Lonely.

The definition of lonely in the dictionary is: ‘sad because one has no friends or company.’

I agree that this is one way of looking at the word however, it isn’t always as simple as that. I am sure the feeling of loneliness has affected most of us at one point or another in our lives but thankfully, I am also sure that the majority of people reading this are lucky enough to have a whole host of friends and family of whom they can call upon in times of need.

I started to really think about the state of being lonely a few weeks back because I did indeed feel very lonely and isolated. I count myself extremely lucky because I do have the most amazing group of friends and I live with my amazing family so the dictionary definition doesn’t fit in with my sense of loneliness. So how is it then that I go through extreme stages of feeling like I am totally alone?

I have always been very good in my own company. I can occupy myself and keep busy most of the time without giving it a second thought. I pop on some music or a film and can potter about quite happily without a second thought that I am ‘on my own.’  I lived on my own in the UK and in Dubai without giving it a second thought. Yet, I also absolutely adore human interaction and good company. I love a good catch up, bit of gossip, a debate, laugh or simply to sit in silence with someone close to enjoy TV or a film. I know some people aren’t like this, they can’t stand being in their own company or at least not for very long and I also know those who choose smaller amounts of time with people as they prefer the quiet life. There is no right or wrong, as individuals we all suit different lifestyles and ways of filling our time.

However, my circumstances have led to a real upheaval of my normal routine and therefore I have had much more time on my hands to be by myself and I can’t do many of the things I would usually do with this time because of my illness. Therefore, I spend many hours feeling isolated, frustrated and trapped. Although I have never had one day by myself since coming home two years ago, I have discovered that it is totally reasonable to feel lonely even though you’re surrounded by people – a crazy concept I know!

This isn’t a ‘woe is me’ post, more a mind dump of thoughts I’ve been having of late and a way of reasoning with my feelings. One is of course the circumstance I find myself in compared to that I wish I wish in. I don’t have a partner, I am a single pringle who is in no position to contemplate or entertain the idea of dating or finding someone. Therefore, that results in not having that one person to lean on, confide in, share with and look after. I love a cuddle but I can, at times, go days without any human contact physically. That is sometimes my own doing because I know if I am touched I will crumble and I don’t always want that!  Of course I have the emotional support from my family on a daily basis, but ultimately, when I go upstairs and close that door, I am alone. Just me. Just me and my thoughts. And although sometimes this is all I want, it’s where I can just focus on what I need, it can also be a danger zone because being alone can become quite a dark place at times.

During the last month I have made a choice of being alone most of the time. I haven’t been in a good head space and haven’t wanted interaction and when I have, I’ve found that the smallest of things will irritate or upset me. I’ve just wanted peace and quiet, low lighting and comfy surroundings to ease the symptoms that have become so acute. This is most definitely a double-edged sword because although it’s what I have wanted, it hasn’t necessarily helped. Being around people and socialising, although exhausting, lifts my mood and occupies me. I’ve noticeably not reached out to people for company like I normally would and I am now consciously making more of an effort because I know that friendships are two-way and I can’y always rely on others to organise, I need to meet them half way. That’s where CBT is helping because I can pace myself in terms of self-care and preservation alongside seeing people and doing nice things to keep me going.

Lonely is a tough place to be. You can’t always see a way out of it but there are always options – texts, phone calls, Skype, arranging catch ups or simply making links within communities on social media with people who understand what you’re experiencing. This is one that I find most helpful at times because one cause of my loneliness is the feeling that people don’t truly understand and ‘get’ what I’m going through on a daily basis. It’s through no fault of anyone, life has to go on, but at the moment I simply can’t shake this overwhelming sense of feeling trapped by my mind and body. For the first time in months I gave up the other day. I uttered the words, “I can’t.” I’d gone with mum and dad for a little walk at High Elms, it wasn’t sunny so my pins and needles shouldn’t have been too much of an issue – but storm Brian had other ideas and set about sending strong gusts of wind. The only way I can describe it was that the pins and needles were lodged in my face and head, and every time the wind blew against me, it pushed those bloody things in and out of face and head like they were drilling tiny holes. It was so painful and for once, I couldn’t ignore them, so I went back and took shelter in the car. I didn’t cry, I didn’t get upset, I just felt anger. Like so many times at the moment, I wanted to scream, to shout and to vent the frustration that courses through my body several times a day. I hate this life, I hate my body and I hate that at the moment, my mind won’t let me push these thoughts away.

ME is a lonely illness, it is isolating, it is frustrating and it is a place where you spend a lot of time alone. I’m okay with that most of the time, I’m becoming more accepting of it because really, there’s no other way I can be because there is no fix for it. I don’t always want to talk about how I feel or what I’m thinking, I don’t want to discuss the pain or frustration but that equals an even more lonely feeling because I can’t share it with anyone, I only burden myself and that is tough. I just have to remind myself that although I spend much of my time by myself or with the same four people I share a house with, I am not alone.  I will never be alone and I should be grateful for that. There is always someone who will listen, whether that be someone you know or a stranger you can connect with. We must take advantage of the positives that living in this social media driven world provides us with and I can’t recommend it enough.

So, please, if you’re feeling lonely today, reach out, talk, share and know, you are not alone in whatever you are going through so don’t be afraid to talk.

Be kind to yourself.

Happy Tuesday,

#hairlesshannah

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Lonely.

  1. cathgreen2015 says:

    It is hateful. It is horrible. We all hate it for you and with you. We all feel helpless when trying to help sometimes but we won’t ever give up because that’s not what we’re about.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry you are going through all this right now. I can totally relate to going through times of loneliness even when I am surrounded by amazing people that I love. It’s really hard, but hang in there! It does get better, especially as you take steps towards being more intentional about your time and not getting too bogged down with your own thoughts. It’s helpful,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can completely relate, & get where you’re coming from, although my personal circumstances are different. I am married with grown up children. I have had to miss out on a lot of what they have done in their growing years. But do I appreciate how fortunate I am. My sister once suggested setting up a fairground ‘smash the crockery’ in my garden, for when I feel like screaming, but who would clean up! I wrote on this same subject a few weeks ago & may write a follow up post, but I found the first very emotionally draining, so I’m not so sure. That took me by surprise fir sure.
    Thanks for sharing on a difficult subject. It definitely needs far more air time. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am a new reader of your blog! This post made me cry. Because I KNOW what you’re going through. We may not have the same diseases, but I know what it’s like to want to scream and cry and curse the world for being trapped in this body. I know what it’s like to be in unbearable pain day in and day out. I, too, feel lonely more often than I’d like to. Especially at night, since that is when my body decides to be awake. While my side of the world is sleeping, I’m awake. My boyfriend works at night. So I am alone all night with my dogs. It’s painful sometimes. I also find myself getting irritated about stupid things when I am around people. Noises are just too loud. Light is too bright. And the pain is just too much when I’m overstimulated.
    What I’m trying to say is: I feel your pain. I just followed your blog, and I’m excited to go through it. You don’t know me, but if you ever need to talk, I’m always around. Maybe talking about things to a stranger could help? I have a few online friends who I’ve never met in real life, and for some reason I can open up more to them than people I actually know. Anyway, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll be here. -Christina

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Christina, thank you for such a lovely comment. I am so glad you found my blog and in return I’ve found yours! Being able to share experiences, although hard at times, is so beneficial because it opens you up to see how others cope and know that although it can and does feel lonely, so many others are also dealing with the same thing and that you can therefore support each other. Take care and ditto to your offer, here to talk anytime – I’ll try and find you on social media as well. Take care, Hannah x

      Liked by 1 person

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