DailyB Ep 4 The TRUTH About Coping with Loneliness #DailyB

Hey, I'm Burhaan Patel, and today I want to share a personal story about my journey with loneliness and finding comfort in my own skin. I know what it feels like to want to be proud of who you are and to seek genuine connections. In this video, I dive deep into my experiences growing up, from being a premature baby to facing the challenges of boarding school and cultural isolation.

Throughout my life, I’ve struggled with feelings of loneliness and the need for validation. Whether it was feeling out of place in school, seeking approval from my parents, or navigating the ups and downs of early marriage, these experiences have shaped who I am today.

One of the key turning points for me was discovering Julia Cameron’s book, "The Artist’s Way." It introduced me to the powerful habit of daily journaling, which has been a game-changer in my journey toward self-love and acceptance. In this video, I explain how this practice, along with other habits like regular exercise and finding meaningful work, has helped me overcome feelings of loneliness and find inner peace.

Join me as I share my story and offer insights that might help you on your own journey. If this resonates with you, please hit the subscribe button and give this video a thumbs up. Your support means the world to me, and together, we can build a community of individuals striving for self-acceptance and personal growth.

Timestamps: 00:00 - Introduction 00:20 - The Desire for Self-Acceptance 00:45 - My Early Struggles with Loneliness 01:11 - Premature Birth and Early Life 01:37 - Boarding School Challenges 03:26 - University Life and Finding Friends 04:38 - Early Marriage and Its Challenges 05:46 - Moving and the Impact on Friendships 07:04 - The Struggle for Validation 07:59 - Overcoming Social Media Disappointments 08:21 - Accepting Loneliness as Part of My Journey 09:22 - Discovering "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron 10:24 - The Power of Daily Journaling 12:32 - Meditative Benefits of Journaling 12:45 - The Importance of Self-Validation 13:13 - Exercise and Finding Meaningful Work 14:00 - Conclusion and Call to Action

Show Notes:

How I Deal With Loneliness | Daily B 4

[00:00:00] I know what it feels like to want to be comfortable in your own skin. To be able to look in the mirror and actually be happy with who you are. Like, to really be proud of yourself when you see yourself in the mirror or you see yourself walking around and dressing the way you do and meeting the people that you do.

To just be comfortable with who you are. to actually have somebody who you love and who loves you back, like really, really loves you back and to be acknowledged by people, like to really be seen, to have your parents involved, to have acknowledgement, to have them tell you that you love, they love you, and to actually not feel lonely.

Like loneliness is a big deal. And I want to tell you a little bit about my story and, and my journey with loneliness. Now, when I was born, I was born two weeks premature. So I was born on the 8th of April, [00:01:00] two weeks ahead of time. And my, my mom and dad had to leave me in the hospital in an incubator, in a box for two weeks because I couldn't breathe.

My lungs were apparently too small. And so that's where my journey of loneliness actually started. And both my parents were working. They were both teachers at the time. And they had to leave me with caretakers. So I wasn't with my parents all the time. At 12 years old, as circumstances would happen, I was sent to boarding school.

So my brother and I were sent to boarding school. I was 12, barely knew what, what was going on. And I found myself sleeping in this room with like, I don't know, 15 or 20 other, 15 or 20 other boys. And they were all bigger than me. I was like one of the shortest in the class. I was the only Indian in, well, my brother and I were the only two Indians, [00:02:00] brown skinned kids at the school.

Yeah, there were a few, few black African kids, but we were the only two Indian kids at that school. And predominantly the school was white, South African, Afrikaans, you know, typical, uh, type of scenario. Where we were kind of the isolated ones, but my brother got along with them with his friends He was very, you know, charming and very friendly and he made friends and he paid he played sports and people The kids loved him because he was good at sports.

Me on the other hand, I hated sports. I, I didn't really do well footing in. And it was, it was a journey. The friends that I had at school, they were all foreigners. They were all outcasts or they were all different to the South African kids. We looked different. We talked different. And funny enough, we were actually, we did pretty well at school because I think one of the things that I did was because I wasn't getting [00:03:00] attention from You know, kids are validated by others.

