In response to Daily Prompt Cut Off.

When was the last time you felt really, truly lonely?

This is a frequent problem for me.

By the way, Psych Central has a quiz where you can answer questions and be rated on how lonely you are.  Find the quiz here.  I scored 27, a few points outside of the loneliest category.  And here is a very interesting article about how loneliness is killing us.  I know that I am not unusual, this is pretty common.

Impacts On My Loneliness

  • I work at a computer all day, on individual work that does not involve much input from others.
  • When I meet with team mates, it is on the phone and WebEx because we are geographically diverse.
  • Meetings are pretty cut & dry – get to the point and end the meeting.
  • Very little room for pleasantries and sometimes it feels fake or rushed.
  • When I am at the office, I have conversations with only two people regularly because the rest of the group is separated by an aisle of cabinets.  I can still hear them having casual conversation, but it is difficult to join in and it enhances my loneliness.
  • It isn’t easy because it is hard to communicate over the wall of cabinets and I feel silly running around to the center aisle where the bulk of people are located.
  • My husband is divorcing me because we grew apart and he no longer wants to try to grow back together.
  • I neglected friendships in the name of marriage and child rearing.
  • American society moves too fast, especially Corporate American society, to be able to stop and engage in meaningful conversation with those around us.  We’re too busy thinking about or moving on to our next conquest.

How I Try to Fight Back

  • In November or December I joined a very active meetup group for women age 30 and above.  I try to go to at LEAST two events per month.
  • I make an effort to join in on conversations with other people in the office, particularly if I sense that it is a group of people chatting.
  • I cherish any social activity with the two people who sit on either side of my cubicle, even though sometimes I think I’d rather be left alone or sometimes that I’m bothering them.

5 thoughts on “Lonely”

  1. It’s weird to feel lonely even when I’m surrounded by people, amongst friends and/or family. Some of us struggle with this. I like the efforts that you’re making to feel less lonely. I try and gather with people to feel more connected. Although, I must say, that I am practicing enjoying solace when I am alone. In that, I find peace.

    1. Yes, I think being alone is great sometimes. I can go to a restaurant by myself and enjoy my own company – and most of the time not feel lonely. I’m sure you know this, but being alone isn’t quite the same as being lonely. My loneliness is around not having very many people to “connect” with. People who I know I can open up to and they’ll still accept me.

  2. Fascinating post. I scored a 33 on the loneliness scale, which put me in the worst category of “extreme loneliness.” That was pretty shocking to me as I’m an introvert and enjoy being alone most of the time. I think though I have a similar issue to you, Eilene, in that there is no one around me to open up to, should I want or need to. I’m also disabled and have an autistic child, so that certainly doesn’t help me get any socializing done.

    I do love that you’re taking this time in your life to make yourself over into a new person that YOU enjoy. I’m on a road to something similar, though I’m not as far along as you in the process. You are an inspiration to me!

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