Loneliness After Being Betrayed
25 Creative And Surprising Things To Do When You Feel Lonely
Did you know that in Korea, people are recording themselves while having dinner? And people are actually paying to watch these videos! Is this another sign of loneliness creeping up on all of us?
According to a study of more than 170,000 people published at the Psychology Bulletin in 2013, the average adult’s network of friends and colleagues have shrunk over the past 3 decades. It’s no wonder many people feel lonelier than ever.
Feeling lonely, however, is not a direct cause of being alone. It’s possible to feel lonely in a crowd.
Loneliness, in fact, is more dangerous than isolation because it increases a person’s mortality rate, according to John Cacioppo, co-author of Loneliness: Human Nature and the Needs for Social Connection.
If it’s so dangerous, how do we fight loneliness then?
Wondering What to Do When You Feel Lonely? Here Are 25 Tried and Tested Tips
1. Just Show Up
Familiarity breeds attraction. A study published at the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that same-sex strangers felt increasing affinity towards each other, after each conversation they had.
The same goes for online chat conversations. Don’t be hesitant to talk to people, even if you feel awkward or don’t them at first.
If you’re genuinely interested or curious about others, they’re more ly to reciprocate those feelings.
2. Go On A Solo Date
You know the problem with group and couples dates? The annoying “So what do we do?” and “Where do we eat?” questions. When you go on a date with yourself, you’re sure to go somewhere you actually and you don’t have to wait around for others to decide.
3. Know The Difference Between Loneliness and Isolation
Loneliness is an emotion, mostly triggered by a sad memory. Unfortunately the brain loves to overanalyze things, so even momentary loneliness can escalate to longer spells because of thoughts “Why do I feel so alone?” and “Am I a loser no one loves?” When this happens, just acknowledge the feeling and don’t overreact.
4. Attend Meetups
Go to meetup.com and find a group in your city. There are tons of meetup groups catering to every interest, job, city and hobby, so it’s impossible not to find a group to your liking. People who join meetup.com are eager to meet new people, and are incredibly friendly so it’s a nice way to make new friends.
5. Watch A Movie
Watch a movie alone or call some friends to go with you—it doesn’t matter. What’s important is you immerse yourself in an interesting story that’ll erase your gloomy thoughts. Watch a chick-flick, or a super hero movie—anything but a tear jerker, really —and grab lots of candy and popcorn.
Focusing on the needs of others steers your mind away from sad thoughts. It’s impossible to feel lonely when you’re feeding the homeless, reading to kids at an orphanage, or dancing with grandmas at a salsa class. Helping the less fortunate will also fill you with immense gratitude.
7. Adopt A Cute Pet
A furry cat or dog will cheer you up. The playfulness of pets, plus the troubles (and fun) you’ll experience while training them will make you forget about your troubles. Even a goldfish or pretty parrot can do wonders for your mood.
8. Identify The Cause Of Your Loneliness
“What to do when you feel lonely?”
I can’t imagine how many people have Googled that phrase when they felt the pangs of loneliness. Unfortunately, it’s not the best question to ask. Would you ask a doctor for a prescription before they check your symptoms?
Instead of trying things randomly, hoping one solution will do the trick—losing hope and feeling worse when it doesn’t—it’s better to identify the cause of your loneliness first. If you were previously happy in your own company, what could’ve caused you to feel lonely this time?
Do your friends make you feel lonely? Is it your work or surroundings, perhaps? The cause of your loneliness will clue you in on the appropriate solution.
9. Read Fiction
Please don’t pick a Dummies book on how to stop feeling lonely. Reading self-help when you’re feeling miserable will make just you feel worse. Read a good novel instead. Losing yourself in a good story or identifying with a powerful character will boost your confidence and fill you with a sense of adventure.
10. Take A Bath
Where do good ideas come from? In the shower, right? Taking a nice, long, and relaxing bath is a great way to be bask in your alone time, instead of drowning in self-pity. Ladies, prepare a glass of red, chocolates and magazines. Gents, take a bubble bath ala Chandler by taking a manly boat with you!
11. Take A Random Bus, Train or Flight Off to Anywhere
Taking public transportation to a random location forces you to do two things—be in the company of strangers, and change your environment. Doing this will ward off loneliness and cure your wanderlust as well.