I just put myself into my studies. Like I just try to make sure that I did the best that I could at the school. Also, because like, that's what my parents expected from me, like my, both my parents were teachers and so they set very high standards for my brother and I. And. When I went to university, I lived with my aunt, right?

So it was schooling after the boarding school. I went to live with my aunt because, uh, living in the boarding school was, was too tough, not too tough because of just like being there. I, I would have managed, but from a, like I was Muslim then and yeah, the fasting during the fasting month, like for my aunt to come and drop off halal food.

Was an issue, right? The school didn't cater for halal or kosher or any of those those things So my aunt used to drop food off every every [00:04:00] day or every weekend So that we could you know Have something to eat at the boarding school and then eventually it was just like come live with me I can cook for you, you know We will arrange transport to the school every day And so then I became a day scholar like like most of the other kids But in university, I also lived with her.

I lived with her for nine years and she was like a mother to me. Um, and she helped me through a lot of that, a lot of like dealing with loneliness, a lot of dealing with teenage drama. I didn't have any girlfriends. We were, I mean, we were at a boy's school, my brother and I, and, uh, I didn't really go out much.

I didn't really socialize. I didn't have a lot of friends. And then. Sort of at 21, uh, university found a girl in the law division or law, law, Faculty, whatever you want to call it. And, uh, yeah, my parents were like, oh, you're dating. Okay. Well, you guys can't be sneaking around and holding hands and dating and stuff.

So like you guys got to get married and [00:05:00] her parents also kind of encouraged that. So at 21 years old, I was married. Um, funny enough the day of my birthday when I was 21 and I was Yeah, it was kind of an interesting thing because I thought that being married would solve this loneliness Problem. I thought that I would be seen I thought that I would be Comfortable.

I thought that that person was going to validate me I thought that that person was going to show me affection In the way that I had always thought that I was looking for that affection and it wasn't the case Um, we also moved a lot. So like even going through Through like with my parents too. It's like we my dad was also like always like looking for other opportunities or whatever Moved around a lot.

And so keeping friends was was difficult and I and I was always like constantly disappointed by people like Yeah, sure. I had a happy childhood in the sense that I was, you know doing well at school um [00:06:00] By the standards that I I thought and by the standards I thought my parents wanted of me Um university was fine like I made friends then at least I dated and I met girls and I went out and I and I had a I had a crew a crew a group of friends um who Supported me and who actually like enjoyed my company So that was really nice to have and we're still friends that core group of friends.

We still talk to each other and you know Obviously, you know, growing up and doing stuff and starting to work online, you know, we're, we're trying to get views. We're trying to get subscribers. We're trying to grow an audience. We're trying to do all of these things. And I, and I find found myself when I first started posting on YouTube or first started posting Instagram, things like that, feeling, feeling disappointed because it wasn't getting the views.

It wasn't getting the likes. I fell down that whole rabbit hole of feeling disappointed and not feeling good enough. And it comes from this feeling of [00:07:00] loneliness because it's all connected, I think. And, and deep down, obviously, you know, there were negative comments that came through. I still get negative comments right now, people calling me names and things, but I'll tell you something that's helped me over, over time.

Something that I've, that I've learned to acknowledge and learn to use to manage these feelings. But hey, you're not probably not following me right now. So speaking of following, like just hit the subscribe because if this is resonating, if this is interesting, if this is something you want to learn a solution for and you want to, you know, just get to know me a little bit more, hit the subscribe button.

I'd appreciate it. So yeah, I spoke about some of the problems, right? We feel the need to be validated by somebody else. We feel that we constantly need approval. We feel unhappy because nobody was sending, nobody sends us messages. It's like, Oh, you have this group of friends, but you're not invited to the party.

You're not invited [00:08:00] to go to the movies. You're not invited for whatever. Right. And you're unhappy because of that. And like I said, you're not getting likes, you're not getting social following. You're not, you're not achieving the things that others are. And I want to give you some advice and I want to, and this is something that I've taken years and years to, to understand.

