-being. These may include former colleagues and business associates, anticipating your swift return to collaboration on a new job. However, as time passes, the frequency of calls and messages decreases. Some lose interest, realizing you may no longer be able to assist them, while others feel uneasy reaching out—similar to the discomfort one might have when contacting someone who is unwell.

This reaction is understandable, as individuals often project such situations onto their own lives and prefer not to contemplate such a fate, choosing to focus on positivity instead. Only a handful of true friends remain persistent, offering words of support and genuine interest in you as a person. In this stage of awareness, you find yourself alone, and that’s when you need to summon real strength.

During periods of sadness, I adopt the metaphorical stance of being in the ‘witness protection program.’ I withdraw and contemplate my options until a new path crystallizes in my mind. We all need a ‘reset’ at times. It’s essential to remember that silence is a prerequisite for reaching the highest stage of spirituality. Therefore, find your oasis of peace, ‘disappear’ for a while, and be alone with your thoughts.

I consider myself fortunate that I can be alone without experiencing that time tragically. Although challenging, it is not unbearable. Dedicate some time to this period, as it can be profoundly beneficial. The questioning phase emerges—did we make the right choices, followed by guilt, fear of the future, uncertainty, and anxiety, accompanied by countless questions. There’s discomfort in the realization that you’re free while others are working, that you can stroll without pressure, and casually have lunch at your mom’s.

Over time, you recognize that it’s not as bad as initially perceived, and many would envy your position. People quickly adapt to the good, relaxing and redirecting to the right track—understanding what they truly want. There’s no such thing as failure; it’s merely deviating from the originally envisioned path. Life unfolds while we make other plans. Everything happens for a reason; therefore, let go and anticipate better days—they will come.

Silence reveals that true happiness can be found with the minimum. You become aware of basic and realistic needs versus desires. Wise individuals speak little. One can talk extensively yet say very little in essence. Genuine listening and the attention others deserve as interlocutors are often neglected due to distractions (calls, messages, notifications). Clear thoughts emerge when we are with ourselves. Meditation aids in focusing thoughts and calming the spirit, providing self-inspiration. It requires true courage to face oneself. Believe in yourself and persevere. Simultaneously, express gratitude for the beautiful things that have occurred. Establishing balance (harmony) is essential in life.

Your mind is shaped by your thoughts: constant focus on what you lack leads to unhappiness, while gratitude for what you have brings satisfaction. Many are not aware of what to be thankful for, especially until they face illness. ‘A healthy person has a thousand wishes, a sick person only one—to get well!’ Even minor health issues can impede or prevent us from enjoying everyday activities we normally take for granted. In such situations, we should realize the importance of our health and be grateful for it. Everything else is relative, transitory, and may (or may not) be compensated.


Author: Dobra Odlučić