Very lonely

Posted by EllAmster @ellamster, Jun 6 11:32am

Due to 'life' I never had the opportunity to make friends. I hardly ever went out, am single, and feel desperately lonely. I can take care of myself and always have but have learned my caring skills weren't particularly good. They kept me alive but I have not lived.
No holidays, trips, bar, no beach or forest, nothing. And no friends to go out with or to simply have a chat.
I still work and I think my clients would be perplexed. They know me as a sunny and mischievous teacher who pulls their legs so they learn more, and trick them into doing things wrong to help understand it all even better. Little do they know. I am very alone and lonely. Being alone is not that big of a biggie: I know how to do that. But the loneliness is hollowing me out.
I wondered about making friends. I never had friends, I feel very awkward about friendship. I miss the person I am with clients in my daily life. I really would like someone to chat with. It would be so nice to even fall in love. To feel I am being loved. I never had that. It's so strange to realise so many are loved; is it normal to be loved, to find someone who loves you? Or is it the golden shine of being lucky and blessed enough to find this?

It would do me a lot of good to find people to chat with. Video for instance would be nice to get to know people. To chat, have a virtual cup of tea, or a real one of course! And to not be too ashamed of myself to hide behind the smiles and fun but to open up and maybe one day even be accepted.

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Hi there @ellamster ! 🙂 You certainly are not alone in this world, and you are loved, even if you don't always feel it is so. Life is give and take, I will say, and sometimes it takes us stepping out of our comfort zone in order to blossom that really makes the biggest difference. People will naturally be attracted to you by your authenticity, and just being you is enough. Don't ever apologize or feel bad about who you are. You were created to be unique and with so much love to share with this world, and you have a special purpose in this life that will reach many others. Our success or value is not determined by others, and it is up to us to selfishly take strides in our own favor so we are able to help others and just enjoy life. Be thankful for every moment you have and store them up like treasure, because that's what they are. And your life will be seen as hidden treasure to someone else, whether that's a spouse or friend. But it doesn't come without effort. And likely we get hurt or muddy along the way, but it's all about our perception and mindset. If you are confident in who you are, then you are unbreakable. You have more strength than you probably know, and just reading your post I sensed the amount of love and wisdom you possess to share with this broken world. Take heart dear one, for you are strong and hold much light in your hands! 🙂 Hope your day is wonderful, my friend!

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@ellamster This is so sad. But you say that your clients like you and wouldn’t recognize who you are inside. This makes me feel that you do a beautiful job relating to people. My husband was in the military so we moved all the time. At every new post, i had to meet all new people and socialize with them. This was SO difficult. I’d slowly get to know the other spouses, but, then we would move again. I. Got so that i would look for small organizations on post that needed volunteers. It worked for me!
Have you thought of volunteering for Meals on Wheels, or as a story time reader at your library? Or being matched up with someone in a nursing home. I know they would love you and your company. We meet so many nice people at Meals on Wheels and there are so many simple tasks that need to be done. There’s a saying somewhere “don’t hide your light under a bushel basket.”

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@ellamster The key to finding friends is to do things that interest you, and put yourself in places that could create opportunities to meet people casually who have similar interests. Friendship has to develop naturally, and it can't be forced. Just relax. If you talk about being really lonely to people you are trying to make friends with, it could make them feel pressure and turn away, so just enjoy the moment with no expectations. Not everyone will be compatible and have mutual interests. Some people have lives filled with their own interests and don't make room for others, and wouldn't be people that I would want to be a friend to. That being said, I always treat people with courtesy. Sometimes friends can drift apart and you never know why. Try holding a door open for someone and smiling and say hello.

Volunteering is a great way to meet people. Do you have pets? Volunteering at an animal shelter would help you meet people and you could interact and bond with animals which may help you feel a connection. Walking a dog in a park can be a real ice breaker for meeting people, and many people are pet lovers. Do you play a musical instrument? There are volunteer community bands giving free outdoor concerts in parks. Even going as an audience member and sitting on the lawn with a picnic dinner could put you in a good neutral place to make friends. You could join a club for outdoor activities like hiking or kayaking, a photography club, or biking, etc.

So the question is…. what do you like to do in your free time?

