Sliding into Loneliness


Not necessarily alone, but lonely
How Loneliness can overtake even the most outgoing of us

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the ADD/EFD Comorbids Series – Part 2 of 3
Read Part 1 HERE
– The danger of loneliness and isolation to health

Loneliness is a longing for KIND, not company.
~ Original Source Unknown

Loneliness is not a longing for company, it is a longing for kind.
And kind means people who can see who you are,
and that means that they have enough intelligence
and sensitivity and patience to do that.
~ Marilyn French

The Longing for Connection

I came across the first version of the quote above in the early ’60s. I have long since lost the little book of quotes that contained it, so I have no way to find out who said it originally.

Years later I came across the second version, attributed to the late feminist writer Marilyn French. French’s version expanded on the idea for people who didn’t immediately resonate with the concept.  I needed no explanation.  I realized when I was in the 7th grade that, despite being surrounded by a family of seven, I had been lonely for most of my life.

Regular readers might recall that my father was an Air Force scientist who relocated with every new assignment, and that, until I reached High School, I attended a different school almost every single year.  Being the oldest of five children close in age, I was expected to step up and take charge at home from the time I was small.

My father worked unusually long hours and, having to pack and unpack a household practically yearly in addition to everything else involved in running a household and making a home for a family of seven, my mother seriously needed the help.

I stepped up eagerly. I was an unusually intelligent and eerily mature child who derived a large portion of her self-esteem from being competent beyond her years — along with the occasionally glowing comments from her parents’ friends about how “grown up” she was.

Only much later did I realized that, not only did I spend the years of my young life as a perpetual “new girl,” as a result of being placed in the position of a sort of surrogate parent, I had no peers among my siblings either.

I was fairly “popular” in school, only because I learned at an early age to adopt a facade that was outgoing and funny, hoping to stand a prayer of a chance of making any friends at all before we moved again. Most of my close friends, however, I found in books.

Only once I was older, later in High School and during college, did I begin to understand that, more than simple companionship, authentic connection was what was missing from my life – or that true connection was a two-way street.

Related Post: ABOUT Values and the Goose Story

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One piece of the authentic connection puzzle

I still experience pangs of what could only be described as jealousy whenever somebody introduces me to a friend or family member they’ve been close to since they were children. Watching them laugh delightedly as they revisit some of their earliest memories is a bittersweet experience.

Since the the death of my only sister, as well as both of my parents, there is no one alive who holds my history in that manner – an important piece of the authentic connection puzzle. 

Shared history is more important to feeling connected that it might seem at first glance. Although there are quite a few people who know me from my participation in one community or another, because nobody has taken the time to become familiar with my life trajectory, I frequently feel as if no one on earth truly knows who I really am.  And that can be depressing!

I wonder, sometimes, if everyone who has known me throughout my peripatetic life were to come to pay their respects at my funeral, if each group might postulate that the others must surely be in the wrong room!  Moving around as I did, I never learned the trick of staying connected in ways that foster lifetime closeness.

“A friend is one that knows you as you are,
understands where you have been,

accepts what you have become,
and still, gently allows you to grow.”

~ often attributed in error to William Shakespeare

The importance of true friendships

Part I of this article, The Importance of Community to Health, explored some of the research on the dangers to emotional and physical health of a lack of connection and community.  But, as I discovered in the 7th grade, connection is not something that we find merely by being in the company of others.  As Part I concluded, I made the following comment.

What makes a difference to our health (and what we are missing, whether we are aware of it consciously or not) is the kind of in-person, back and forth, shared-communication peer connections rarely available in our fast-paced, first-world society except, for some, during leisurely vacations once or twice a year.

Unless we have at least a few regularly recurring meaningful interactions of that type, even if we truly enjoy our own company, we remain essentially lonely in the ways that matter for glowing health and immune system resilience.

But both people in a relationship need to be willing and able to step up for the other – over time – for a friendship to be truly meaningful.

Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing.
There is a time for silence.
A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny.
And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.
~ Octavia Butler

The Roots of Loneliness

I grabbed the section heading above from the title of a PsychCentral post by Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.  Among the many other interesting things in her article, the following words jumped out at me.

