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  • How do you manage loneliness

    For the first time in my life at 60 I am living on my own and finding it really difficult. I have a knot in my stomach all the time and just want to cry and hide in bed. My fear is I cant cope mentally or financially and not sure what help is there. Can someone help please. Karen

    Posted by karenjakes06
Viewing 24 reply threads
    • Reply by pamelamartin

      Ring Chorley Women’s Centre and make an appointment . Open 10am to 3pm . Only half hour appointments due to Covid. All virus precautions  in place their. Also if you need to talk any time of day or night ring the Samaritans . They are not just their for suicide if you are upset they will talk to you. Also silver line will be there to speak to anyone who needs to talk to somebody. Hang in there keep busy . ❤️

      • Reply by pamelamartin

        Women’s Centre open only Tuesdays for now 10 /3

    • Reply by Filmmaker

      I’ve never thought of myself as being lonely, a few years back my mum died abroad, my sister had some mental health issues and went into a care home also abroad and my brothers became very distant, at that time I had some financial issues and a friend was going through the same so we decided to  pool our resources, and share a house. Over time I paid off my loan, mainly study loan from my masters degree, and was financially better off, my friend never recovered financially from her divorce. It worked well in the beginning, her family sort of became my family in a strange way, she has two grow up sons, one has many children, so I got used to having young kids visiting or staying over, I was like the fun, crazy aunty that did fun activities with them,  recently she has fallen out with the son and she no longer has contact with some of her grandchildren. I now realise that I don’t have too many close friends in the UK, I have many acquaintances, and people I know through work – I feel quite sorry for my friend too,  but equally I am approaching 60 myself and I feel I should branch out and make some new friends, I have suggested to my friend that we join some groups in the area -she has given many excuses why each group would not be suitable but I am hoping that once I join she may follow suit.

      • Reply by wren43

        Have you thought of looking into local fitness classes? Joining a gym and going to classes is a good way of getting to know new people, besides the benefits of regular excercise. Of course things are not normal at present, but meanwhile some fitness instructors are running their own sessions outdoors, weather permitting.

        I’m in North Nottinghamshire but I’m pretty sure this will be happening in other counties while gyms are only offering minimal timetables. I’ve just signed up for a couple of outdoor sessions a week, since I’ve frozen my gym membership until December, and the groups are such fun and so friendly. I really look forward to them for the social aspect, as well as the exercise. I’m no spring chicken at 64, but your instructor would structure things so that you could go at your own pace. Perhaps worth a thought? Good luck in your efforts to make new acquaintances. Sandra x

        • Reply by Filmmaker

          I want to go back to swimming but the pools are closed at the moment. I used to do aqua aerobics I’m not that fit at the moment so the idea of getting back into shape is a good one.

        • Reply by wren43

          Yes, it’s a shame some pools are still closed. I’d fancied aquaerobics myself. Re: joining outdoor fitness groups, a lot of the people attending the ones I mentioned say they put on weight and got very unfit from March onwards. So they are (as I was) a bit self-conscious at first. Everyone is very non-judgemental and welcoming. It has made a difference to my mental state after months of seeing very few people from one week to the next. Hope you find something that appeals. Sandra

      • Reply by Sunshine

        All the best in finding groups and is a good idea but co-vid restrictions will have affected many of the groups being active now.

        • Reply by Filmmaker

          Thanks you for your reply, I go back to work next week and I’ve started looking at groups near my home so at least I’m starting to see what’s available in the area, once restrictions are lifted then I will explore these avenues

        • Reply by Sunshine

          That is great to do the research and hope you find a group that will suit your interests. I have started doing the same with researching. In your surgery there could be employed a social prescriber and could tell you more what is occurring in your home area with groups. Sorry for your loss of your Mum.

        • Reply by Filmmaker

          Thank you, my mum died a few years back just short of her 90th birthday but it was still a shock and it took many years to get over her death

        • Reply by Sunshine

          Grieving is very individual and an emotional journey that we are not prepared for in life. Did you move to the Uk a long time ago and manage to visit your Mum before she passed away?

