Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

Filling the void



Sometimes life feels so empty, like something is missing but I’m not quite sure what. As if I am missing out on a big secret that everyone else knows about and I don’t. Of course, this isn’t really the case because when I have deep and meaningful conversations with friends they often tell me they feel the same way at times. They too experience loneliness (even when they are with others) and a feeling that they are missing out on something. A feeling that leaves them feeling there is still a void to be filled. So what is it?

I often thought my ‘void’ came from a troubled childhood. One where I was criticized and never quite felt loved and cherished. Perhaps the idea that I am not loveable is something that I still try to ‘fix’. If I just find the right partner who loves me in a way that makes me feel accepted and cherished, or find the right job with just the right amount of praise and status….Perhaps that is the void I am trying to fill. The thing is, I don’t believe the void can ever be filled by an external source. We fool ourselves into thinking that external validation will be the elixir we seek but the truth seems to be that despite external validation, there always seems to be something more to strive for.

I have come across many people who have felt the same way. Often, they would tell me that their parents pushed them to achieve and without realising it, created adults that never felt good enough. So maybe it’s that we all have this desire to feel whole and content and keep searching for this desirable feeling of wholeness. The other thing to consider of course is that perhaps this perpetual state of wholeness doesn’t actually exist.

I have had moments where I feel incredibly at peace and contented…it’s a wonderful feeling but it permeates for a while and then disappears, leaving me feeling anxious or incomplete once more. Maybe that is just how life is and when we accept that the void is just a part of life, we can get on with the process of living and being instead of chasing and wanting.

Mandy X