Combatting Loneliness When Living Alone
Community to encourage ways of living alone and having someone to reach out and say hello and I care. Many of us have lost loved ones with no replacements to connect.
Help spread the support to more people in need -- Please tell a friend or two. Thanks!
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12 days ago
Many don't understand if they have never been a caregiver, and family members are so easily judgmental when they truly have no clue and not involved. Mama has declined so rapidly in the nursing home and so many falls and injuries. They keep her so drugged up I don't know what is the disease and what is drugs. I also never knew there could be so many stages of grief before the death has even occurred. Wow . It is a very difficult journey and I pray for all of you Who are caregivers. You, we, are true heroes. ????????
15 days ago
I came on here today for the first time.... so today found a little gem.... even while relating to "esmee33", for her post took me straight to the dimmed area of my heart where I still long to be at one with family, even though it is better to stay away, or be destroyed over and over again by its toxicity.
Having lost my father, the parent I took after, when I was 14 years of age, and finding myself left in a family group where I no longer fitted in, I became the scapegoat because of secrets and collusions that I disagreed with. Loving each member of my family, as much as I did, meant that I couldn't hurt them back, so I became an object that they each mocked when together, in order to strengthen their face in the secretive group they aligned to.
Even then, I believed they each hid a deeper secret, that of not being happy with their conscience, not genuinely wanting to be that kind of person, but fearing being the isolated one like me. I realised, on a basic level at that age, that that fear came from them seeing the results of disagreeing with a parent and dominant favoured sibling who were the two weakest characters.... suffering from an inability to face life without someone else to prop them up and someone else to blame when props failed.
Whatever conclusion I came to, I hated myself anyway, for having the strength not to go against my inner self, no matter how much I loved them. Although I hated myself for not naturally pleasing those I loved most, I gave 100% of myself to pleasing them in every other way as long as it did not compromise my values. Their demands I always met, but always after contemplating how to in my own way. They mocked my love whenever they were together, and ridiculed me. The more they saw me sobbing the more they seemed to strengthen, and..... the more they laughed at me!
My strength came from writing my feelings in a creative way that I knew they could not destroy. In the written word, I removed from within myself all that mattered most to me, and I kept my writings in my room confident that they were safe there.... because, as I held no genuine interest for them, neither did my room. This meant that when I was out of my room and with my family, the best of me was untouchable and the shell they saw in front of them was less able to be hurt.
So, esme33, I wanted to encourage you to write. Lonesome creative pursuits can get us through isolation / ostracisation and develop our human nature in far more character strengthening way than empty pleasure seeking collusive relationships.
I would like to recommend an excellent book to everyone, called "Solitude" by Anthony Storr. For those who have reading difficulties, visual impairment, I will, now and then, share some of the insights from this book, which expounds the virtues of solitude in a world where it is often portrayed as a sign of mental illness. This book strips away all false portrayals of solitude and, indeed, shows all the wonderful benefits of lonesomeness.
For all who feel low at times without a smile, a light touch on the skin, a knowing glance of unspoken acceptance, I wish to say thank you for being here. I send my love and prayers out to all of you.
25 days ago
Here is a quote I found from a book titled, Snake Charmer, that talks about being able to be ourselves around others. One of the characters is talking about her mother: “I’m never more proud of my mother than after seeing her handle her parents that year. She’s finally learning to be herself around people who’d like to keep her in a box of their expectations.” Bijou Hunter, Snake Charmer
Even though this quote may be referring to someone whose family had big expectations of her, I think family expectations can go either way. I always felt that my extended family had put me into a box of their expectations, a limiting box that they could keep the cover on... that would define me in ways I didn't want to be defined. I found it very difficult not to define myself the way they saw me. I had to separate from them and found that years later when I tried to connect with some of them, it was evident that they still defined me the same way, without wanting to know more. I think that has been a dark shadow on my life, even though I may not have wanted to admit it. I wonder if anyone else out there has had a similar experience? Did you have family who defined you in ways that you didn't like, and how did you cope with that?
A quote that I sometimes find to be true, in myself and in others. Anyone relate?
“When I was going on one day in the car about not having any close friends - using my favourite metaphor: the cage of glass between me and the rest of the world - she just laughed. 'You like it,' she said. 'You say you're isolated, boyo, but you really think you're different.” John Fowles, The Magus
Another quote: “As the new work fills my notebooks, I've come to realize that the characters in my stories were so real because I really did want to get close to people, I really did want to know them. It was just easier to do it on paper, one step removed.” ? Charles de Lint, Dreams Underfoot
Well, I don't know if I'll be talking to myself or to someone else out there... but I've decided to start posting some things I know will help me at least, if no one else. Some will be quotes from others, other times I'll post my own thoughts. You can, of course, ignore them. They will be good for my soul, at least. I hope someone else will post as well! Outdo me, please! Here is a quote I found today: “It's not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.” ? Stephen Fry, Moab Is My Washpot
To Anyone who finds comfort here, I was thinking that we all might have some things in common. Or, we might find interest in how others cope with things. And I wondered if we could share some thoughts. Here is a question that I hope might spark some conversation.(or if not, maybe you could share another topic?): My question is, Do you find that when you are feeling blue, it helps to be around other people, even strangers, for awhile? There is no right or wrong answer, I'm just interested in hearing others' thoughts.
I think it's hard to be alone a lot, and sometimes just saying that aloud to an online community like this can help a little. I think that's why people get on and just say "I'm lonely" and then don't come back again... or, they feel intimidated about posting and revealing anything about themselves. We all have a story, and the good thing about this community is that we've all felt that emptiness, sometimes to a point where we feel somewhat desperate. We want to tell someone and we want to be heard.
This is an anonymous community, so even if we use an online name, no one knows who we are or where we are. People here don't judge you for being lonely, or for being someone who has a hard time trying to connect with others. We each have a valid reason for being alone, even if we didn't really choose to be.
As someone who tries to respond to others here, I will say that it's very helpful to have a name of some sort (an online name) to respond to. When someone comes on as "Anonymous Caregiver," we don't know whether this is someone new, or someone we have talked with in the past. And then if there are two at the same time who are Anonymous, it can feel very confusing. So I am more likely to respond when I see a name rather than Anonymous.
Another reason to choose a name is because some of us have built a sense of community here. It really does help, and we can share thoughts and ideas.
I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts about what it is that keeps people from choosing an online name when they post. Any thoughts?
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