Lately, I’ve been feeling very alone. I’ve always been the type of person who appreciates some alone time and being by myself in my own space, to simply do as I please. However, lately, that hasn’t really been the case. Even as a child, we’re not really told how to deal with loneliness, do you take it into your own hands and surround yourself with people, even if you don’t feel sociable? Or do you simply just let it be?
As winter draws in, I always think about all of the elderly people, who live alone, perhaps their partners and families have passed, or they just never have them. But I think about how they’ve become so accustomed to loneliness and have no escape from it. I understand the ladies with 27 cats, loneliness can chew you up and swallow you and leave you digesting in its stomach of over analysed thought and sadness.
I’m aware this sounds dramatic, however, as you may know, I suffer from anxiety. I have done since I was 11 and yeah, I’m sure you’d think nearly 11 years later that I’d have it all figured out. Mental health does not like to behave, it throws curve balls in your direction when you think you’re in the safety zone. So lately, my mind has been tormented by loneliness.
I’ve never been ‘popular’, I spent the majority of my teen years worrying about friendships and feeling as though i was just ‘there’ without a purpose within the friendship circle. So naturally, being on my own, going places on my own and enjoying my own company has never really been that difficult. Until now. I mean there’s a difference to me sitting in my room voluntarily whilst my mum sits in the living room downstairs watching Emmerdale, to me wanting so badly for my mind to be occupied by someone else and not being able to do anything about it. Almost feeling trapped and consumed by my own mundane thoughts.
A few weekends ago, my family went away for the weekend and pretty much everyone I knew was busy. So, I spent the weekend at home, practically staring into space and allowing myself to overthink and over analyse e v e r y t h i n g. I’m not going to delve too much into detail, however, my thoughts got me worried and inevitably my family worried as I allowed myself to fall deeper and deeper into a loneliness. I tried everything, watching TV, Listening to music, talking to my dogs – But nothing seemed to work. My mind couldn’t concentrate on anything for me to forgot about my thoughts or to snap out of it.
Loneliness is honestly such a horrible feeling. I’m sure we’ve all felt it at some point in our lives. But just think, imagine if we could never have that loneliness broken by a visit from a loved one. Imagine if every day of your life, you sat alone and just try and enjoy being alone. As mentioned earlier, I’m always thinking about widowed elders, and those who don’t have a family around them and It honestly breaks my heart.
My late Great Granddad was a widow for around 15 years, however, we were both so lucky to live on the same street, so visits were long and often and the thought of him every sitting alone at his kitchen table always made me visit, no matter how stressed or tired I was. Since feeling overwhelmed by loneliness, I’ve actually sent an inquiry to Age UK about becoming a volunteer to be matched with an elder in my area to pay them regular visits and be a companion for them.
This post isn’t sponsored, however, the thought that I could help myself by helping others is really comforting. So if you think you could dedicate a few hours a week to making a difference to someone else’s life, I definitely would.