12. Dance (Naked)
Sometimes, we feel lonely because we’re actually alone. So take this chance to do the things you can only do when you’re alone, dancing naked or jumping on the bed with your shoes on. Doing crazy stuff alone will give you a good laugh.
13. Go For A Quick Run
Running is scientifically proven to make you happier. Even 30 minutes of walking can instantly lift your mood, according to a 2006 study published at Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
14. Watch Friends
Okay, it’s now obvious that I love this show! I’ve watched it 5x now and it still makes me laugh. Watch “The One with the Unagi” and “The One With the Embryos” if you’re feeling lonely and need a good laugh.
15. Get Coffee
Go to a coffee shop far from your apartment or office. Then order coffee and sit on the bar, or that big table on the center where you can talk to people. Compliment someone on their tie, shoes or bag. Start a conversation. Don’t worry if you’re bad at small talk, because chances are you won’t see that person again.
16. Practice #JOMO
Social media is helpful, but it could be detrimental depending on how you use it. When your default behavior is to keep scrolling on instead of talking to whoever’s with you, or taking a picture of everything you eat instead of just savoring it, then it’s time to experience the joy of missing out (JOMO)—a practice promoted by Randi Zuckerberg. Yes, she’s Mark Zuckerberg’s sister.
17. Make Your Bed
Making your bed in the morning, and doing a quick two-minute wipe down in your kitchen at night, will make you feel better and in control of your life. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, says her research for the book revealed that bed-making is one of the keystone habits of happy people.
18. Look Through Old photos
Prepare some snacks or some tea and canapés ala afternoon high-tea, if you’re feeling fancy. Reminisce the good old days with a friend, your mom or sis. Remembering your crazy antics, and most embarrassing moments caught on camera will fill you with nostalgic memories and drive away loneliness.
19. Get A Camera
Get a camera, then go out and start taking beautiful pictures of things around you. A sunset, a barking dog, or a laughing baby—filling your life with beautiful things can take your mind off of loneliness.
20. Attend Classes For A Fun New Exercise Air Yoga, Pole Dancing, Or Trampoline Jumping
The exact exercise doesn’t matter. The point is to get yourself moving, while trying something new in the supportive environment of a group class.
21. Start A 5-Minute Gratitude Journal
It’s hard to feel down when you know that you have a lot to be thankful for. When you don’t know what to be thankful for, just write what you feel. Sometimes, it can help you identify why you feel lonely in the first place.
22. Watch Inspiring Ted Talks
Ted Talks are inspiring and informative. I don’t know why, but watching a few Ted Talks really help when I feel lonely and helpless. Some of my favorites are: “Connected, but alone?” by Sherry Turkle, and “Success, failure and the drive to keep creating” by Elizabeth Glibert.
23. Plan A holiday
Nothing beats loneliness and overwhelm planning a great holiday vacation. Looking up flights, hotel deals and stuff to do on a random faraway location will boost your spirits and steer your mind off your negative thoughts. You don’t really need to book a trip, sometimes the act of planning for one is enough.
24. Create Something New
Wondering how to not feel lonely, when you actually prefer to be alone? Getting bored is a prerequisite of feeling lonely. And what’s one of the main causes of getting bored? Having nothing to do. So keep yourself occupied! Try a new recipe. Create a scrapbook. Finish that DIY project you’ve been postponing for so long.
25. Do Something Craaazy
Dress up a tourist, and do all the cheesy touristy things in your city. Eat the local delicacy, tour the crowded tourist spots and explore new locations you’ve never heard of.
How Do You Deal With Loneliness?
Do you have other tips on fighting loneliness? Share them with me @CharleyWrites or comment below.
Photo credits: Daniel Thornton, John, Wonderlane
9 Steps To Dealing With Betrayal And Getting Over The Hurt
This 5-star rated book can help you get over a betrayal.
Click here to read the reviews.
You’re feeling betrayed. Someone you care about, perhaps even love has broken the bonds of trust and done something that cuts deep at your heart.
What do you do? How can you get past this betrayal and heal? Will you ever be able to forgive them for what they have done?
