Thursday, 19 November 2020

“ You Have To Be Careful with Your Loneliness”

 

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 👍










71 comments:

  1. They might be but they don’t work.....on my iPad at least !

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  2. Have you ever considered getting a therapy light for SAD (seasonal affective disorder)? Since you do work so many nights this might be helpful for you. We just got one and have not use it enough yet to know if it will help but I do hear many good things about them and I even had a doctor recommend it to me. The new ones are less expensive and much smaller than the old ones.

    I love those videos! They are always good for a laugh!

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    1. Humm perhaps something to look at
      I’m on nights until after Christmas. Now

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    2. I agree with Bonnie - I use SAD light bulbs - one in my bedside lamp and two angle poise lamps I use where I work - it does make a positive difference - sending hugs x

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    3. Definitely get one..they really work!

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    4. Bonnie I was just going post the same thing... we are looking into getting one.

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  3. There's a world of difference between being alone, and being lonely. I actually enjoy the former, and never experience the latter. I must be fortunate.

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  4. It's useful, and indeed vital, to be reminded of how loneliness can cut really deep with a lot of people. It's an emotion I'm thankfully devoid of, only feeling it at all in those rare moments of great personal crisis when needing someone to talk to - and invariably finding no one there [apart from my sister at the other end of the phone, 300 miles away and now turned 83]. But for most of the time being stranded alone on a desert island sounds like paradise to me, providing there are tame animals already there too.
    However, for those with an active social life and needing others to interact with, to be cast adrift in solitude. I can appreciate must be murder. So thanks, JayGee, for reminding of the true hell that some must be going through, especially currently in lockdown. My sympathies go out to them all.

    Oh, and btw - 'Uncle Vanya'? Pleased for you, though I'd be worried that others would be disturbed by my snoring! ;-)

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    1. Anonymous8:40 am

      Alone time is essential for we introverts to recharge our batteries. Too much conversation just wears me out .. mentally and emotionally.

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    2. I know exactly what you mean. In my short-ish term as being carer with St John Ambulance I'd go to 'clients' who clearly needed someone to talk to - and it would often be non-stop, hardly allowing me to interpolate one single word. When I eventually got away [escaped!] I came back home close to tears and had to reach for a drink. It felt like I was being used as a 'sponge', even if those same clients weren't aware of it or certainly not intended it. But, oh, the solitude afterwards was sheer bliss!

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    3. When I was at school I started an organisation to help elderly people with their shopping, or whatever they needed. Mostly, of course, they wanted to talk to someone, and I often came away feeling exactly as you describe.

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    4. It's odd, but I could cope with no end of people issues when I was working - it wasn't personal. I then developed cartilage problems followed by osteoarthritis in the joints of my jaw - so now it's physical!

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    5. I saw a great version on U V at theatre dowdy recently . The Pinter production cast looks divine
      Roger Allam and Toby are real favourites

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  5. The isolation has impacted most people in some way. A life of lock downs, masks and social distancing is generally difficult. For me keeping busy and having various projects is important. We will all appreciate the day when normalcy returns.

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    1. The light at the end of the tunnel is here....the vaccines ( at least three we are told) are almost here

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  6. That Uncle Vanya film-of-the-play is due to be shown on the BBC soon, don't know the exact date. Toby Jones is always worth watching.
    Lockdown has made very little difference to my life, being quite a loner anyway. My brother feels the same, but my sister, who is far mor gregarious, hates it.

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    1. In that case I SHALL be watching 'Vanya', with no concern about my nodding off if/when I do.

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    2. Lol , don’t spoil my excitement raymondo......lol

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    3. Sorry. Don't really mean to. But give me Ibsen instead any day.

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  7. Laughter is good for everyone and everything, they made me laugh out loud, thanks John, great start to Thursday.

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  8. It is now official that older people are far better equipped to deal with loneliness than the young. When you think about it, it makes sense. Children aren't lying when they say they are bored. We lose FOMO as we age. I usually don't want to go to those parties. Being lonely in a nursing home is entirely different. I have been taking vitamin D since the beginning - our immune system diminishes as we age too.

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    1. Oh, and those videos don't play for me either.

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    2. The second vid played for me, not the first.

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    3. I suffered both.

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    4. Oh cro , don’t you love em ....I’d love to have cocktails with the two of them, well cocktails for about 20 minutes only x

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    5. Keep your knickers on.