There are dozens of websites that offer helpful hints for how to find friends. Most have the same kinds of suggestions: volunteer.  Join a book club, team, club, gym. Get involved in local politics. Act interested in others. Smile. Get a dog.

Anyone with a computer can find 25 tips for finding friendships or the 10 top ways to meet your soul mate. So how come folks are still out there who are alone and lonely?

I suspect there are root reasons that defeat the best tip list. Unless we get to the root of the matter, a person who tries those tips is setting him or herself up to fail yet again. And we all know that failure only breeds more of the same.

Click over to read her article for her list of 6 Reasons Smart People Stay Lonely, but I want to begin here by taking a step in another direction — to take a look at how even formerly happy, well-connected people can drift into the misery of loneliness in the first place.

Why do people get lonely — how DO we get there?

With all due respect to Ms. Bronte, ideas like hers seem to be born more out of denial than self-respect.  No man is an island, remember.  Yet she’s not alone in her thinking – not by a long shot!

Along with the idea that it is somehow wrong to need other people, a common point of view expressed by a great many lonely people is the feeling that, because they do long for connection, there must somehow be something wrong with them.

They subconsciously believe that, whatever it is, it is something shameful enough that it must be hidden — from the very people who might become part of their circle of close friends if they could only see that there was room for them at the table.

Some of the loneliest begin to feel enough better about themselves that they are able to risk reaching out for friendship only after they become aware of how many other people are lonely too.

Even those who are aware that the loneliness statistics are high, however, tend to find it difficult to believe that they themselves have become one of their number.

“There was a time when my life was flooded with friends,” one of my clients told me,
“to the point where I used to
crave even a single day of privacy and solitude.
How did this happen – be careful what you wish for?”

While I think that’s a question well worth answering, there’s no single answer.

8 Ways Loneliness can creep into your life

  1. Relocation

    Every time we move, even if we are still within driving distance of people with whom we used to share our lives day to day, we become suddenly “friendless” – at least in the manner we have become accustomed to having at our disposal without a great deal of effort and time.

    As long as their parents allow them enough time to socialize, most kids find some kind of connection with brand new friends at school, or through something as simple as riding their bikes around the neighborhood. The older we get, however, the less likely we are to simply stumble into friendship.  We have to work at it – which takes time that few of us feel we can spare in our crazy/busy world.

    The days when our new neighbors popped over to introduce themselves and welcome us to the neighborhood with a gift of cookies or meatloaf seem as distant as the imaginary neighbors of old TV shows like Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver!

  2. Job Changes & Promotions

    Even if our new job allows us to remain in our old house, we no longer have the community of work friends that used to get us through the day.  It takes most of us a bit of time to figure out who’s who in every new office, and more time still to get to know the folks who seem compatible and interesting.  

    When we’re scrambling to get up to speed with new job responsibilities, sometimes it doesn’t seem like making friends would be a productive use of our time.  We may even find it necessary to work overtime or take work home with us, so we have even less time available to connect with family and old friends. Before we realize it, we’ve fallen out of the connection habit.

    Promotions, especially when we remain in the same office, can be even more debilitating to our ability to maintain even limited friendship connections with the people who now work under us. The further we move up the workplace ladder, the tougher it becomes to find peer support. Loneliness is a considerable problem for CEOs, who frequently find it difficult to find or develop authentic connections with anyone in their workplace.  It truly IS lonely at the top.

    Toughest of all, where building community is concerned, are the challenges faced by those who leave what they call a “brick and mortar” office job to start a virtual business of their own. Although many entrepreneurs enjoy the freedom of working from home, a common complaint of home based business owners is a feeling of loneliness stemming from lack of contact with the world they frequently see only through the windows of their home offices – whenever they take a moment to look up from their computer screens, that is! 

    Take time to meet a fellow entrepreneur for lunch?  Maybe when I finish this project … or the next … or the one after that.  Since starting my company I can barely afford to take the time to walk to the kitchen to have lunch with my spouse!