Whether it’s a betrayal by a family member, best friend, partner, or someone else entirely, the steps you might take to get over the hurt caused are roughly the same.
1. Name Your Feelings
Betrayal is an act. The emotions that result from it are what we mean when we say we’re “feeling betrayed.”
In order to start recovering from the act, you must be more specific about the feelings it has given rise to.
Some of the more common ones you might encounter are:
Anger – you’ve been hurt and one of the most natural feelings in such situations is anger. “How dare they?! How could they?! They’ll pay for this!”
Sadness – you might become very low, weepy even when you discover a betrayal. This might be because you feel a sense of loss; a loss of trust, a loss of the person you thought they were, a loss of the happy memories you have of them, a loss of the future you saw with them.
Surprise – yes, you are probably shocked to find out that this person or persons have betrayed you. You might not have had any inkling that this was ly.
Fear – you may worry about the consequences of this betrayal. It might mean major upheaval in your life and these unknowns scare you.
Disgust – you can’t even bear to think about it or them because it makes your stomach churn.
Insecurity – you may question yourself and doubt whether you are worthy of love and care. After all, the person who betrayed you clearly felt you weren’t.
Shame – you may blame yourself and feel ashamed by what has happened and how others may now see and treat you.
Loneliness – this is your betrayal and nobody else’s. “How could they possibly understand?”
Confusion – you may simply not be able to comprehend what’s happened? None of it seems to make any sense to you.
It is an important step to identify what it is you are feeling at any given time. You may feel many or all of these after a betrayal – most ly a few at a time and swinging back and forth as you process them.For instance, surprise and confusion might be the first things you feel, which then give way to anger and disgust or sadness and fear. You may then return to surprise tinged with shame.
There won’t be a clear or uniform progression from one to the other, but rather a turbulent maelstrom of emotion.
2. Resist Retaliating
With some betrayals, you may experience an overwhelming urge to retaliate.
You may be feeling angry about what happened and you may feel they deserve punishment, but rarely is this ever a productive endeavor.
If there’s one way to prolong the hurt and delay the healing process, it’s by plotting and planning your revenge.
Consider the analogy of betrayal as a cut or gash in your bodily flesh. A scab soon forms over the wound, but there is often a desire to prod it and pick at it. It’s itchy, it’s sore, and you feel the need to do something about it.
Yet, you know from experience that the more you touch and pick at a scab, the longer it stays and the more ly it is to leave a scar.
Retaliation is a bit picking a scab: it’ll only uncover the wound once more and cause you further pain. And the more you do it (even the more you think about doing it), the more ly you are to carry that pain with you for the rest of your life.
Resist the temptation to get your own back. The feelings will eventually fade and pass and you’ll be glad you held off from inflicting similar suffering on your betrayer.
3. Take Time Away
When you’ve been betrayed by someone, the best short term solution is to avoid them as much as physically – and electronically – possible.
That means not seeing them, not messaging them, not checking their social media every 5 minutes.
I know y’all love an analogy, so here’s another one for you: think of those feelings we talked about above as being fuelled by a fire. At first, the fire burns strong and the feelings glow white hot in the flames.The most combustible fuel for that fire is contact with the one(s) who betrayed you. Thus, in order for the fire to burn out, you must stop adding fuel to it.
You must take some time away and break ties with that person.
Now, if they try to contact you (and they probably will), you can just tell them in a calm manner that you need some time and space to deal with what they’ve done. Ask them to respect your wishes and leave you be.
Your emotions will eventually begin to fade as the fire becomes mere embers. Now you’ll be in a much better position to think clearly and process the events and decide what to do next.
4. Examine The Betrayal
People do hurtful things for all sorts of reasons and it might help for you to think about how this betrayal came about.
Was it carelessness? Was it caused by weakness? Or was it a deliberate, conscious act?
We all sometimes say or do something in a split second and instantly regret it. A careless act of betrayal such as revealing personal information someone told you in confidence is no doubt hurtful, but it is somewhat forgivable.
It can be easy, when involved in a conversation, to not be 100% focused on the importance of what you’re saying and things really can “slip out” by accident.
Of course, the greater the significance of the information, the less easy it is to believe that your betrayer revealed it by mistake. Some secrets just don’t come out naturally in conversation.
