“A feeling of being on your own, even when there is someone right next to you” – the30pluswoman
Being alone is one thing. Sometimes it is nice to just be on your own and enjoy your own company. I think most moms appreciate a few minutes of just being alone! Some peace and quiet, and time to just…. breathe. Read a book, have a cuppa, or even just shit on your own!
Loneliness is different, it’s a horrible feeling of being on your own with no one to talk to, no one to confide in or trust. It’s a feeling that can get deeper and deeper. The more you feel alone and don’t speak to people, the more you feel lonely. Loneliness affects people of all races, all genders, all ages, all shapes, all sizes and all social classes. It doesn’t matter how much money a person has, nor if they’re married, single or otherwise.
I am a very social and outgoing person with lots of friends – real friends not virtual ones – and a huge family. I’d never really known loneliness until I was married. Yes, you’ve read that correctly.
I was married, and even though I shared a bed with this person, I would cry myself to sleep some nights feeling terribly lonely. It started when I decided that it was more peaceful for me to keep my thoughts and opinions to myself as I never knew how he would react to anything. Most things I said had resulted in heated arguments and a tense and uncomfortable atmosphere.
I spoke to my close family about it, and the more I expressed my emotions and experiences to them, the more they disliked this man, and excluded him from everything which made me feel like I was stuck in the middle. I became withdrawn and I felt like a part of me was being chipped away with every confrontation, with every push and with every shove. I kept more of my feelings bottled in and loneliness took it’s hold. I wasn’t the same person I was, it was as if my soul had withered. I felt so lonely, and stuck.
Thankfully that relationship didn’t last long and my soul soon recovered. I got my mojo back! But there are many, many lonely people out there. People that are trapped in lonely relationships like I was, people who have lost their friends or family for various reasons, people that have been disowned by their family, people that have outlived all their friends and family, and people that have been outcast by society.
But there are many, many lonely people out there. People that are trapped in lonely relationships like I was, people who have lost their friends or family for various reasons, people that have been disowned by their family, people that have outlived all their friends and family, people who can’t get around and are trapped indoors and people that have been outcast by society.
I met an elderly man at the supermarket the other day. He commented about how cheery I was and said that he was feeling down. I was in a hurry to take my son to a movie, but I gave him 5 minutes of my time. Just 5 minutes made such a difference to Chris. He’s spirit was uplifted and he felt so much better after our short conversation. He didn’t have to tell me he was lonely, he was so desperate to just talk to someone.
My parents are both Care Workers taking care of elderly people in their homes, and most of the time, Carers like them are the only people the elderly have contact with. This is something that I’d never known in Africa, where we have huge extended families and our elderly are greatly respected and looked after by family.
“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”
“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible kind of poverty.”
Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.
You can read some Bible verses on loneliness here.
If loneliness is affecting you, please find someone you can talk to. There are charities like Silverline for older people, Wavelength, with this article on loneliness and disability , Turn 2 Me and The Samaritans to name a few.
Read more about loneliness and how to deal with it on the Mind UK website
Let’s be more mindful of other people wherever we are. For some people, just a smile will have a huge positive impact on them, or why not spend 5 minutes talking to your neighbour, or to the elderly person in the supermarket. Your smile, your 5 minutes, your patience and kindness can make a huge difference to someone else.
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