  3. Leaving the nest

    Many changes accompany leaving home for the first time, whether we leave home to attend college or after we secure that first job that allows us to be able to pay the rent on our first apartment.  Even for those of us who live in a dorm or share an apartment with roommates, there are so many other changes to accommodate that we often go through a period where we strongly feel a lack of connection with the people around us. Change can sap our energy. Burying ourselves in work or school before an exhausted slide into an unmade bed may feel like all we can manage.

    For some of us, that is a condition that can easily become a way of life unless we are willing and able to make a concerted effort to reach out to develop new friendships in new environments that already make a great many new demands on our time.

  4. New parents syndrome (along with the newly married)

    As far as their single friends are concerned, the excitement of beginning a brand new life with a partner often leaves couples MIA for much longer than even the longest honeymoon.  By the time the new couple realizes that their former buds seem to have slipped away, it can be awkward for their newly-coupled selves to reconnect with friends who are still single.

    Once the long awaited newborn comes home, sleep-deprived brand new parents rarely find making time to connect with old friends at the top of their to-do lists. Making things tougher still, many of their old friends are childless (or unmarried), so they find them more and more difficult to relate to.

    Even when those whose lives have changed in significant ways still desire a close relationship with their former BFFs (and are ready, willing and able to make time for them), their former friends frequently find the new focus on the wonders and trials of marriage and parenthood less than engaging.  At the same time, hearing about the excitement and difficulties of the dating scene doesn’t have quite the appeal it used to for a new mom or newlywed.  So friends drift apart – formerly close friendships gone before anyone realizes they were going.

    New moms seem to be hit the hardest – especially those who leave jobs and careers to take on full-time responsibilities at home. How many times have you heard a stay-at-home mom say (or write in a blog) that they are starving for an adult conversation?

    Single parents of either sex complain that they can barely keep up with work, home and child-rearing responsibilities as it is.  Making time for friends slides into the background, sometimes forever.

  5. Divorce or separation

    No matter how turbulent the marriage, how strongly you feel about having made the right choice, and whether or not there are children at home, you must now find a way to move forward without the day to day companionship of “the devil you know.” That leaves a void that can feel a great deal like loneliness.

    In addition, couples tend to socialize and form friendships with other couples.  Once you become a single by choice, it’s not unusual for your couple friends to stop including one or the other of you — or both! You may not feel much like jumping right back into the dating game for some time, so you are likely to be at a loss for how to develop brand new ways of connecting with others.

    Some of the other eight factors in this list can complicate the picture, leaving little remaining time or money for developing new friendships.  At least one of the couple will experience the necessity of moving, both will have to adjust to limited resources as a result of divorce, alimony or childcare financial arrangements, and there may well be financial struggles due to suddenly having to manage alone, for example. 

    Even those couples who peacefully co-parent find themselves having to adjust to single parenthood at least part of the time – and it can be daunting trying to figure out how to juggle scheduling and maintaining a social life around those periods when the kids are staying with you when you’re suddenly unable to fall back on the assistance of a partner.

    It doesn’t take much more than a new episode of a favorite TV show or a newly released movie DVD to make PJs and popcorn in front of the tube seem m-i-g-h-t-y attractive. Making time for friends slides into the background during the adjustment period, and sometimes that adjustment period slides into years that seem like forever.

  6. Death of a close companion

    Many times the mourning period following the death of a spouse, best friend, or child forces us into a period of isolation that is perfectly normal.  We don’t have the emotional reserves to feel like we would be very good company, or we simply don’t feel up to socializing. For some, however, reconnecting with a community we might have felt didn’t understand or respect our particular manner of grieving – or appropriately handle their communications with us during that time – leads to a disconnection that becomes permanent.

  7. Limited economics

    Doing without an expected source of income due to job loss (or for any other reason) leaves us with decreased means to entertain or socialize with friends the way we used to (or would like to). Some of us take that as our signal to stop trying to connect at all “for now.”  When circumstances improve – or in cases where they don’t – we sometimes allow a temporary isolation period to turn into one that continues until we find ourselves socially withdrawn and lonely. Once that happens, attempting to reconnect seems overwhelming, so we don’t!