The next level up from a careless betrayal is one that comes about due to someone’s weakness.
Some people find it incredibly difficult to control certain urges, even if they have promised you that they would.Addictions are a good example of this. You may, for example, feel betrayed that a partner or family member has said they will give up drinking, only to find out that they’ve been doing it behind your back and lying to you about it.
Other people may find it almost impossible to keep what you tell them confidential. They just have to talk to someone about it, perhaps as a means of processing their own emotions on the matter.
It still stings when you find out, but perhaps you can have some sympathy.
Then there are betrayals that are plain and simple deliberate acts, either of malice or of heartless indifference.
Perhaps the office gossip overheard you talking about a particularly difficult time in your life, and they proceed to tell anyone who will listen about your private business.
Or maybe your partner cheats on you, a family member belittles you in front of your children, or a business partner reneges on a deal you had agreed.
These acts are taken consciously with little consideration of how you might feel.
Understanding which of these is most true in your case can help you to overcome the negative emotions and move past the incident.
You may also (article continues below):
5. Examine The Relationship
Someone you care about has hurt you, but just how much emotional pain are you in?
It all depends on the closeness of that relationship. After a betrayal, you’ll probably find yourself asking just how much that person means to you.
Betrayal by a friend who you’ve drifted apart from and who you now see no more than once or twice a year is going to feel very different to betrayal by a spouse or parent who is very much a major part of your life.
How much you value the relationship will determine whether you choose to keep that person in your life or ditch them for good (which we’ll talk more about later).
6. Talk To A Third Party
In these situations, it can help to talk through the incident and the feelings you have about it with a trusted confidant.
It can be cathartic to express your emotions outwardly and tell another soul what is going on inside your head and heart right now.
The crucial thing, though, is to talk to someone who is able to remain fairly, though not entirely, neutral.The reason for this is that they will be able to offer honest advice and constructive feedback about your plan for dealing with the situation.
What you don’t want is a yes man or woman who will gee you on as you bitch about your betrayer and add fuel to that fire we spoke about earlier. This may feel good at the time, but it will not help you work through your feelings.
7. Reflect On Things
When the dust has settled a little bit and your feelings are less raw, you might benefit from a period of introspection.
This is a time when you look inward and try to understand the betrayal, the aftermath, and the longer term consequences in your life.
You might want to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, immediately after you were betrayed and consider how you might try to avoid similar situations in future (or act differently if you do encounter one).
To get the most benefit from this, some psychologists suggest that you focus not on asking why-based questions, but what-es instead.
The theory, as summarized nicely in this article, goes that asking why something happened or why you felt or acted in such a way, keeps you trapped in the past, ruminating over events.
It may also instill a victim mentality whereby you focus on what has been done to you and who is to blame for it.
What, on the other hand, is a more proactive question: what am I feeling, what are my options, and what will really matter most 5 years from now?These are all forward thinking questions that can lead you away from the betrayal and toward a place where you can heal and recover.
So reflect, by all means, but try to make it productive reflection that doesn’t dwell too much, but seeks to move on.
8. Speak To The Person Who Betrayed You
This is a big step and one that requires some guts and determination to take. But what do you say to someone who has betrayed you?
Well, when you feel ready, it is worth speaking to them and communicating how their actions made you feel then, and how you still feel about it now.
One crucial tip is to structure what you have to say in a way that focuses on you and not them. This way, you can avoid putting them on the defensive and keep the conversation amicable.
So, start your sentences with “I” and try to stick to the facts. Saying, “I felt shocked and angry when you…” is better than saying, “You betrayed me by…”
Be specific. You should have a handle on all the different emotions that you experienced if you named each one as we advised above; use these words to convey the impact this person’s actions had on you.
Not only that, but be specific about what it was exactly that hurt you the most. Is it that you no longer feel able to trust them, or have their actions caused repercussions in other parts of your life?Put it all together and you might say, as an example, “I felt very ashamed, alone, and scared when you let slip about my pregnancy to our colleagues – it has put me in a difficult position with the boss and I’m worried about my future job security.”
If it helps you to put your thoughts and feelings into words, you might also consider writing a letter to those who have hurt you. You can either give it to them to read, or read it out to them. This is especially useful if you get flustered in situations where you have to confront someone face-to-face.
