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Loneliness - How To Deal With It


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My biggest issue right now, apart from the grief and missing my husband of course, is my loneliness. As a couple, we kept to ourselves a lot, and ours is a tight-knit family. Luckily our sons have friends outside the family, but my husband and I had few close friends. Most of them live far away. We weren't all that close to our respective families either. I have little contact with my mother, sister and brother, who all live in the states. I live in Norway. My husband's family lives about a two hour drive away, but I haven't heard much since the funeral. I just got an e-mail from his sister, telling me all about her vacation and how great it was to get away after this tough time. She told me it's time to stop feeling sorry for myself and move on. I hate being bitchy, but I sincerely doubt it's been as tough for her as it has for me.

All I have are a couple of friends and my kids. At times I feel so lonely I could scream. I wish now that we'd built up a better social support system - but we were enough for us, and we didn't know he would be getting cancer. We live out in the country - not much to do here. A grief support group for people who have lost their spouses and partners will be starting up in the middle of November. That's something, but I don't know how I'm going to get through the days and nights until then.

I imagine most of you have family and friends to lean on. If not - how do you cope?

Melina

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Melina,

I so hear that you are finding the lonliness difficult. I understand and would like to share a bit more about myself and how I cope in hopes it may help. I find it very difficult to open up to anyone, or let anyone in, due to the incest and violence I was raised in. It is very difficult for me to trust as a result of my past. It is a daily struggle for me. Melissa, was able to see past all my defenses and saw the deeply wounded child within and set about to love that child, comfort that child even if I was unwilling to even acknowledge that it was me. Melissa was the first person, I let in behind all of my defenses and walls. Similarly, I saw the wounded child in her due to her past. We put no pressure on each other and respected each other's need for distance at times. We encouraged each other to have a self, separate from us. I believe it was God that brought Melissa and I together and we shared a glorious love that no-one can take from me, not even her choice to suicide.

I have no family that I can call or lean on. I have no friends that I share with or lean on. I share here with total strangers who are brought together by loss and trying to heal and blossom in life again. I sometimes have a mental image of all of us here, standing in a circle, hand in hand, and our dear loved ones who have died looking upon us and sighing with relief at knowing we are doing our best to learn to live without them. This image comforts me and helps my lonliness.

Melina, the things that help me with my lonliness are talking with Melissa and God, my cat, my work, volunteering at a long term care facility by reading to the elderly who can no longer see. Volunteering with a local animal rescue group and help to remove animals from abusive situations. Volunteering at a local women's centre. I paint, I write, I play Mahjong, and Shanghai, and I come here to offer support, to receive support. I see a therapist, and continue to work on letting people past my defenses on a daily basis. I continue to live a life that Melissa and I shared.

One thing I can share that helped me, before I started to act to change my deep lonliness, I accepted it and just let the tears flow as they needed to.

Courage to you,

Carol Ann

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Melina. - I think I might qualify as extraordinarily alone. No companion souls in my household, not even a cat or a dog. I call one of my siblings or they call me about once a month. No place of employment. One long term friend; we talk occasionally. Had a female friend, now gone.

One good thing is that I live in an urban area. I can always shop, go out to restaurants, or go to local libraries. I chat with people when I can. I bike ride around local neighborhoods for exercise and swim in the local municipal pool.

At home alone is the most difficult time for me. I have active interests and hobbies, but sometimes they just fizzle and I feel completely stuck. I usually end up reading and answering posts on this site; somehow I survive on that.

I wish I knew how to change. I am shy, and do not mix readily. Can't handle parties, unless I know the people. I find many people attractive and interesting, but chat is as far as things go. Would like to keep the company of friends, share meals together. Would like to find a female companion; have a shared life. Have even thought of dating services, but that seems like a crude solution. Would even settle for a cat; maybe I'll do that.

I am just so stuck. I don't have much advice to offer. Just letting you know that you are not 'alone' in feeling lonely.

Ron B.

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Dear Ron B.,

I am sorry for your lonliness. It takes courage to share our personal struggles and you are doing it! I encourage you to continue reaching out. I hope you do get a cat! Pets offer us unconditional love and companionship. They intuitively know when to leave us alone or come and be with us.

Courage to you,

Carol Ann

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Most of my friends or our friends, have moved on and have little to do with me now that I am alone. I have actively tried to make new friends and have 2 new friends that are very dear to me and never even knew my husband.....so you have to push yourself and look for new people to enter your life because the old ones don't seem all that interested. I would hope that I would be different but perhaps you have to learn the lesson the hard way and how to support someone who has lost the love of their live, beyond the first few months. I still face lonliness and it doesn't seem to get better. I am still taking something so I can sleep at night but I can forget for a little while each day....when I am around others. I wish there was a retreat where we could all go and meet and share our stories........I know we have local grief groups..I have never participated. I did see a counsellor for about 6 months but not much seemed to change............all everyone wants to say is "what you are experiencing is normal". Well it may be normal but it is not normal for me............I hate that word.

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I have a large very supportive family but as far as friends we were each others best friend and with a large family we seldom were with other people. Thank God for my family or there would be no one for me to even talk to. My cat helps a lot. Actually he was a grandson's cat and when he moved in with us his senior year of school the cat was in the package. He went in the Air Force after school and he will never get my best friend back. When I am sad, he lays his head on mine and comforts me.

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Sorry to hear about your loneliness, Ron. It's all too common, unfortunately. Pets do help a little. It would feel worse here without my dog, even if it's one more responsibility.

I think a lot of people nowadays are using online dating services. It's very common here in Norway, and in fact I know several people who have met their partners through an online service and are very happy. It's not crude at all. Not sure what they're called in the states. Match.com is one. You could probably just google it. It's hard to meet people, and there might be someone out there who is a good fit for you, but lives somewhere else. You're a sensitive, intelligent person, and I'm I'm sure there is someone who would like to meet you. I think you should give it a try. I wonder if checking this grief site might now and then drag you (and me) down when we don't need to be dragged down. It shouldn't be a substitute for human contact, but it can be beneficial when you're actively grieving, of course.

Melina

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Melina,

I do have a very supportive family but they all live in California and I live in Arizona so I know the feeling of lonliness. I think the nights are the worst. I have a dog and she is a lot of company to me. I just recently started taking her for walks when I get home from work, it is great exercise for both of us and seems to relieve the stress of the day. I stay as busy as possible but I also allow my self to grieve. If I just want to stay in my PJs all day, I do it! This has not been easy to learn, but my grief counselor has taught me how very important it is. Writing to Tim in my journal also helps. I tell him about my day and about things that are coming up. I sometimes ask for his help to get me through this journey. I also come to this site which has helped me through many lonely nights.

Chris

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