The tyranny of loneliness.

Hello everyone…Just met someone whose partner died 5 years ago - my partner unfortunately passed away 4 months ago. She has not met anyone else since then, nor, I might add, as she cleared out any of her partner’s things. Nor have I. But I wondered how she coped with being on her own for so long? This lady (she is 62) didn’t really have an answer. Except to say, that her daughter is a regular visitor. I told her that I don’t receive regular visitors. One visitor a week is my total. I have to go out to see people. They rarely come to me. Nor do I receive several phone calls each week from concerned relatives etc.

So, for me, I now have a huge void to fill each day. That is where the loneliness hits me. To be honest, I can’t make my mind up which is worse, my loss or the inevitable and grinding daily loneliness?

After all, there is only so much one can do to keep busy. I have a business to run, but even that takes not a great deal of time each day. And there is only so many times that I can keep rearranging my designer underwear. Or sweeping up leaves from my driveway. What I need is a long-term strategy. But what? It means that when I begin to do something, I have to make sure that the task takes as long as possible to complete.

When you are thrust into the world of loss, there is a yawning chasm opened up in front of you. You can’t ignore it. It is there. You can’t avoid it either. I’m getting fed up living from day to day. It is boring. Maybe I should join my local bingo club? Or go for walks that last all day? Watch daytime TV for most of the day? RayJay…

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I suppose it helps if you have long standing interests that you can go back to. Most of my real interests didn’t involve my wife and I gave them all up when she was diagnosed four years ago. Recently I have gone back to some of them and it’s had a real benefit. I am a member of U3A and there are plenty of opportunities for engaging with others and studying new things where I live. I have suffered with a knee problem for the past year and it didn’t get any attention while my wife was alive but now I’m trying to build my strength up to go back to walking 10 miles or so. A lot of my friends are members of a walking group and I’d love to get back to being able to go with them. Today I actually walked 9 miles but only relatively slowly. I’ve always been quite comfortable in my own company so it’s probably made it a bit easier. Somehow I think it’s helpful to get out and do things which have the potential to be interesting and necessitate engaging with others. Over time little specks of interest and enthusiasm develop and then grow. It just takes effort to get started. I think the idea of a strategy is good but then, my background was in Applied Psychology, so I suppose I would. Maybe an Action Plan broken down into small action steps would help. From what you wrote I think you are part way there to recognising the route.

Hi Ray Jay, my husband died in February this year he was 47. We had 2 dogs, in the very early days they were the reason I had to get out of bed. You might have a dog in which this post won’t be much help, but if you don’t and like dogs and in a situation to have one then maybe this is something to consider. They are great company, get you out walking and talking to other dog owners and are there for you.

Hi RayJay. It is early days, you haven’t had alot if time to get used to your new situation. Be patient with yourself. But if you are wanting to have more company, there is opportunity out there. Reach out when you’re ready…all the best and enjoy your new acquaintances and experiences.

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