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  9. This is always a difficult time of year for many people. To be surviving it (or trying to) in the midst of a pandemic is something most of us never imagined. But the loneliest I've ever felt at times in my life was when I was surrounded by people.

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    1. Yes....it’s all about balance.... this week I’ve almost had enough of death and dying

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  10. Agree about loneliness John - one has to fight it.I have all my blog friends and golly how they all appeared to comment when I came out of hospital and along with your phone call I came out feeling I was not alone.I have many good friends here too and at least they come to the window for a chat. I am very lucky

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    1. Wonderful to see you back and posting! Hope your recovery goes well. Best regards from New Jersey, USA......our lockdown just got increased. I agree about friends and having to fight loneliness especially since that is my circumstance too. Hopefully with vaccines looking close, this hard year will be over and we can start to get our usual lives back........hope we remember what we learned during this time.

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    2. YAYZ, WEAVER IS BACK! hope you are on the way to wellness, pat!

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    3. Weaver
      200 comments says it all pat, you are respected and loved and it’s taken a fractured hip to underline that fact to you and us all
      Lovely to have you back

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  11. A long post for you and I read every sentence carefully. Go well my friend.

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  12. Poor little Suky is getting three or even more walks a day whenever the sun comes out ... her legs are going to be even shorter by the end of lockdown. I need fresh air and sunshine so much and make the most of it whenever I can.

    Enjoy your days off and recharge those batteries, you'll be starting to feel like a mole with all this darkness.

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    1. Yes......I’ve in the habit of setting my alarm for 2pm and then will walk the dogs ...then in the window of the cottage, I will reply to comments on the blog and blink like a mole in the daylight ( though sadly not sunlight)

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  13. People are impacted differently, admitting when it is getting to you, and taking a break, doing something different, make the call, send the card. A few years ago a friend of mine bought a house from an widow, the basement was packed to the ceiling with unopened boxes from TV shopping services, she said "I call in and they are glad to talk with me, and then the UPS delivery guy stops by and rings my doorbell." It was her only social interaction and she craved it.

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    1. Yes, lots f excuses are common at these times...when I see someone walking down the lane I sometimes putout some rubbish so that I can manufacture a chat x

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    2. Walking with my dogs I pass people who sometimes aren't walking a dog but a smile and a few words and they seem to be pleased to chat a while.The other day I chatted to a very interesting young woman who was studying to be a geologist in The Himalayas x

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  14. It is a hard time of year. I think the early winter darkness makes everyone feel a little lonely. But there's solidarity in knowing that everyone is facing challenging times. We're all in it together!

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  15. I am far TOO comfortable in quarantine. Of course, I am not alone, really. I have my husband and I do see my children occasionally and grandchildren too. But I'm afraid that I will never be able to go back out into society again. The days that I go into town for shopping have become more fraught with anxiety before I leave the "safety" of my home and the thought of going out socially makes me want to crawl into a bed and not come out.
    I am not sure whether to worry or accept.

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    Replies
    1. I know a few people in your boat

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    2. Heloise12:38 pm

      Ms. Moon,

      I rarely comment on John's blogs because others seem so much more amusing and articulate than I could ever be. But I had to respond to you because your reply really hit a chord with me in two ways. Firstly, my Dad died last year and my Mum was just starting to make tentative steps towards getting out of the house when our first national lockdown was imposed. She is now firmly planted back in square one: unwilling to leave the house and mourning Dad all day long. Secondly, from a personal perspective, I admit that I have found certain aspects of lockdown hugely appealing.

      I just wanted to say that you aren't alone in having mixed feelings about this whole mess.

      Best wishes

      Heloise.

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  16. I was thinking about shopping online for gifts for others to help them and me feel better. Just a little something to let them know someone is thinking of them.

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  17. It has become very odd to see people on tv/movies not social distancing or wearing masks. Don’t they know there’s a pandemic on? Of course, they don’t know it, but I react from my own reality.
    I write a daily email to some friends and get comments back. It seems to be enough socialization for me. I can’t think of what I’d want to do ‘out there’ anyway: maybe get my hair cut by a professional and buy some new t-shirts.

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    1. I agree with your first sentence. Yesterday I was watching a film on TV and felt horrified when a woman picked up - and put back - several items in a shop. We are getting engrained with a whole new set of behaviours.