          Take care

      • Reply by lynnridley

        where in the country are you

    • Reply by maggie.byrne

      Hi,

      Loneliness is a real issue as we get older, sometimes you end up working at home and never get to see anyone. There’s also many changes that we experience such as a bereavement or separation, huge life changes. I find it interesting how people are beginning to explore alternative living arrangements such as co-living and co-housing, there’s a lot of new initiatives springing up, which I think is encouraging and will help to tackle loneliness.

      • Reply by Filmmaker

        I friend of mine is 85 years old, she is a super fit dancer, choreographer and teacher, she is very fortune to have a husband who is also very physically fit, my point is when I talk to her she says she never feels lonely because she has an interest that keeps her mentally and socially very busy. With dancing, she gets to meet people of all ages.

        • Reply by pamelamartin

          She also has a husband

      • Reply by Sunshine

        Hello Maggie,

         

        What is co-housing and co-living?

         

         

    • Reply by Sunshine

      Hello Karen,

      How are you doing ? Are you feeling a less stressed and may I ask how you become alone for the first time in your life?

      Take care

    • Reply by sandraph1969

      Hi everyone,

      I’ve just joined this group as I’m here from Australia, lived here for two years and am finding it hard to meet genuine people.  My family and friends all back home, I’m here to be a part of my in laws lives as they’re both becoming increasingly forgetful.  I’m struggling with loneliness, I’m struggling with being myself when myself doesn’t fit in over here and don’t know how to be different, how to fake it to make it, how to not be myself……… I’ve been volunteering a lot throughout lock down, not just running around and doing shopping but also coordinating a group of volunteers.  I’ve not worked since December and desperately in need to work, any work but nobody wants me.

      Yes, pity pool and am very embarrassed that I pity myself, it’s just not me to do that but find myself in a place where that’s where I’m most comfortable.  Silly isn’t it, especially after reading your stories.

      I don’t miss Australia, I love the climate, the gardens, the history……..I miss my network, my kids, my mum and, just working and being super independent.   Sorry, so sorry but felt the need to share x

      • Reply by lynnridley

        Where in the country are you?

      • Reply by Sunshine

        Hello,

        Are you with your partner looking after your in-laws? Genuine people are not easy to find and please continue being yourself with not trying to fit in or please others, as you will feel more lost in your identity and personality also feel miserable. It seems you are living in the South East and was surprised what people told you regarding emotions which is sad and know my personality would not connect well in the South East and have some brief experience of the South East. You are doing so much in being friendly and if I lived closer would certainly enjoy meeting you for a chat and drink as  you seem an open minded friendly person. Thinking now more about your options and interests also during this pandemic realise it is going to be restricting in some aspects. I am also trying to seek friendships as recently moved back to a previous small town area  that I lived in, but not that great in resources and  would like more socialising hopefully though volunteering opportunities, which are on hold during this pandemic, as my work is very solitary and a carer. There are some befriending schemes which will be more phone calls at present and pending age though Age Uk have one now for 50 plus also a social prescriber can tell you about groups in your area via the GP surgery. Been trying for over 2 weeks to have a call from the social prescriber and now she is on leave until 10th.

         

        Take care

        • Reply by sandraph1969

          Thank you for your lovely and kind words xx  If you’re ever around, let me know xxx

      • Reply by dabradleyred

        Hi, don’t be sorry, you are not on your own. Moved to Sth Wales from Shropshire 5 years ago, it is hard to make new friends, keep persevering you will settle.  Do you ask people for a cuppa, or go out for a meal, cinema or even a walk.  Don’t give up, keep smiling it’s hard but no likes a sad face.  Take care don’t give up🤗🤗🤗🤗

        • Reply by sandraph1969

          Thanks.  I do ask, I practically beg but I get told that ‘we’ don’t do that here.  ‘We don’t share emotions’ and ‘We have a stiff upper lip’.  Others have said that the South East is harder than most northern places, also get told that I’ve been really unlucky with the people that I have met………..I feel nasty saying all of this but I’m constantly finding myself in situations or around very nasty and cliquey people….I will persevere, but honestly, right now, by a thread.  It is my birthday today and I spent most of it alone….My 76 year old mother in law took me to lunch (she shouldn’t be driving).  Very sweet but, I don’t know, I’m being a bitch….sorry.  Just continuously running for people that don’t run for me, doing what I told my kids never to do…..I don’t know who I am anymore.