9. Cut Ties With Repeat Offenders
Whether you choose to forgive a betrayal and maintain the relationship will come down to a lot of things: the severity of it, how much you value the relationship, and the way the betrayal went down (see point 4), among others.
One thing to bear in mind, however, is whether or not this was the first time they have done something this to you – or indeed to other people you may know about.
If someone has hurt you before, or if they have form that you are aware of, you should strongly consider whether keeping this person in your life is best for you (and best for other important people in your life such as children).
Generally speaking, the second strike will put so much more strain on the relationship and your interactions with each other that it is best to call time right then and there.
A third strike or more and you’re straying into the territory of enabling them. Reach this point and they will think they can betray you and get away with it.
When you feel betrayed, it’s not something that can be dealt with too quickly. You need time to process everything that has happened and this will vary depending on the specific events.
At first, you just have to do your best to cope with the storm of emotions inside while maintaining some semblance of a normal life. After all, you still have responsibilities to take care of.
In time, you’ll find you overcome the initial shock and start to heal your emotional wounds. As you recover from the ordeal, you’ll think less and less about it, and the emotions surrounding it will be fade.Eventually, you’ll be able to consign the betrayal to your past… at least for the most part. You may never be able to let go of it entirely, but it will no longer affect your life in any great way.
Heal fully from betrayal by reading this excellent book.
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Feeling Alone Status, Messages and Short Quotes About Loneliness
Feeling Alone Status : Most often people fall in great depression during loneliness. Feeling alone is a reason of being isolated from others and when anyone being more self-centered. When some too close betrayed then it’s really create burden and loneliness.
Here we are going to share with you some Best Feeling Alone Status, messages, short quotes and captions about loneliness which will be your company during this kind of situation.
Just scroll down and you will find the best compilation about feeling alone which will help you to express your deep loneliness.
Extremely Feeling Alone Status
Feeling lonely, however, is not a direct cause of being alone. It’s possible to feel lonely in a crowd.
I hate when people say they miss you, but don’t make a effort to speak to you or see you.
I will wait till the day I can forget YOU or the day you realize you can’t forget Me.
Sometimes people have to cry out all their tears, to make room for a heart full of smiles.
I keep telling myself that I don’t miss you, and that I don’t love you, hoping someday I’ll believe it.
Sometimes in life it’s good to be Alone… so that No jackass can hurt you.
No one can ever take away the loneliness you left me with!
Black Friday Bowling’ Because those pins look A LOT those bitches in front of me in line this morning.
Loneliness is the human condition. No one is ever going to fill that space.
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.I’m tired of everyone telling me about their special person when I desperately want one of my own.
Watching a romantic movie and getting pissed off about your non-existent love life.
Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody can make it out here alone.
Feeling Alone Video Status
Loneliness is a part of you life. It teaches us that we are not complete in ourselves.
I have taken life on the sad side, and it had helped me to understand many many failures, many utter ruins.
Loneliness is the human condition. No one is ever going to fill that space.
There are two types of people in the world: those who prefer to be sad among others, and those who prefer to be sad alone.
Touchy Feeling Alone Status
You can’t be lonely if you are in company of the person you’re alone with.
It isn’t the bad memories that make you sad, but the best ones that you can’t bring it back.
Loneliness is a part of you life. It teaches us that we are not complete in ourselves.
Why does it always have to be the one that you love the most hits you the hardest?
One day you’ll find someone who doesn’t care about your past because they want to be your future.
You May : Lonely Statuses and MessagesThe worst feeling is not being lonely. It’s being forgotten by someone you could not forget.
People say never give up, but sometimes giving up is the best option because you realize you’re just wasting your time.
It sucks how some people use you when they need you and then they put you aside you didn’t even matter to them from the beginning.
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
I close my eyes, Cover my ears, I’m scared. Pinch my arms and say, It’s just a nightmare.
I hope one day you find someone who makes flowers grow in even the saddest parts of you.
sometimes it’s hard to keep on going, especially if it’s without you.
The most painful memory.. when I walked away and you let me go.
Also Read : Sad StatusI’m tired of everyone telling me about their special person when I desperately want one of my own.
