So said Neil Horan in an interview with the BBC yesterday.
A fifty something gay man living in London, he once suffered isolation and loneliness before coming out in the 1980s and is liking those feelings to experiences now under lockdown.
“ You have to be careful with your loneliness...it is a separate illness to say depression and needs to be treated as such”
From I can see there are a myriad of ways people have been coping with months of enforced isolation.
Frazzled Cafe is something a friend of mine has used recently
It is a charity for those who is finding life a challenge at the moment and has the mantra
“it’s ok NOT to be ok”
Not a counselling service , Frazzled Cafe offers an online zoom service where peer support can be obtained in a large group. Indeed one of its founders comedienne Ruby Wax actually facilitates several of the meetings that can be accessed daily.
I love the innovation and the positivism of such an enterprise at this time where the Office Of National Statistics report that 8% of all adults ( some 4.2 million people ) have reported to always and often lonely.
Mrs Jefferson from her pensioner bungalow rang me the other day to check up on how I was
I haven’t seen you walking the dogs for a while” she said “ I wanted to check up on you as you live alone”
She lives with a husband with dementia and her call made me a little ashamed that I had not checked on her ( leaving the job to the village street wardens)
“ Have you found a man yet? “ she finally asked
I told her I have not
Her grandson is gay and now married
She’s very gay friendly and wants everyone to be in a gay relationship.
Psychologist Vivian Hill says that “ The decent into winter can be a significant factor how people feel about loneliness” and I get this only too well with night duty recently. Four nights on mean five nights without any significant natural light on my face even though I walk the dogs as soon as I get home
Under my boffin friend Nigel’s advice I am taking vitamin D daily.
It will boost your immunity he said seriously .
I need to talk to best friend Nu too....I’ve never gone this long without not physically seeing her .
Ten months or so....is too long.
My normal self help areas seem to be shrinking rapidly. Despite the relaxation of the lockdown in Wales the cinemas that are left are mostly closed .
I’ve booked to see a rerun of Uncle Vanya filmed at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London which is showing in the valiant Colwyn Bay Independent Cinema next week and have five whole days off before my next run of nights where I intend to catch up with a few friends for coffee and walks and just talking in the daylight which hopefully will turn into sunlight.
I’m very mindful that it has rained almost every day for weeks
Another factor which can compound loneliness.
Arnt they fabulous 👍