    • Reply by Sunshine

      Hello,

      Where was this thread started please as found it via a link from the site but not knowing which heading it comes under on the community?

      Thank you

       

      • Reply by Helen Burns

        Hi there. You can tell where you are on the forum by checking this little thing at the top of the thread, above the Add Comment button: Home  Forums  General  How do you manage loneliness. You can also check in your own profile what conversations you’ve joined in with.

        • Reply by Sunshine

          Thank you Helen and thought it had a direct link but is in the General section

    • Reply by iankavanagh

      Hi Karen,

      Have you considered volunteering? I am 63 and volunteer for two charities and find the benefits are:

      • Developing a fresh sense of purpose
      • Learning new skills and develop existing ones
      • Meeting like-minded people and make new friends
      • Trying new things outside of your comfort zone
      • Giving back to the community
      • Gaining a sense of achievement
      • Improving my health by being more active
      • Exploring and having new adventures
      • Building confidence
    • Reply by wren43

      Hi Karen

      Sorry that you are struggling with loneliness and anxiety at the moment. I think the replies here show that you are very far from being the only one to face these issues right now.

      I wish I could offer you good advice about how to combat loneliness and begin to feel more confident again. But I don’t think I’m in any position to be able to solve that one myself. At 64, I lost my husband almost two years ago, having cared for him at home for as long as I could manage after his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s around ten years ago. This illness has been described by many as incredibly lonely, which it certainly is in my experience. As my husband’s cognitive processes declined, it became increasingly difficult to communicate, which meant that we both wound up in almost our own worlds.

      So I already have experience of loneliness from that time. Then, when I could no longer manage to care for him, he had to go into care and from being completely immersed in taking care of every aspect of our life, I suddenly was in free fall and had to adjust to living on my own (although still responsible for him as we have no children, he had no surviving family, and my siblings live 400 miles away). Loneliness struck then too, but I was so busy visiting him and trying to work part-time, and deal with huge financial worries due to the cost of care that I really didn’t have that much time to think about how lonely I was.

      Throughout this testing, grief-stricken decade of his illness and his subsequent death, I have worked tremendously hard not to view myself as a victim, and fought tooth and nail to get the best care for him (not easy when you consider how scandalously under-funded and scorned social care has been in recent years by those in government). And I think it’s only that the dust has settled that it is really sinking in that I am truly, absolutely and irretrievably on my own. I have read a lot about the grief and bereavement process, and one of the most useful concepts I came across lately was what C S Lewis, on writing about the profound impact his wife’s death had on him, called “the laziness of grief”. This struck a chord with me as since my husband’s death, I find it very hard to motivate myself to do the thousand and one practical things around the house and garden that need doing, far less the more difficult stuff such as deciding where to scatter his ashes, or even unpacking his belongings from the suitcase I took to his last care home, or sorting out his golfing and sports paraphernalia, his thousands of books, his old computing equipment – you name it, I haven’t done it.

      I have been trying lately during lockdown to pick up some of my old hobbies, such as sewing and crafting. I had just started to go back to the gym in February this year, and that had perked me up quite a bit as I ran into faces I hadn’t seen since for years, when I’d had to give up the gym to stay with my husband at home 24/7. Many of our friends had fallen out of touch and although I was hurt and angry that they didn’t support me more and just left us to sit at home, I made a conscious attempt to contact some of them again at the start of this year. However, COVID quarantine stopped all of that, of course, and I find that my energy and motivation to start doing things and seeing people – at a distance, of course – has plummeted. And that, of course, invites loneliness in through the door again.

