Loneliness, whether chronic or acute, can be wrapped up in the despair that leads to thoughts of suicide. Read this powerful post and keep your eyes and ears open for the tiny clues that might alert you to family or friends’s hidden feelings. If this is you… talk to someone, please. If you feel that no-one you know cares enough to listen, talk to someone whose job it is to listen. You won’t be a burden – exactly the opposite. They’ve trained for years to be able to help you and all of us who need help from time to time, so they are completely focused, ready and more than willing. Please… pick up the phone, send an email, or walk in. Don’t fester on your own. Another perspective really helps to pull you at least part of the way out of your rut. And when you get a better all-round view, you may start to see some solutions. There will be some, but you need to be in a position to spot them. You can’t see anything when you’re in the depths where it’s dark and cold. Let someone give you a hand to reach the light and the warmth…

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Happy high-flyer hides lethal loneliness

Loneliness does not just affect the elderly and vulnerable. It’s a feeling that can hit anyone, any age, any circumstances – and can be devastating.

A 28-year old woman living in Manchester felt so cut-off from her family that despite being thought happy and successful, she felt acutely lonely to the point of suicide.

The Kenyan online paper The Standard (read the report here) reported the sad death of Sharon Bukokhe, a high-flying business woman living in Britain, with her family scattered around the world. Her sense of disconnection must have agonising, as it lead to her planning and carrying out her own death, presumably to stop the pain of alienation and separation.

On the surface she was happy, busy, intelligent, ambitious and heading for success. But she was disguising profound loneliness, even from her family. She was in her twenties, married, with everything ahead of her.

Loneliness, isolation, disconnection – whatever the feeling’s called – can break strong people and shatter lives.

Don’t let it kill someone you love.

 

A 21st century tragedy

Why shouldn’t a human being live perfectly happily alone? Millions do. Me included.

If our fear of loneliness stems from the danger of a pack animal being separated from its community and dying, then in the 21st century that fear is obsolete. We have houses with doors that lock. We have cars and trains and planes that can get us to friends or to safety. We have telephones and the internet to connect us to other voices, other presences, in seconds. We have hospitals and doctors’ surgeries. We have supermarkets to deliver our food. We have water on tap. We face far more risks in overpopulated cities than in remote rural areas. So why is being alone still so scary? Because we imagine ourselves dying alone, being discovered after five days, half-eaten by the cat. We read stories about people dying alone, or killing themselves, even though they have families and friends and neighbours and social services and the health service. They could have called for help; they could have walked to a shop or a church or a pub for company. But they felt disconnected, cut off, unloved – to the point of choosing to die rather than contact someone. That’s not rational. That is a mixture of emotions so strong that they overwhelm the reasoning mind and take the individual to his or her death. That’s a 21st century tragedy, but it can be averted.

Do you relate to this, or do you know anyone who would?