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David77 3 weeks ago Loneliness
I joined here about a week ago but never really opened up. I am so lonely and isolated that it feels like a disease. I’m 67. I never dreamed that this would happen to me, as I’ve had a life of adventuring the world, and have even been in Afghanistan solo with total confidence. But now agorafobia
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    • David77 8th August 2021 at 5:25 pm

      I feel so utterly isolated that it is like a disease that could kill me. I meet one friend once per 2 weeks and that is it. I have lost all my confidence in myself, in Coventry

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    • Hi there 8th August 2021 at 6:22 pm

      Hi David
      It’s a small space to write here and like most of us on our own l have felt loneliness and it’s awful but if you want my advice it is hobbies that will most help you .You can’t always find or rely on friends for this great emptiness that threatens to engulf us .
      Most towns have a club called the U3A please promise you will look it up and join under the umbrella of this name it has about twenty hobbies for you to try out and then your mixing with people near you and spending time and enjoying new things.Please try this.
      Suzanne

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      • Starbright 10th August 2021 at 9:49 pm

        I would like to mention that since joining Oddfellows [see details] I have made a lot of friends, prior to COVID we had a number of Outings. Do give it a try everyone is so friendly.

        Want to make new friends? The Oddfellows is a 200 year old Friendly Society with 350,000 members nationwide, including several in the Bromley and Bexley areas. Thousands of social events are held annually with currently 40 Zoom events weekly. The Oddfellows provides many membership benefits too. Open to all. Visit www’oddfellows.co.uk or contact Paul, the London Event Organiser at [email protected] or on 07851 910619.

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        • David77 26th September 2021 at 2:30 am

          I’m sorry this reply is so very late! Thanks for your recommendation, really. Since I last wrote, I dipped even lower down, so wasn’t even up to looking at conversations on-screen, but now have pulled up out of it all.

          I will check Oddfellows. I often find that organisations which are good elsewhere in the country don’t much exist where I am. But I will check it out. Thank you.

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        • Starbright 26th September 2021 at 9:27 am

          Hi David,
          Please remember to take one step at a time – my husband used to say ‘three steps forward and one step back’. You will get there in the end!
          U3A does have a lot of things going on and worth checking out as well as Oddfellows. Check out your local library for details of other clubs in your area. Is there a Royal British Legion Club near you?
          I don’t know if you have a garden but gardening is very therapeutic.

          Of course p/t work – or even volunteering can help get your confidence back, Best wishes.

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        • David77 26th September 2021 at 4:15 pm

          Thanks, Starbright. I’d heard of Oddfellows but knew nothing about them. Come to think of it, unconsciously I must have thought they really were just odd people! I found out about U3A during the lock-downs, but due to that very thing they were doing nothing locally at the time. In fact, I didn’t even get replies to my two queries, to two different areas, which wasn’t very good. But I’ll take another look now things are opening up.

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        • Starbright 26th September 2021 at 6:49 pm

          Hi David, Oddfellows have been going for over 200 years. Due to Lockdown and unable to meet locally they had Zoom meetings with things such as painting classes, coffee mornings and chats, Zumba classes, Keep Fit and people giving talks on various subjects amongst other things. Branches/lodges of Oddfellows have been celebrating ‘Friendship Month’ our lodge will be having an afternoon tea party Thursday pm. During lockdown to keep in touch with members local branch started E-mag whereby members contributed stories, poems and jokes. Branches/lodges operate differently. I am glad I found them and have enjoyed walks and outings with them and made friends.
          U3A have had some interesting talks via Zoom.

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        • David77 27th September 2021 at 8:48 am

          Thanks Starbright. There were plenty of things I could and did do over the last 18 months via Zoom. Some were useful to do in their own right, but to be honest didn’t “do the trick” if I felt isolated. But for general purpose, I do plan to look into local Oddfellows and U3A here in a week or two (I’m busy before then). I have helped put on a talk on “Positive (sovereign) money systems” for U3A locally.

          I did start with a local group via Zoom who were all about “organising as change-makers”. It was all too vague, wasn’t getting anywhere, and highly PC. Everybody would introduce themselves, making the point that “I prefer to be known as “he or him” or “she and her” — when in all cases, far as I could see, they were all quite naturally and obviously what they were, it was not an LBGT group. So I made a point of never doing that but in the end didn’t see a point in continuing. It wasn’t very mature 🙂

          Real life meetings will be more my thing, as things open up.

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        • Starbright 27th September 2021 at 9:04 am

          Perhaps you might give a talk sometime to Oddfellows on the same subject either via Zoom or through local branches.

          Oddfellows are very friendly [homely] none of what you experienced. I am not that wonderful on PC but will try to send you a copy of Oddfellows E.mag together with list of Zoom events. However, these are local to where I live but I’m sure you can tune into them.

          I also like to go along to WEA talks which I also enjoy, the talks I have found are very interesting/challenging and the people that attend are serious and experts in the subjects they talk about.