      I really think that seeing people, and doing things – whatever it is – is part of the answer to this. I just wish I would take my own advice! So I wish you well and really hope that you can start to take baby steps towards banishing your sense of loneliness and becoming the more confident person you were before. Rightly or wrongly I have BBC Radio 4 on all day, or French radio, I read huge amounts, I talk to my three cats constantly (poor souls) and am trying not to be too hard on myself when I don’t achieve very much on days when I can’t motivate myself to do much. I am trying to get interested in cooking again, and to find the energy to tackle the wilderness that was once our large and beautiful garden. It is all an uphill struggle and yet I know that I have had to be a resourceful, strong person to survive the last hideous ten years, so I have to just dig a little further down to get through this period.

      I do hope you are not beating yourself up about how you feel right now. It is a terribly difficult time for so many and you did the right thing to join this forum. As did I, I think. Writing helps me think things through! So thank you for your post.

      All warmest wishes to you. Sandra

    • Reply by dtaylor5400

      Hi I’m David from Kent, aged 66, was a carer for my mum for 9 years, when she passed away in 2018, after funeral. Council informed me I had too move from a house I’d lived in for 40 years, to a flat in same town, bit of an upheaval but got through it with help from my brother.

      Been here over two years now, still single man, never married, been in one serious relationship, which drifted apart, met a few wrong women for me.

      During lockdown did walks most days using a speed app, did bit of exercise indoors, but still feel something is missing in my life, been to pub with a mate , but I’m always in men’s company, women have been like an alien species as I’m useless at chat up s and jokes.

      Better leave it here you will have all fallen asleep , listening to David Bowie’s hunky dorey at moment, I love most music, except hip hop yuk, big Chelsea fan too, good morning to you all

      Regards, David

       

    • Reply by Caran

      Hello Karen, I just wanted to send you a big hug . I can totally relate to situation in which you find yourself . I found myself very suddenly alone at the age of 42. I had some very dark times indeed. But I can assure you that life can and does get better . I am sure that you are far stronger and more capable than you realise .  I can empathise with how overwhelmed you feel but you should be kind to yourself. I found it helped to set some small goals , list a few achievable tasks and give yourself credit for being able to tick one off every day . And if you don’t manage to do something each day it’s ok , tomorrow is an other day. I wish I could tell you that one day you will wake up and feel much better … but in my experience it’s a long road . Sometimes you don’t recognise the progress you are making … but as time goes on you will look back and see that  things have  improved. Try to spend time outside as much as you can , there can be such healing to be found in nature. I am lucky enough to have a garden and grow veg … it has kept me sane during lock down. 14 years on I can honestly say my life is good …. not perfect but so much better … which at one time I could not have believed possible  . I still have bad days , but the loneliness no longer overwhelms me . It’s great that you’ve reached out here . And there are many online resources to help with financial advice . Don’t give up …. try to frame your thoughts in a positive fashion … think more about what you can do rather than things you feel you can’t at the moment. It will get better …. take it from someone who truly believed they would never laugh again. My thoughts are with you xx

       

    • Reply by stantini

      Hello Karen and everyone,

      I understand how you feel and it is horrible.  I am in my 60’s, I have to carry on working as I cannot afford to retire, and my job is so physical and stressful,  I can’t stand isit!!  My marriage is not very good and this year I have suffered with stress so much.

      I am lonely because of the situation with my marriage, and lonely at work because I feel isolated because of my age. I am young looking and fit but it makes no difference.

      Sometimes I feel so down I wonder whether to take drastic measures, if you know what I mean.

      I sincerely hope that your situation will become better and I send you my best wishes.

      Take care. Tony.