  8. Accident, illness & physical impairment

    When you hear the siren of an ambulance, do you ever wonder about the story behind the emergency? I sometimes say a little prayer that the passengers on the stretchers in the back will survive, and wonder what their lives will now be like if they do. Do they have family and friends who will visit them in the hospital? How about during their convalescence? Studies show that it makes a huge difference to their recovery yet, following an accident or illness, many people spend most of each day without anyone to talk to.

    If they are dealing with the aftermath of stroke or traumatic brain injury [TBI] that changes their functioning or their personality (common with PTSD as well) – or an illness or accident that leaves them struggling with physical impairment – how long before their friends and loved ones decide to get on with their busy lives, leaving the victim alone and lonely a great many of the rest of their days?

    Related Post: The loneliness of the long-distance TBI survivor – on Broken Mind, Brilliant Brain

    Life circumstances can change in a single heartbeat, and it takes REAL friends to stick by you once you change as the result of an event over which you have no control.

    “There but for the grace of God go I.”
    ~ attributed to John Bradford (1510-1555)

    To put a human face on loneliness in the aftermath of illness, CLICK HERE to read a brief comment on Part-1 of this article, from Dizzy Chick, the author of Picnic with Ants, a blog about overcoming the difficulties of  chronic illness.  It will open in a new window or tab, so you can come right back here immediately afterward

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school.
But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
~ Muhammad Ali

Counteracting a destructive spiral with social support

Mark Goulston, MD, psychiatrist and author of Get Out of Your Own Way,  says. “You have more control over doing and not doing than you have over what the result of actions will be, but there is a much greater chance that if you do, those results will be positive.”

That’s great advice – but what, exactly does he suggest we DO?

Original source: clipartpanda

The common advice is to counteract social withdrawal by reaching out to friends and family gradually.  Helping professionals (and people who are NOT lonely, so don’t really understand the problem) frequently advise something that they think is simple, like “make a list of the people in your life you want to reconnect with and start by scheduling an activity.”

Would that it were that simple for people who are already on the loneliness water-slide, about to get drenched.

Loneliness is more than the feeling of wanting company or wanting to do something with another person. It’s frequently described as a feeling of being disconnected or alienated — a subjective sense of inner emptiness, with feelings of separation or isolation from the world — not merely a feeling of sadness at being alone.

Depending on the reason for the slide into loneliness in the first place, a lonely person may find it unusually difficult to reach out for any form of meaningful human contact. BrokenBrilliant describes the difficulties of his own process of recovery from loneliness beautifully:

I think that just talking to people in person made a huge difference. That started with my neuropsych, who has been a regular source of help — just by being able to talk to me in a way that is respectful and decent and direct. Perhaps more than any other way, having that person there to talk to me as a regular person, not laughing at me or making fun of me or making me feel bad about how I was thinking about things, made a huge difference in my life. And it gave me a relief from my loneliness — not because they were able to connect with me better than anyone else, but because they gave me the space to be myself and connect with myself more than practically anyone else in my life, to that day.

We all need that, really. We all need to connect with others and be ourselves. We need someone in our lives that lets us not constantly pay attention to the things we might be saying or doing wrong. I grew up in a world that was obsessed with doing everything “right” — or in a certain specific way. And believe me, that was a terrible place to live, with a traumatic brain injury (or several). All the time I spent, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong now… again and again and again… What a lonely, lonely way to live. Isolated in my own head, surrounded by people who were constantly trying to get me do things “right” – or else, always scrambling, always wondering what the hell I was supposed to do, to get it right…

Learning to cope with changes in life patterns is essential in overcoming loneliness but, as the excerpt above illuminates, it takes more than the personal effort of reaching out. We need to reach out to people who reach back – with patience and acceptance – and it always disturbs me that so few people are willing or able to take the time and effort to do so.

It takes real dedication to Self to avoid giving in to the black and white thinking that we will never find anyone to connect with again, to continue to reach out to lift the veil of loneliness bit by bit – not only because it’s good for our health, but because we deserve it!

So, what steps can we take to lead us out of emotional black and white thinking to develop effective coping behaviors that allow us to engage with others once our lives have changed and many of our former community members seem to have disappeared?

In Part 3 of this article, When You’re Longing for Connection, we’ll explore suggestions to help us gradually reconnect with others in meaningful ways – upping our communication quotient to a level that makes sense with our lives – so stay tuned.

