Feeling lonely on days of love

Umbrella, rain, alone, solitary, lonely, Romania

Loneliness is a feeling of isolation and disconnection that is cold and miserable, wherever you are. It can be worse at a noisy party than alone in the rain.

In these days running up to Valentine’s Day and its Romanian version Dragobete and Martisor, we are fed images of romance and love, and the whole world seems wrapped in a rosy haze of togetherness. But what about those who don’t feel the love? Who feel disconnected, isolated, and invisible?

Loneliness feels so much worse on these days when you’re supposed to be happy – especially in Romania, where the culture is so family-orientated and open-hearted. The upcoming love-fests can be agonising for those who feel …. Read more…

 

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Blog for mental health – no more stigma

mental health, blog for mental health, mental illness, depression, loneliness, isolation, alientation, lonely feelings, full of life, dying of loneliness, bored and lonely, stuck, friendship, connection, well, ill, suicide, suicidal, feelings, emotionsI pledge my commitment to the Blog For Mental Health 2013 Project.  I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others.  By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health.  I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.

After five family bereavements in 14 months, I had a melt-down in 2008 which had a serious impact on my business, on friendships and work relationships, on my finances and my whole way of life. It resulted in a huge change – leaving the country and starting a very different life in Europe. The peace and clarity of the mountains gave me back the ability to think, but it took years to reach the point of being able to go back into the ‘real’ world. For many reasons, I wouldn’t turn the clock back as, despite the bad bits, I have learned so much and found so much good in the process. I would only wish to undo the damage I unwillingly caused to others.

This blog is a major route to putting something back, to sharing what I’ve learned and, maybe, giving people some new options to getting out of deep ruts.

Two good ones to read:

Knocked over by a feather

A canvas of the minds

More people, less loneliness? Nonsense…

Crowds - melbourne show 2005

Crowded cities don’t help loneliness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The debate in Canada today is over a proposed increase in immigration to 100 million, and one journalist is quoted as claiming :”… it would end the “greatest price of under-population, (which) is loneliness: We are often unable to talk intelligently to each other, not to mention the world, because we just don’t have enough people to support the institutions of dialogue and culture…”

Population numbers have little to do with the degree of loneliness in that population. In cities, the more people squished into a small area, the greater the degree of social isolation, disaffection and disconnection, and the greater the risk of loneliness.

Loneliness is an emotion felt by individuals due primarily to their psychological and spiritual state, which depends largely on their personal history; there is a difference between chronic loneliness, which could have begun as a small child, and post-traumatic loneliness, which happens as a result of bereavement, separation, migration, unemployment, disability due to sudden illness or accident, and so on. But the answer to both is not found in the outside world, let alone in a high density of humanity. The only long term, profound answer is to be found inside oneself. Unless you are at peace with yourself, you understand that we are never truly alone if we learn to see the world and our place in it without blinkers (I’m not referring to any kind of religion) and you are in touch with your own source of life and energy, you will always be at risk of feeling lonely when your support group (family, partner, friends) are not around.

Canada has a difficult debate ahead, but it should take loneliness out of the equation. Even 100,000,000 people won’t solve the emotional misery of one lonely individual.

Have you ever been lonely in a crowd?

Why on earth is a loner seen as a loser?

To admit to feeling lonely is like standing on a wall and shouting ‘Run for your lives!’ At least, that’s how it often seems. The whiff of isolation and loneliness is like a bad smell – one sniff and everyone heads for the door, leaving the culprit even more alone than before. Alienated, shamed and hurt.

Why? Why are we so terrfied of the feeling and angry with anyone who feels it? It’s nonsense, of course, in the 21st century. There’s nothing – absolutely nothing – wrong with feeling lonely. It’s not catching. So why so scary?

Humans are mammals, and we still run on ancient instincts – and the strongest of all is the survival instinct. Empty-handed and alone in the wilderness, we’d have no natural defences, no sharp teeth or claws, not fast enough to outrun anything on four legs and not strong enough to fight it. Our only defence would be in numbers – within a pack, we’d have a good chance of surviving, with team work and defences. Alone, we’d be 100% lunch. Especially if we’re ill or injured.

For other individuals, associating with the lonely figure is a bad strategy, so the pack sticks together, and the lonely individual is abandoned. What happens next? A predator with too many teeth and lethal claws jumps on the loner and eats it. And we’ve never forgotten it through all the millennia of evolution. Our survival instinct says: ‘Lonely = dead.’ And then: ‘Lonely and Lonely’s stupid friend = dead.’

Even without predators around, a lonely pack member is bad news. The one who can’t keep up could be diseased, and no-one wants to catch whatever it’s got. Nope. However popular and strong you were, now you’re spotty and coughing, you’re on your own, mate. Biyeee.

So – even though we’ve long forgotten why, we still think that a loner is a loser.