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Now were on a subject I am passionate about …I am loving your description of work and the interaction you have with your clients . I owned a business for almost 30 years of my 56 years and had been so blessed with great communication skills "people person" & knew that communication was key in my business however at the end of the day I began to feel alone not really lonely but just alone . One day It clicked with me that I had been blessed meeting amazing people in my work and I enjoyed listening to the things that they enjoyed in finally realizing this was my life .I had been blessed with amazing work environment where so many great conversations were involved and how fortunate I was to be involved and yes even be paid for it ha. Could it be that you are really saying you wish to find the love of a mate who shares the space you have created for yourself I am reading great advice here from others and agree with them on meeting people and you have taken the first step in this just by admitting to yourself that you feel lonely . I will also say that trust is a big part of loneliness .Many people have been hurt terribly and some have refused to ever trust again avoiding that human contact . We are living in delicate times and as we know human contact has changed very fast . I say be who you are and ask yourself if it is a friend or is it an intimate relationship you seek . These are important because as we know one must be a friend first . Until you find out I just say enjoy your work as it sure sounds like you have a great friendly work environment .

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I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes because I feel the exact same way. I have friends who are mainly “acquaintances”, because they have their own friends. I moved from my home in Michigan, to Sarasota, Florida not quite two years ago. I didn’t know even one person. It’s a long story, so I won’t start. I’m existing, that’s how it feels. I recently, just after Easter, tore my meniscus and other ligaments behind my knee. I’m in extreme pain every waking moment. Even if I had friends to do something with, it’s practically impossible because I can’t walk very far. I’m now using a cane for balance. I don’t work anymore, so there’s nobody to even talk to. Loneliness is so terrible, I totally understand what you’re going through. I wish you lived next door! My tears come easily and sometimes at inappropriate times.

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Hello @ellamster and @sandysurf

I was touched by your posts about loneliness. This can be a very difficult subject to broach, but you have both done a great job in expressing your feelings.

Yes, developing relationships/friendships is a process. There is no direct route and no simple rules to follow. You can begin this process by reaching out to others. If you have physical limitations there are many resources where you can volunteer to make phone calls to people who are homebound and don't have any other connection with the outside world. I had a friend who was homebound with spina bifida and she made weekly phone calls to other homebound individuals.

There are literacy organizations in most communities. Here in SE Michigan, where I live, the literacy groups have begun tutoring through Zoom meetings. This started during the pandemic and continues on as it is a great way for people to meet.

If you like to read, book clubs are another great way to meet people. Many public libraries offer these as well in a Zoom format. If you belong to a faith community, many churches offer Stephen Ministers who will visit and spend time with homebound individuals and provide company and companionship.

It is really worth a try to check out some options that are available to you.
Could you both check some of these community and faith-based organizations like libraries, churches and, community councils on aging?

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I feel a sense of loneliness too. Looking back over my life in hindsight I have come to realize many opportunities had presented themselves for me to engage socially more successfully. My youthful preconceived notions of what I was after, led me with horse like blinkers (blinders) onto the road more traveled (into some unrealistically demanding "helping profession"). In my case, I no longer doubt if I should ever come back to the earlier diverged road (borrowing from poet Robert Frost), I know that I never will return. For me that fuels some present feelings of isolation, that my cat rallies me away from.

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Thanks all for the reactions. It helps!
Yes, this is truly difficult. Also admitting what I feel is quite the taboo to break; people usually don't mention it. I felt ashamed that I have never been able to make friends because people would think there's something wrong with me. I had a strange life with a lot of shame and guilt after having been very sick as a child, got depressed, then was blamed for being a nuisance. This feels too silly to happen to a child but there it was, there it is. I am dealing with this in therapy so things are getting better. The loneliness though…
I survived so far instead of really living it. With a good reason: there was a lot going on and I never had time to heal before the next disaster arrived.
I never liked to complain and just continued, focusing on the good things but it has been exhausted and I am finally just so, so tired.

@rivermaya34
Thank you. Not apologizing is something I need to learn even though I tend to always be myself and 'weird enough' to not meet social conventions. I was told I don't say my name back when others introduce themselves, that I forget to shake hands, that I can blurt out things and that I tend to give a real answer instead of something convenient. I just don't notice these things so I suppose I am being myself and not even think about it.