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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

27 Responses to Sliding into Loneliness

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  8. MikeandRere says:

    This is a great article because a lot of people seem to misunderstand what true loneliness can feel like sometimes. They think because you may have family or be surrounded by other people you can’t possibly be lonely and that’s so untrue.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: The Importance of Community to Health | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  10. Pingback: The Unique Loneliness of the Military Family | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

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  13. Léa says:

    Reblogged this on poetry, photos and musings oh my! and commented:
    Sometimes it feels like trying to run for your life while you are knee deep in quicksand. Hang in there my dear friend!

    Like

    • Thank you so much for reading – and especially for the reblog. I’ll be over to check out your blog ASAP.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Léa says:

        Thank you Madelyn. My degrees are all in Psychology, I’ve worked in private therapy offices, child protection, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, AIDS Foundation… and also grew up in the system as you will find out if you dig into one of my blogs.
        In addition I myself have A.D.D. as do my children. It is so vital for the information you presented to be out there where it can help.
        My French blog I reserve for France. However the other blog is original poetry, rants, reblogging that I feel should be shared and … xx or as we say here, Bisous et câlins, lf

        Like

        • Talk about making lemonade! Your childhood inspired empathy for others, and you spent your life making a difference in areas that are crying out for advocates.

          You won the lottery with ADD, however – ALL the best people have ADD. (I tell my clients: in heaven, everybody gets to have ADD 🙂 ) Seriously, there certainly are a great many challenges to be worked around, as you point out in your kind acknowledgment, but there are some advantages as well – we’re rarely bored or boring!

          I have always wanted to be multi-lingual — bought Spanish, French & Italian tapes, but I’ve only just begun my Spanish review. I already speak a bit of conversational Spanish – present tense only, like a kid. American language education was truly lousy when I was in school – not much attention to conjugation. Too bad, because speaking more than one language is neuro-protective and we are facing a mental health-care crises that is growing. (The stats are impressive for kids who grow up bi-lingual.)

          Were I to move to a Spanish-speaking country, I’d have to be supported by a strong expat community to be able to talk much more than libraries and meatballs. We had to memorize phrases and dialogues: Donde esta la bibliotica? Albondegas, no te dije! (don’t know how to type the leading punctuation or accent marks).

          Did you speak much French before you relocated, or did you pick most of it up once immersed in the culture? Point me to anything you’ve written about living in France. I’m fascinated.

          xx,
          mgh

          Like

  14. Dizzy Chick says:

    There were so many things in this article that I thought of quoting, and so much I could comment on.

    I too felt alone growing up. I had kids around, we didn’t move with my father when he was in the Navy, he was on a submarine, so he was gone 6 to 9 months at a time and home for 3 months. It was a weird way to live and I didn’t know anyone else who lived like that. I didn’t like it when he came home, it was so different and made me feel even more alone as during those times my mother wasn’t as much a part of my life. And other reasons, but nothing that we want to talk about for this post. :-/

    I showed Bipolar tendencies very early. I tried to make friends and on the outside it looked like I had them, but I never felt like it. I was always on the outside. I would do grandiose things then suffer from depression that was unheard of in a child. My sister is from a different father and is 5 years older than me, we couldn’t be more different. I never felt a bond. My mother was my closest friend. I was lonely.

    Having gotten sick and lost so many friends. I only have friends from a distance. I’ve often wondered if they lived closer if they would still be my friends. I have friends on line. They mean a lot to me. but when one disappears I feel abandoned again.

    my loneliness is surrounded by feelings of abandonment.

    I’ve had people tell me how to make new friends, yeah that doesn’t work for someone who can’t get out and do things like they used to, someone who can no longer hear like they used to, someone who is not afraid of pushing people away.

    Make a list of people you were once in contact with that you want to have a relationship with again. – I tried this with a few people, you can only reach out so many times until you stop. and feelings that I did something wrong surrounds me again.

    Families are not always who you have the most in common with in your life, and you miss friends who disappear.

    I guess it’s no one’s fault. People did not react the way I wanted them to, that is what causes my angst, not the person. (what a Buddhist thing to say, right?) I do take solace in that and it helps me forgive, but it doesn’t change how lonely I am.