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        • David77 28th September 2021 at 7:11 pm

          Thanks, Starbright. I’ve got to be honest, however, that Zoom events don’t do much for me. But I’ve left a post-it in my head to certainly look them up locally in a while, to see what’s going on 🙂

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      • David77 25th September 2021 at 8:51 pm

        Hi Suzanne (and all. Great apologies for replying so late, days or weeks later. I think I went through a space of feeling even worse, so didn’t even look online at anything.

        But I’ve come out of that, and life can have its ups and downs. I do know of U3A, but until about now nothing was happening locally during social distancing, and doing things online I’ve not found satisfying. Am feeling quite a bit better right now, doing a weekly cooking course, and am playing with the idea of returning to work as suddenly there seem to be no lack of vacancies. I could consider p/t work. Thanks!

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    • Rest Less Ness 8th August 2021 at 6:30 pm

      That’s a shame – I hope you make new friends here!

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    • Anonymous User (no longer active) 8th August 2021 at 9:08 pm

      Hi David, were you in Afghanistan with the armed forces? I know from my late husband’s time in the forces that there is a great support network available. Could you maybe contact Help for Heroes or some organisation like that for support. I hope things start to get better for you soon. Best wishes for the future and take care of yourself.

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    • Sallymwall 8th August 2021 at 9:17 pm

      Wow ! that sounds familiar! I had quite a good life after my husband died 5 years ago. Volunteering and holidays, alone and in groups. Lockdown has ruined it. I had never felt lonely before but I do now. Some days and have no human contact at all. Masks block facial expression too.
      It’s very easy to just give in and do nothing but I’m still fighting.
      I try and get out every day.

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      • David77 25th September 2021 at 8:58 pm

        A good point about masks making things worse.

        I’ve opened up my life somewhat since I wrote. I’m presently doing a weekly cooking course (only 3 weeks to go though). Weekly I meet 2 friends to walk our dogs on long country walks, maybe 2.5 hours. Playing with the idea of returning to outside work p/t, and altogether feeling better at this very moment, though there seem always to be ups and downs. It can be lovely walking my dog along a country walk though: I’m getting to know some regulars, and even the names of their dogs. It’s nice to just stop and chat a few minutes, and isolation goes away. My dog himself also helps with that, as he’s very loving and active. (HE established the habit that after every walk he kisses my face in thanks for it! Then we have a game of indoor football 🙂 .)

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    • Hi there 9th August 2021 at 7:56 am

      Try and reply if you can because people care and they could be potential friends .take care and
      big virtual hug.

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      • David77 25th September 2021 at 9:00 pm

        Thank you. I ended up, after I wrote originally, going into an even worse “space” where I didn’t even want to look or communicate online. But am out of that now, and feeling more normal. I had some good days this week; for example some people actually turned up on my birthday and we had a good time.

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    • vivb 9th August 2021 at 10:31 pm

      Hi David, It can be really difficult to make new friends. I retired December 2019. I have made myself join a walking group and during lockdown I went our most days. I’ve also joined #walk1000miles on FB. Take tiny steps, a little each day.

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      • David77 25th September 2021 at 9:02 pm

        I am in the ramblers, which is certainly very sociable indeed. After a ramble you feel great even the day after. But it all stopped when Covid came. They’ve started up again now, but I have a dog I presently would prefer to walk with. Not even sure I stayed fit enough for a ramble to be honest!

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    • Janishall 10th August 2021 at 6:35 am

      You sound like someone you hasn’t lost their spark, just mislaid it. It’s an old story but the best eay to ‘keep going’ is to get involved in your local community. There is so much you can do and the rewards are there. Make covid a positive thing – join a food bank , help out in a charity shop, check out all your local volunteering opportunities. It might not be your dream job but it will give you your confidence back and that’s a good place to start.

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    • LadyP 10th August 2021 at 9:15 am

      I know how you feel. My husband is in a Nursing Home with advanced dementia. He does still know me (just about) but apart from that he is in a little world of his own. I have been on my own for nearly two years now, and know what it is like to feel lonely. In many respects I am finding life coming out of lockdown even more difficult as I see other people going out and enjoying themselves and I am still feeling isolated. My dog is my salvation because I have to take him out which gets me out of the house and I do meet other dog walkers for a chat. Good luck!

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      • David77 25th September 2021 at 9:06 pm

        Sorry to reply so late. I went through an even worse time and wasn’t looking online.

        I can totally echo what you say about your dog. Mine is my salvation too, exactly as you describe. I don’t really feel too lonely at all with him, as he’s very intelligent and loving. I’m really not alone with him. He understands LOADS of what I say to him – even complete sentences, and replies in his own way.