Is that loneliness was a part of my life. From the day I was born, I didn't have that full connection with my parents. And I've realized that that's just a part of who I am. It's just a part of my genetic makeup. It's made me who I am today. And as long as I have some interaction with people whether it's mostly on zoom or you know Going out once a week, even if it's just going to a coffee shop Like I would I generally like to go to a coffee shop once a week or so And just work have a have a cup of coffee.

Look at the people, you know Maybe say hello to a couple of people here [00:09:00] and there. Um See people have them see me and it's fine. Like that's all I I need right now I'm 43 right now and it's taken me a long time to accept that You But here's the thing that's really, really helped me. Uh, around mid last year, I picked up a book by Julia Cameron called The Artist's Way.

And I had the book in my, in my Audible and it was recommended somewhere along the line. I have this habit of when I hear a book title, I kind of just add it to my wishlist. And then when I'm looking for some inspiration or whatever, I just, I add it to my Audible or I buy the Kindle and then, You know, I go through it and initially I was like, Oh, the artist way.

Okay. I'm not really an artist. It was kind of like in denial, I guess. And, uh, I was like, okay, let me, let me, let me listen. And so I started listening to this book and I recommend that you do too. The link will be in the description. And in the book, she recommends how a [00:10:00] journaling habit, like to write three pages every morning when you wake up.

Just a brain dump of whatever it is that you're feeling. There are other exercises in the book, a weekly date with yourself, like, and a couple of other activities, reviewing your journaling and things like that. But the daily journaling has helped me the most, and here's why. I mentioned that all my life, or most of my life, I haven't really been validated.

Like, yes, my parents told me they love me, or at least my mom did. And yes, when I was married, yes, people told me they love me and it was dating and my friends, you know, they acknowledged me and stuff like that. That was fine. But those were all external. I was always waiting for other somebody else to say that to me.

And when I started journaling, I realized that, hey, I could actually say this to myself. And I would put myself in my shoes, either as my five year old self telling me now, like, hey, look what you've done. Like, hey, you're awesome. Like, hey, you're good. You're cool. Look at where you, [00:11:00] you've gone, you've left South Africa, you've traveled to a couple of countries, you're living in Thailand.

Or I would look at myself from, from my 50, 60, 70 year old self and saying, Hey, like you've, you've come this far, but dude, like the journey is still so, so long. Like there's still so much to do. And I would use those two personalities or those two parts of myself to say, Hey, like you're good. I love you.

It's fine. Whatever you're dealing with is, is okay. And so that's the place that I get to validate myself. Every morning, three pages. While I'm having my coffee, while I'm having my breakfast, sometimes it takes me 30 minutes. Sometimes it takes me 40. Sometimes it takes me a full hour. I find myself distracted.

I find myself going to whatever, like doing random stuff around the house, washing the dishes or cleaning the house or whatever, even, even procrastinating to do the journaling and doing work. But when the days that I, and I've [00:12:00] been kind of very good, daily. The days that I force myself and sit down and say, Hey, like this is important.

Those are the best days that I have because I get to validate myself. I get to reinforce my values. I get to reinforce whatever it is that's going on in my life. I even ask myself questions in the journal, like if I'm struggling with a problem or whatever, and I'll just let my hand flow and write.

Whatever solutions come to mind, sometimes it's kind of like a workshop that I'm doing with myself.

It's been one of my, one of the most meditative things that I've, I've picked up as a, as a daily habit. I tell myself that I'm strong. I tell myself that I'm loved. I tell myself that I'm beautiful.

I know it sounds weird, but I do it. And it's made all the difference in my life. And I think if you did that for yourself too, that you'll find that it will change your life. So [00:13:00] journaling is one thing. Exercising daily also has helped me. And I'll do another whole video on, on exercise. If you like like the video and subscribe and that'll be the signal for me to do the exercise one.

The other thing is like, I really enjoy my work, right? So find work that you love doing. And I believe that I'm free because I've lived a life that I chose to live.

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