Usually, people think that I’m a strong, happy person but behind my smiles they just don’t know how much I’m in pain and almost broken.I sometimes feel people enjoy me being this way, that they’ve won or are superior to me. Enjoy it then, I hope you’re happy now.
And if you lonely girl I could be your only friend. You got some shit to say I suggest you hold it in.
Short Loneliness Quotes and Sayings
Possessiveness comes when there is fear Of losing A loved One, not Because they don’t trust U.
Life changes in just an instance whether its good or bad you need to embrace the change and make the best of it.
This explains my love for books and my major perfectly…F. Scott Fitzgerald is pure perfection!
I’ve endured the worst times alone. I don’t need anyone. If you’re in my life, it’s because I value you and want you there.
When I feel truly alone, with a sense of being lost, even empty inside, it is then I realize I have unknowingly moved away from God, so I move back.
Whenever you are stressed,eat chocolates,sweets etc, because when stressed is spelled backwards it becomes ‘DESSERTS’.
Standing alone doesn’t mean I am alone. It means I’m strong enough to handle things all by myself.Never let little things such as what you were wearing that one day affect you, because in the longer run looking nice only gets you a inch of the way.
For my girls!! ?? May they ALWAYS feel Your presence but especially when they feel sad or lonely! A Prayer When You Feel Lonely.
I’m tired of getting my hopes up for things that will never happen.
Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.
Sometimes it’s better to just quietly and privately miss someone than to let them know and still be ignored..!
Forgive me for my mistakes, I’m still a kid learning the responsibility of being an adult.
Read More : Alone Status for Whatsapp
Loneliness is never more cruel than when it is felt in close propinquity with someone who has ceased to communicate.
It’s very easy to hurt someone and then say “sorry” but it’s really difficult to get hurt and then say – I m fine.Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.
You always say you hate to see me hurt, and you hate to see me cry. So all those times that you hurt me, did you close your eyes?
Feeling Alone Status and Messages
No words to define my status right now!
I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is the end up with people that make you feel all alone !
Don’t trust too much, don’t love too much, don’t care too much because that ‘too much’ will hurt you so much!
A broken relationship would make you feel more lonely than when you were single.
Being SINGLE is a good feeling, no drama, and no heartaches. But, sometimes it gets lonely and you miss that feeling of being taken.
What is the point of you trying to get back in contact with me when you really have no interest or when you feel you cant be honest with me?
Being alone does not mean you are lonely, and being lonely does not mean you are alone.
Sometimes all you ever want is someone to want and need you as much as you want and need them.
It hurts the worst when the person that made you feel so special yesterday, makes you feel so unwanted today.
It must be really sad to not be able to do something you love as the years go by.I’m feeling a little lonely and unloved…I think I will go to the airport and go through a TSA pat down just to get a little action!
Almost every time someone hears my voice they leave, I am feeling it tonight!
Need More : Being Single Status
Why I turn on the TV: 10% to watch shows. 90% to use it as background noise so I feel less lonely while I’m on the Internet.
A thousand words couldn’t bring you back… I know this because I tried, neither could a thousand tears… I know this because I cried, you left behind a broken heart and happy memories too. but I never wanted memories. I only wanted you.
Sometimes when I say – I am okay. I want someone Too look me in the eyes Hug me tight and say – I know you’re not.
The only way is to move on, because if you don’t you’ll be suck where you are.
Dear, we hope that you have find these feeling alone status helpful. Though it’s hard to control thyself during this kind of circumstances but you may try some Inspirational Uplifting Quotes and famous motivational sayings to get relief and strengthen yourself.
Coping with Loneliness after Death of a Loved One
Our guest writer Wendy has had much experience in coping with loneliness after the death of loved ones. She explains how, even if you have no choice, you can make the most of your life, even when living alone and surviving the grief of loss.
I Knew Loneliness from An Early Age
When I was born my brother was seriously ill and so I was fostered out for the first several weeks of my life. Thus, there was no bonding with my mother and I always felt alone in my family, as there was no primary attachment. My brother was six years older than me so, especially in my teens, I grew up alone.
My father worked nightshift to earn the extra money so I never really knew him until we were thrown together when my mother took ill. I was 17 and suddenly we had to survive together. Without my mother in the house my father was lost. I remember being so afraid she would die and we would be left together just the two of us but I could not lean on anyone and talk about it.