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      • Sandyg 28th September 2021 at 10:07 pm

        thats really rotten, in many ways its worse than if they actually died, as then you can console yoursellf with happy memories up to that point, rather than having to deal with a constantly changing reality thats eating away at those memories.., and you are still married but the marriage is so drastically changed..My mum became vegetal but lived 8 years like that, my Dad just lost his spark and lost all interest in Life and didnt live much longer, getting dementia himself.
        Do you have family to help you both ? Dogs are great therapy , taking him in to visit your husband must be a source of shared pleasure to you both, people with dementia seem to remember and connect with their pets for possibly longer than with people..( said as a Carer of over 15 years).
        I used to foster recue dogs, and took many in when visiting mum, although she wasnt a particular pet lover I could see in her eyes how they enthralled her.

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    • Skunk007 10th August 2021 at 11:15 am

      I am in the same boat, not a good feeling.

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    • Sandyg 10th September 2021 at 3:30 pm

      Hopefully , things are picking up for you now Lockdown is no more ?

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    • Sandyg 10th September 2021 at 3:35 pm

      David,please get professional help , like Jazz said,a Forces organisation my be just what you need and hold the key to unlock your depression, agoraphobia is the worst as getting out for a walk is always good therapy., you need real help to overcome that, please dont strugle alone.

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      • David77 25th September 2021 at 9:07 pm

        Thanks Sandy. Things have picked up in the last couple of weeks. There have been some good days.

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        • Sandyg 28th September 2021 at 10:13 pm

          Iv just joined the local British Legion, with my tentative link being when I was in WRNS 1977-1980, its the first thing Iv been able to join since I moved here a year ago.

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    • Flowerful 10th September 2021 at 5:58 pm

      Hi David
      Loneliness is so awful, all any of us want is to love and be loved and to share experiences with other people. It sounds like you will have lots of amazing adventures that you can share you just need the opportunity.
      What interests do you have, do you read, listen to music, potter in the garden?
      I have been struggling recently and I have done some Pilates and meditation with a bit of help from utube and have ordered some watercolour paints and paper to try my hand, try to explore something completely new.

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      • David77 26th September 2021 at 4:03 pm

        Thanks for your message, Flowerful. I just wrote a reply but it was not saved or posted for some reason. I’ll see if the site perks up and works better later.

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        • Flowerful 26th September 2021 at 5:47 pm

          Hi David nice to hear from you, how are you feeling today? The weather here has been good so I have had a potter in the garden and picked some raspberries and courgettes from my neighbours allotment, they have gone to France on holiday and told me to help myself, nice to reap the rewards without having done the work 😁 I am popping some in the freezer for them though, only fair.

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        • David77 27th September 2021 at 8:16 am

          Spiritual practices such as meditation are a part of my life too, and can be so fulfilling, but at times one can still feel isolated. Certainly doing things by YouTube or Zoom is no solution for me. In the last couple of weeks I’ve been active in the great late September weather, met more people and been outdoors more. There’s a local dog walking club for example, where up to 28 dogs and owners have gone on rural-style walks together.

          As the forecast said, the whole season has kind of changed overnight. Wet and dark outside now. I don’t know if there’ll be much interest in keeping the dog club going so often, we’ll see. All my life I’ve disliked dark, wet days, and can’t be any exception to that. So recently I’ve felt fine, but days like this already feel like their own challenge. No doubt to many of us.

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        • Sandyg 28th September 2021 at 10:19 pm

          yes, Iv felt low today with the weather. And because of this awful fuel crisis, Im just starting 2 weeks leave, but darent use the car for non essential journeys, which means I cant go off exploring the wider area as Id planned. Walking in this is no fun at all.

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    • Ellytee 26th September 2021 at 8:50 am

      Go online and join Meetup….it is a social events website for people to meet others and socialise. There will be local groups in your area. I moved to a town where I knew no one just as lockdown happened and have never looked back since I joined up….I’m never alone now. Give it a go.

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      • David77 26th September 2021 at 4:06 pm

        Thanks Ellytee. This is not looking for excuses, but I knew of Meet-Ups well over ten years ago and was simply interested in the idea. But I found that locally there were almost none, and the few there were didn’t interest me. There were meets for basic reasons like having a meal together — but I was trying to lose some pounds at the time, and I have to say that wasn’t so for the others at that particular meeting! 🙂

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      • Sandyg 28th September 2021 at 10:48 pm

        exactly Ellytee, meetups has been my saving grace, as I too moved here a year ago so lockdowns menat I havent been able to meet anyone locally, Meetups has been great though, I particularly like to join in any music events.

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    • annp12 27th September 2021 at 7:10 pm

      My son suffers that and its not nice .he’s on his own a lot of the time .he lives with me. But I’m out often he seems accustomed to it now but its not healthy or natural . Can you find groups .or neighbours to talk to .

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      • David77 28th September 2021 at 7:18 pm

        Thanks, Ann. After I first wrote here, it got even worse and quite some time went by. But events and things happened, life changed for now, and I’ve pulled completely out of how I felt when I wrote that. I mean, it’s hardly the first time I’ve felt that way, but at the moment life felt “normal” a few days ago, and now is even better than that. It feels as if I took back control.

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