@becsbuddy
I understand this would be difficult and even sad, it's good that you found your solution. Don't you miss a deeper connection with friends that are more 'permanent' though? Someone to have 'known you all your life'? But then we're all different and this might not be important to you. To me, I think, having spent all my life so alone, I miss some witness to my life, I miss having a sense of having been useful and helpful, not just for clients but in a personal life.

@jenniferhunter
Volunteering and pets: I have considered doing volunteer work but don't have enough time to actually commit. I do have pets and in fact, one is very sick at the moment and I just came back from hospital with him. I have thought about working in an animal shelter so that's something I would like but I currently don't have the time or energy.
Keeping the doors open (for friendship too) and smiling, yes 😊

@gregoryz
How good to read this too. Yes, communication skills! I have been told I speak easily and with a good sense of humour and can explain 'everything', even could explain what a plant is to an alien visiting earth.
I suppose in a way a mate/partner would be wonderful, yes. But as you wrote: having been hurt makes things tricky. I would like to have a partner, yes, but I fear he'd have to have a lot of patience until I trust him. I tend to trust people in the professional zone easier than people in the private zone!
But I also really would like to have friends to walk with me on narrow and wide paths, to have fun with, to do things with, just company that really cares, just as I usually tend to care about others.

@sandysurf
I understand how you feel! I do recognize it, the feeling to only exist instead of really being alive. I don't have any tips because I am in a similar situation.
I am not next door, no, alas. We could cheer each other up!

@hopeful33250
Thank you, yes, it's quite the thing to admit. Especially since my 'mask' is smiling and cracking jokes, and never want to be a downer or complain.
Volunteer work is not possible for me, time wise, alas. It's not like I work full time but I have learned I also need 'time off'. I just would like to spend that time off with nice people, fun folks, instead of always being alone. With cats, that is.

@linh
I suppose I have spent the last almost 20 years spending a lot of time on a career too. In my case I had to because it helped me get out of a bad relationship, which took time. I also have a cat who helps 😻

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I really identify with you. I have been a caretaker all of my life. I was taught that to care for oneself is selfish. Vesting myself so completely in others’ needs eclipsed my own. I never thought about who I am, what I want, where I would like to go, etc. i also never processed my own emotions. If left resolved, those old wounds never heal. I have, literally, run out of people to take care of. I live in complete isolation. I am both alone and lonely. Just stand around wondering how I ended up here. No friends, no partner, and very few acquaintances. I, too, just exist. When I go out, it is like putting on a mask. I have worn many different masks over the decades. I wore them so well no one ever noticed. When you find yourself alone in the world, it does feel like you merely exist. It took courage to write the initial post. It took courage and compassion for those who responded. In my opinion, the take away is the knowledge that there are so many of us lonelies out there. It actually creates a common bond in the void. Thank you for honestly and bravely sharing your feelings.

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@jan62

I really identify with you. I have been a caretaker all of my life. I was taught that to care for oneself is selfish. Vesting myself so completely in others’ needs eclipsed my own. I never thought about who I am, what I want, where I would like to go, etc. i also never processed my own emotions. If left resolved, those old wounds never heal. I have, literally, run out of people to take care of. I live in complete isolation. I am both alone and lonely. Just stand around wondering how I ended up here. No friends, no partner, and very few acquaintances. I, too, just exist. When I go out, it is like putting on a mask. I have worn many different masks over the decades. I wore them so well no one ever noticed. When you find yourself alone in the world, it does feel like you merely exist. It took courage to write the initial post. It took courage and compassion for those who responded. In my opinion, the take away is the knowledge that there are so many of us lonelies out there. It actually creates a common bond in the void. Thank you for honestly and bravely sharing your feelings.

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Welcome, @jan62. I am glad you dropped right into a meaningful discussion. And you have been able to clarify your own experiences with loneliness. I notice that you separated alone and lonely. I also agree with you. They are very different feelings. I enjoy being alone in nature, listening to the birds sing and waiting for the chipmunks to appear in the morning from every corner of the yard. Sometimes being alone gives you a good chance to meditate a bit and have a heartfelt chat with yourself.

