Sunday, 10 January 2016

The Age Of Loneliness

Did anyone catch The Age of Loneliness on BBC One on Thursday night?

People from all walks of life talked about their own experience of feeling lonely. It wasn't all about single people, or all about elderly people ( they did feature in the programme ) but it included people who felt lonely even though they were surrounded by other people and this is what hit me.

courtesy of Lonely 
I had never really given it much thought prior to watching this programme but during it a thought dawned on me. I suffer from loneliness, and have for quite some time. I can recall certain periods in my life which haven't helped matters. Firstly I moved away from my friends and family when I met Mr Homer, I moved 120 miles away to live with him, and even though I had a great job and actually have Birmingham ancestry in my blood, I just didn't fit in. I was that weird Northerner stuck in The Midlands. Thankfully Mr H. agreed to move back up north with me.
But things didn't really change, my friends that I had left behind had all moved on and got new friends, and even though I had managed to get an internal transfer with work, I was now that weirdo from Lancashire working over in Yorkshire! Having an hours commute at both ends of the day didn't help matters as I couldn't really stay for long after work to socialise so when I did stay, I just felt awkward.

My next major period of loneliness was after the birth of Squiggle when I was in hospital for 9 months. I spent the first 8 weeks in intensive care in an isolation room, my only company was for a few hours a day when my family visited, or when the nurses came to give me my medication or change my dressings. Things didn't get much better when I was moved onto a regular ward, I was still put into a single bed room with no contact with anyone apart from visiting time, feeding time, toilet time you get the idea. After 5 months I was moved into a 4 bed ward as the nurses thought I could use some company, by then I just didn't want to be around anyone. I was still so poorly and still bedridden when I was finally allowed home just before Christmas in 2010. I spent the days on my own with the occasional visit from my grandma, Mr H still had to go to work and Squiggle was given to my family to look after so I was home alone every day.

courtesy of Lonely Teddy
Now that I am back to better health I do get out and about more, I've made new friends and  have rebuilt some of the friendships with my older friends but I do still have moments of feeling lonely.

I think I always will.

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