    I’m very lucky I have my darling husband and my furry family members. But I long for a good friend I can sit and talk to, go to lunch with, go for a walk with….and have that friend understand when I can’t do these things. I want a friend who can accept me for me.

    You mentioned the people at your funeral. I think many more people would come to my funeral than who have made any effort to see me or get in touch with me for years.

    I’m sorry I have spewed enough here. I got started and I didn’t know where to stop, so I’ll just stop here. Often writing my comments to you are quite cathartic. I’ll realize things I didn’t think of before.

    know I do care. If you were local I think we’d be great “in person” friends.

    xo
    w

    Like

    • We have more in common than most of the people I know “in person” – and I already consider you a legitimate friend.

      You never have to apologize for “spewing”, btw. If we were face to face it would be called “sharing” 🙂 Typing just takes longer than speaking (and looks like more, but really isn’t).

      In any case, as you will read in part 3, long comments are not only cathartic, they are isolation protective. It’s the only really effective way to connect online in any but the most shallow of ways.

      Personally, I’ve never understood how people tolerate the constant interruptions of two-line texts and tweets that pass for REAL communication these days. Since distractibility is one of my particular challenges, that kind of pretend connection drives ME nuts.

      Always LOVE hearing from you!
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

      • Dizzy Chick says:

        “Personally, I’ve never understood how people tolerate the constant interruptions of two-line texts and tweets that pass for REAL communication these days. Since distractibility is one of my particular challenges, that kind of pretend connection drives ME nuts.”

        Oh my goodness yes!!! and people will say…”well I posted it on Facebook”. Like I’m supposed to see everything on Facebook? Or pay attention? Too much stuff…just stuff…no substance. I’m not one normally one for fluff.

        you get it!!

        xo
        w

        Like

        • Yep. If I wanted to engage in small talk chit chat, I’d walk down the street to sit on a bar stool and chat up anyone who sits next to me! Come to think of it, I’ve had conversations of more depth with people I see only occasionally in my local “Cheers” bar than most of what I read online – and ANYTHING ever sent to me as a text (even when my bar buddies aren’t exactly what anybody would call “sober”). 😀

          As for Facebook – don’t get me started! Sharing LIFE is more than exchanging bullet journals of activities and meals – and true connection is more than ringing in on what’s happening politically. Most of the time I simply can’t force myself to log in. Who needs the agita?!
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

  15. So many of these ring true for me. Also, number 4……I call that Happy Land. It’s that happy bubble where no one else exists. Certainly out of site, out of mind.

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    • I relate to most of these too – and I think a large portion of the loneliness epidemic cited all over the web are due to events like these. But what do we read about? Loneliness due to depression or loneliness in the aged, etc. – but nothing about the so-called situational loneliness that ends up lasting longer than expected. I think that leaves the rest of us living without connection feeling like oddballs with something wrong with us, which is why I wanted to explore it.

      Happy Land – lol. New marriages and new babies are tempting to “bubble” for – not to mention the economic struggles that can accompany those situations to the point where there’s no money to spare for socializing, and the fact that moving to new or bigger houses in new neighborhoods also adds #1 to the situation. Then the day comes, for a lot of people, when they look outside the happy bubble and nobody’s there. In many cases, half of the couple connects with new friends and the other half doesn’t – which is its own kind of problem that probably adds to the divorce statistics and new causes of loneliness.

      THEN what? Anyway, thanks for reading – and for taking the time to comment. I hope you’ve found at least one REAL friend to share life with – and I hope they live near you (tho’ frequent phone chats can keep people close for years – look at Oprah & Gail 🙂 )
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  16. Reblogged this on Broken Brain – Brilliant Mind and commented:
    This is a great piece about loneliness, our need for connection, and how/why we can end up alone – and lonely.

    Like

    • Thanks for the acknowledgment and for the reblog, BB – and thanks for the many great articles *you’ve* written exploring the loneliness of TBI survivors (several linked above, in addition to the section I quoted).

      Despite the appearance of greter connection with technology, more and more it seems we live in an increasingly isolated age. Pathetic, huh?
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

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