And then there are friends. I am a newcomer to this area and have somehow been able to find a couple of groups that fill my loneliness needs. I play Mahjongg every Wednesday usually with a different group of four every week. That time goes quickly. I also have long conversations with old friends every few months or so. My longest friend and I have been together since first grade and that is about 75 years. We still have lots to reminisce about, and memories to revisit. Our chats can last three hours.

My newest group is a sangha that includes about 10 ladies. We meditate on Zoom every Thursday evening and have been together for about 8 years. Recently we started a once-a-month "fun" evening face to face. That experience is quite different and some are more ready than others to give themselves this experience.

My mask has always been available for public appearances or as the manager or leader of a workgroup. My best work time was when I owned the business myself. It was an art gallery and I grew to know the artists quite well. They too thrive and produce when they have alone time and often find it difficult to be out and about with others.

You know, I don't think I can agree with the position that you are selfish if you take care of yourself. However, I will leave that alone this evening. Perhaps you can give me some examples.

I look forward to continuing this discussion. Where do we go next?

May you have happiness and the causes of happiness.
Chris

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@artscaping

Welcome, @jan62. I am glad you dropped right into a meaningful discussion. And you have been able to clarify your own experiences with loneliness. I notice that you separated alone and lonely. I also agree with you. They are very different feelings. I enjoy being alone in nature, listening to the birds sing and waiting for the chipmunks to appear in the morning from every corner of the yard. Sometimes being alone gives you a good chance to meditate a bit and have a heartfelt chat with yourself.

And then there are friends. I am a newcomer to this area and have somehow been able to find a couple of groups that fill my loneliness needs. I play Mahjongg every Wednesday usually with a different group of four every week. That time goes quickly. I also have long conversations with old friends every few months or so. My longest friend and I have been together since first grade and that is about 75 years. We still have lots to reminisce about, and memories to revisit. Our chats can last three hours.

My newest group is a sangha that includes about 10 ladies. We meditate on Zoom every Thursday evening and have been together for about 8 years. Recently we started a once-a-month "fun" evening face to face. That experience is quite different and some are more ready than others to give themselves this experience.

My mask has always been available for public appearances or as the manager or leader of a workgroup. My best work time was when I owned the business myself. It was an art gallery and I grew to know the artists quite well. They too thrive and produce when they have alone time and often find it difficult to be out and about with others.

You know, I don't think I can agree with the position that you are selfish if you take care of yourself. However, I will leave that alone this evening. Perhaps you can give me some examples.

I look forward to continuing this discussion. Where do we go next?

May you have happiness and the causes of happiness.
Chris

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Thank you for sharing. To clarify (if I didn’t convey what I meant clearly,) I do not believe caring for one’s own needs, desires, and emotions selfish. I was conditioned to believe that as a young child in order to control my independence and strong will. I still struggle with those old tapes playing in my head. Intellectually, I most certainly do not believe caring for oneself to be selfish at all. I think self care is something we all deserve and need to be whole and balanced. It’s inspiring to hear of your group pursuits. I very much appreciate you insights. I am brand new to this type of exchange. It is quite nice.

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@jan62

I really identify with you. I have been a caretaker all of my life. I was taught that to care for oneself is selfish. Vesting myself so completely in others’ needs eclipsed my own. I never thought about who I am, what I want, where I would like to go, etc. i also never processed my own emotions. If left resolved, those old wounds never heal. I have, literally, run out of people to take care of. I live in complete isolation. I am both alone and lonely. Just stand around wondering how I ended up here. No friends, no partner, and very few acquaintances. I, too, just exist. When I go out, it is like putting on a mask. I have worn many different masks over the decades. I wore them so well no one ever noticed. When you find yourself alone in the world, it does feel like you merely exist. It took courage to write the initial post. It took courage and compassion for those who responded. In my opinion, the take away is the knowledge that there are so many of us lonelies out there. It actually creates a common bond in the void. Thank you for honestly and bravely sharing your feelings.

Jump to this post

Thank you Jan62.
it is difficult yes, and what you wrote could have been written by me.
I am sitting here wondering 'now what?' and don't know where to begin. To make matters more complicated I am in the process of losing the best cat friend I ever had.
'Us lonelies', yes.

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