Saturday, 29 March 2014

TACKLING LONELY MOMENTS




I have frequently felt very alone since being unwell. Losing a great deal of my independence knocked my confidence. At times, I've felt as if I've lost my identity and as a result have felt disconnected from myself and others. I've not only struggled with this feeling of isolation when actually alone in a room but also when in a room full of my favourite people.


Despite being extremely fortunate in having lots of lovely people who I know I can talk to, it has been very hard at times to shake that isolated feeling. As with most things since being ill, the more time that has passed the better I've learned to deal with the tough bits. I do still feel lonely at times but now know the things that help me to overcome it.


Here is a little list of the things that help me:


Doing something



It doesn't matter what it is. It just helps to be doing. A tiny bit of tidying up, having a wash, working out what I'd like to have for dinner, listening to an audiobook, (fantasy) online shopping, colouring in, filling in my one sentence journal, playing a silly game on my phone, taking my tablets... Anything. As long as it's not just lying down doing nothing. When I feel most alone is often when my confidence is lowest. Doing something makes me feel like I'm being a bit productive and gives me that little boost I need.


Cuddling something


My dog, Teddy, is the best for this.





Making a connection


Often what puts me off contacting someone is that I have very little energy. If I've not spoken to someone in a while, I'm not always up to a proper catch up and so would feel guilty starting a conversation that I probably couldn't manage following through fully. The longer I don't talk to someone, the less connected to them I feel which makes it even more difficult to get in touch.

I've recently decided that very little contact is better than no contact at all and have found just sending someone a quick hello text can make me feel loads better.

If real interaction is a bit challenging, finding someone new/ interesting/ inspiring to follow on social media can make me feel that much more connected to the world.


Getting off Facebook


If I'm feeling a bit lonely, spending time scrolling through Facebook can make me feel so much more so. It's all too easy to think everybody but me is having a wonderful time every second of the day while I am not able to do much. Of course I know in reality that this is not the case and I am genuinely happy to see friends having a good time. It's just hard sometimes not to feel envious when I see pictures of other people out and about doing things I'd love to be able to do but can't.




Telling someone how I'm feeling


It seems silly that just saying 'I'm feeling lonely' out loud can make a difference but it definitely does. Being able to be that open with someone (even if it is my dog) and share whats going on in my head seems to automatically remind me that I'm not actually alone. I know that some people find it useful to write down their feelings. I haven't actually tried this but would definitely consider it in the future.


Doing something nice for someone


Writing a friendly note, buying/making a present or letting someone know I'm thinking of them always seems to help.




Have you experienced that lonely feeling? What helps you when you feel like that?

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4 comments

  1. Your blog is definitely an interesting read. I know people who have illnesses/conditions and they hide away which is their right, but you've gone ahead and written this which is fantastic.

    But even being out in the real wide world (like my daily commute on a bus) can be quite a lonely event too, one thing that I use to get through the day is a tonne of reading on current affairs.

    Would you ever consider returning home?

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    1. Thanks so much for the feedback about my blog, it is very much appreciated!
      Sorry to hear you've experienced that lonely feeling too... it creeps up on the best of us I think! Reading current affairs is a great way to get through those moments. I will think of your comment next time I'm feeling a little isolated and give it ago :)
      I think we would consider moving home at some point but for the time being are happy to stay here. The Isle of Lewis is beautiful and if I'm having a good day and am able to get out to a beach or something I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be!

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  2. I often feel exactly the same. I wrote a post yesterday about how blogging has really helped me, I'm able to meet people online and it gives me a sense of still being in touch with the real world. I don't have facebook though, as it used to really depress me! Instead I opt for IG and of course blogs as I find them to be much more positive and IG isn't as in your face as a full facebook album full of fun.
    Dogs and pets should be compulsory for ill people!

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    1. I read your post about how blogging has helped you and thought it was lovely. It inspired me to read the blogs of others and work a little more on my own. The responses through social media from other sufferers of chronic illness have been so kind and understanding. I completely get that sense of still being in touch with the real world from it too :)

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