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  18. When I feel a bit lonely I remind myself of all those people I share enthusiasms with - for books or music or movies or art or whatever. So I'm part of a huge community, even if I'm not actually talking to any of them.

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  19. My dogs are my life John and because of them having to get me out I'm ok.As I go walking with them in the daylight there are several others doing the same.There is a human in the house on occasion only x

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  20. I wrote a sad comment and then thought, how does that help John feel better?! So I erased it... You have so many contacts, friends, neighbors, pets,and family that I know you will feel better! Talking about it helps you and us feel better. Thanks!

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    1. I don’t feel bad deArheart just a bit socially isolated

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  21. Barbara Anne6:03 pm

    These days remind you that solitary confinement is part of torture.
    Conversations are life savers in this day and time, so start one whenever possible, John!
    It's never too late to start a hobby and whatever supplies you need are likely available on-line. My sweet MIL didn't start making quilts until she was 70 and she was so delighted to find it wasn't too difficult.
    How does a fair work schedule leave you with a month of night shifts?
    Oh, and the videos wouldn't play for me, either.

    Hugs!

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  22. Anonymous6:25 pm

    A story about loneliness always comes to mind. A lovely lady l worked with had a daughter, who was in her 20's, and she suddenly died. My friends husband took to drink quite badly. Then within 2 years he died as well.
    Talking life over with my friend, as you do, the subject of lonliness came up and she told me that she had never ever felt so alone and lonely as when the husband was alive and drinking himself silly and my friend herself was treading on eggshells trying to keep both of them sane and functioning and hiding it from her neighbours in a 'twitchy curtain' suburb of Hertfordshire!
    She sold up and moved on after that and we lost touch. I hope she found some happiness after all that.
    Tess xx

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  23. I adore those two. It never gets old. Unlike me. :) That group sounds very innovative. How exciting. I don't mind isolation. Not even enforced. I much prefer my alone time to time spent with others. Granted, I do have daily contact with three people and I walk my dog. But other than the occasional visit by a niece or a sister, and they are rare - I don't see anyone. I check on my three and buy groceries, shovel snow, whatever... it's good to have a little community. But I am always happier sitting in my bunker these days. I don't know how I will ever adjust to the other way around... Gray weather... ugh. I do need the sun and we are experiencing a few sunny days here... warm temps. Chin up. Life is good.

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  24. Madge and Bisket are my new faves! Love a good whiskey voice. Covid isolation is a lot easier on us introverts, that's for sure. I feel bad for extroverts right now.

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  25. I have to say that the sharpest lonely I have ever felt has always been in a crowd of people. I am not lonely when I am alone.

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  26. It's OK not to be OK. Such a useful thing to remember.

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  27. I'm with you, hon. Last year I purchased myself a light screen, that's supposed to help with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but there's nothing like bright clear days to help bring your spirits around. This winter is going to be a particularly dark one I'm afraid, so stock up on all the comforts while you can! And keep plugging away at your blog; it's a little community you've created that will see you through.

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  28. Anonymous11:25 pm

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    Replies
    1. Go away-your opinion I'm quite sure is of no interest to anyone here

      Delete
  29. Anonymous12:02 am

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    Replies
    1. You Are Ugly,Jealous and Twisted

      Delete
    2. What do you gain by your ugliness?

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  30. It's not even that easy being married during this pandemic. My husband is now working part time from home, instead of part time from an office. We have way too much time to argue about every little thing. The Covid 19 virus is pretty bad here in this part of Missouri right now, so schools are now closing down again, but restaurants that are being required to close their doors, are bringing lawsuits against the mayor who wants to close them.

    I tend to get anxiety about the health and safety of my grown son and my daughter and her husband and my grandson. They have high risk jobs, and sometimes worrying about them gets me down a bit. I just have to work on realizing that I have no say in it and they are adults with good sense, and hopefully will take good care of themselves. I hope after the beginning of the New Year, things here in the United States will start getting a bit better under new leadership.

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  31. I saw a meme that said "check on your extroverts". And it's true. Stay at home can be excruciating. I live with my partner and our fur babies. And while I'm happy to have him here, there is still a little bit of loneliness not being able to be more social.
    I have come to terms with this situation and I express myself on the treadmill and in playing some video games.

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  32. Yes, and you are too.

    Saturday we enter a limited lock down again.

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    ReplyDelete
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