My brother was at university, my father needed mothering and there was only me to do it.
Reminders of Early Loneliness
This episode was recalled most vividly when I went to the UK to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday in January 2004.
I was in pain from bereavement (I had lost my beloved husband), and the cancer surgery and treatment I had undergone but my parents were so upset at what had happened to me that I had to care for them as if they were the children and I was the parent. This was tiring and very disappointing.
I had hoped they would nurture me and spoil me but it had to be the other way around. This made me feel alone and vulnerable. I had to face the fact that there was only me to look after me.
Coping with Loneliness at School and University
Then I began to recall how many things I had done alone in my life. I won a scholarship to grammar school and went there alone. I did not fit in as I was of a different social class to the majority of pupils. The British middle class have a polite, subtle but wounding way of telling you that you are not accepted.
My response was to ensure I bettered them in scholarship and in sport. However the British working class also have their foibles and rejecting those who have stepped outside the norm is one of them. Thus both school and neighbours no longer accepted me.I went to university alone to do a newly established degree.
Again the class system came into play but again I did well by hard work and my own resources.
Relief from Loneliness in the Form of Married Life
I left university and won a job in Nassau in the Bahamas. I went there alone and I did well there. I met Geoffrey there and suddenly I was no longer alone. He knocked down the walls I had built up to protect myself.Now there was someone to travel with, share jokes with, love and be loved by. I felt expanded, complete, and content.
Geoffrey encouraged me to keep my independence and supported me in all my endeavours. Even when my political activities made headlines and his company complained it was bad for the image, Geoffrey reiterated his support. We were a team, united, intimate and pretty complete. He was always proud of everything I did.
When he took ill and I had to take control I was terrified. The love of my life was under threat and I had to support him, make decisions, take criticisms from helpful family and friends, and run our affairs. I was neither alone nor part of the relationship we had had. That relationship was gone, changed forever by Geoffrey’s illness.
The acceptance of this reality was traumatic but necessary if I was to cope with everything. I did the best I could.
Coping with Loneliness Again After My Husband's Death
Now Geoffrey is dead and I am alone with no children or any family in Australia. It is difficult but I must learn to live my life this way. There are advantages in that I can just please myself and do what I want, when I want. I am independent. It also means there is no one else to rely on but me. I have to look after all aspects of me.
Adjusting to Living Alone Again
I realise there is a pattern in life. You begin as a baby, totally dependent on others and you work in a family group to survive, grow and develop. You learn to be part of a team. Then you are encouraged to step out and join other groups and teams in school and socially. However these are teams of singles.
Later you join with one person and you build your own unit. At this time in life your social life develops into groups of pairs, families. You move from being John and Mary to being JohnandMary.
This continues for most of your life. When you lose your partner you feel amputation. You are no longer a couple but suddenly you have to learn to be single again in a world built for couples.
You have to find a new world of singles.
Being Alone Does Not Mean Being Lonely
But being alone does not mean being lonely. I have friends here and they give me support. I can still play golf and bridge and enjoy the social interaction.
However I have to accept that I am no longer a couple and everyone else is. Thus I am accepted by them but on different terms.
I am still made to feel welcome but I am not invited to dinner where numbers have to be even. I have to accept this change.I have also made a huge effort and started new things some of which I shall continue and some I shall not. I see this as selecting from a buffet. I have a variety of things to join in and try. If I enjoy the activity I can continue, if not I just give it away. The choice is mine.
(See our page on activities for getting out and about.)
Being alone is only negative if that is how you choose to see it. It can be an opportunity to grow, develop and explore. It can be difficult and frightening, but also exciting and satisfying. In my position, it is inescapable.
Do not be afraid.
Remember today could be the last day of your life so make sure you live it to the full!
Our thanks go out to Wendy for being so open about her emotional loneliness in early life as well as adjusting to living alone and coping with loneliness after the death of a loved one.
Combatting the Grief of Loneliness after a Loss
Coping with the Loss of Your Husband
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More articles by Wendy and our other guest writers
Grief and Sympathy Home > Articles on Grief > Loneliness after Death
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