      • Reply by richardcatt48

        Hi Tony

        I feel your pain as I’m furloughed at 61 with not a lot of chance of going back. I live with my partner but things are a little stale and my kids and grand daughter live 40 miles away. I have had a tumultuous life and my wife ended up with my brother leaving me with nothing except 25 grand debt and a nervous breakdown. I have recently been reading a lot of books on the law of attraction. And would recommend a book called Dear Universe by Sarah Prout you can get it on Amazon quite cheap. I have read other books by Michael Samuels again in Amazon. I was always a sceptic but have put them into place and things are starting to change. I got 2:lottery wins and a 2 grand tax rebate last month and got to hold and cuddle my grand daughter 😀 I get down as my company don’t stay in touch and I do feel anxiety but read a few pages of these books every day and listen to music (Vital I listen to anything from Tchaikovsky to LED Zeppelin) to keep spirits up and of course walking I have a dog called Charley who I walk every day. Just meeting people smiling and saying Hello is a great help. Keep going my friend there’s still a great world out there even listening to a bird sing. I’ll think of you today 😀

         

        • Reply by stantini

          Thank you Richard.  I will definitely take your advice.  I am sorry about your situations too and I sympathize with you.

          It makes a world of difference when you can hug the grandchildren, I know..music, a book, a little good fortune… definitely the best medicine.

          You have a good head on your shoulders Richard.  You have gone through some tough times and yet you can smile!! That is good.

          Thank you.

          Tony

           

           

           

        • Reply by richardcatt48

          Hi Tony

          Nice to hear back. Yes life for me has been tough. I’ve always lived to work so now I intend to work to live. And always keep in mind that I have my lovely children and granddaughter. Try researching law of attraction. I was really sceptical but gave it a go. It is a lovely way of looking at life. It works on the principal that you should give in order to receive. Today I have sent you a message which I hope will inspire you in these difficult times and I feel better for the act of sending it. And I hope you will either buy the books or research it. I’m not a new age hippy just a normal bloke getting through these difficult times. I am smiling and trust I have given you food for thought. Stay safe and take each day as it comes. Things WILL get better. Always darkest before the dawn 😃

        • Reply by stantini

          Thank you again Richard.   You are an inspiration.  I will research the books, oh, and listen to Led Zeppelin 2 also!

          Best wishes and I hope each day brings better fortunes.

          Tony

        • Reply by richardcatt48

          Hi Tony

          Keep up the good work. Enya is my choice of this morning as raining and dog walk postponed. Reminds me of good times I had in Ireland which is where I ended up after a nervous breakdown following my marriage breakup  A long story but always makes me smile when I remember some of the characters I met on my journey back to sanity lol

          Take care and move forward a day at a time

          kind regards

          Richard

    • Reply by nicoladrury92

      Hi everyone I’ve been alone for years, I started looking after children, school pick ups in the afternoons which kept me busy until. Covid 19.

      I’ve been on dating sites, which sure is an eye opener..

      I also do courses online but most of the time I’m alone.

      I will go back to swimming as soon as its safe and maybe join a yoga class if finances allow.

      My children have flown the nest and have their own life, so just me to look after myself.

      Would like to meet a companion one day.

      I’m also thinking of a singles holiday when I’ve saved enough money.

       

    • Reply by karenpreston480

      Karen I know how this feels my partner died last year I just feel so alone most of the time am just rattling around

    • Reply by lynnridley

      I understand completely. I’ve been divorced for 6 years after my husband of 42 years decided he wanted a change and left. My kids were grown up and gone and I was bereft. I had psychological counselling find a while which helped immensely. I had another relationship but it didn’t work – back to square one. Fortunately I have friends and go out quite often (before lockdown) and we still meet up distancing in gardens etc but there are lonely times, especially if they are not around. I am getting happier but I don’t think I’ll ever really come to terms with loneliness.

    • Reply by anne.bridge1

      I’ve just joined this site and I empathise with so many of you. I too live alone, I’m divorced and my children are grown up and busy. I’m fortunate to have some very good friends but there are lots of times I feel lonely. I’m 60 and feel there are still lots of things to do, to share, to see. I’m thinking of trying a singles holiday when this covid is less worrying. Has anyone else tried anything like this?

      • Reply by moonlady

        I haven’t tried a singles holiday, but know people who have and they love them. There are quite a few specialist companies now. I know someone who uses Just You, there is also one called Small World. I think it’s better if you go on one tailored to your interests, e.g. walking in the Swiss Alps or visiting gardens of Italy or something like that. Get some brochures, you can at least start planning, and it will help pass the time!

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