Tuesday 15 June 2021

Let's talk about Loneliness

   - Marmalade Trust -   

This week is Loneliness Awareness Week; it's a topic, especially as a disability blogger, that I feel needs talking about. 

As the image from the Marmalade Trust says, everyone will feel lonely at some point but not everyone experiences loneliness.

It's a bit like depression. Everyone has felt a bit low at some point in their life but not everyone experiences or goes of to develop clinical depression.

This year I wanted to write and share with you my own loneliness. Being house and sometimes bed bound I have faced a lot of isolation and loneliness since I became ill. 

I only leave the house usually when it is necessary such as for medical appointments, so little chance to socialise. Very occasionally I do go out for fun things such as a drive-thru coffee trip as I did recently with my Dad on the last Bank Holiday Monday. 

Leaving the house has to planned, I rest for days before just to cope and then usually I have limit my time out and then once I'm home my body just crashes from the burnout of going out.

I only have one local friend but I haven't seen her in person for at least a year and half due to my health worsening. A friend coming round to the house is still exhausting for me, talking and listening tires me out and I just wish that my body and mind would allow me more time with my friend and I wish even more-so that I could travel to meet some of my other friends who I have gotten to know over the years.

A giant notice board with coloured lights around it. The notice board is filled with cards, postcards and other items.
My main comfort from loneliness is in the form of letters from friends and being part of the Chronic Warrior Collective.

Hearing from friends through a letters gives me that connection to the outside world. I love hearing what my friends having been doing and about their lives. For me letters fill that loneliness gap in my life; they remind me that I am not alone and that I am loved and cared about. Equally replying to letters also eases my feeling of loneliness and I know that for some of my friends who I write to that my letters will equally ease their own loneliness and isolation due to being house/bed bound themselves due to their own challenges with their heath.

Equally if you know of a friend who is experiencing loneliness and isolation for whatever reason - it could be due to illness, bereavement, a relation breakup, those shielding during lockdown, people who live alone, moving home or to University as a few examples. Reach out to those friends; let them know that you are thinking of them and that you are there for them. You could write to them or even just a text goes a long way to let someone know that they are thought of.

Here is some advice from Lets Talk Loneliness on what you can do to ease your feeling and experience of loneliness:

(This is just a brief summary but if you click the link above ⤴︎ it goes into more detail)

⭐️ Keep in touch with the friends and family around you 
⭐️ Join online groups, these could be forums, social media groups, virtual get togethers on video link (some charities and have moved their face-to-face support groups to become virtual groups which is great especially if your nearest support group is still a long way to travel to. For me I've found this great due to me being housebound.) - Some religious groups have also moved their get togethers for worship via video link.
⭐️ Help other who are experiencing loneliness
⭐️ Contact helplines that support those experiencing loneliness 

Link to organisations & charities:

⭐️ Marmalade Trust - The organisation that leads Loneliness Awareness Week
⭐️ Lets Talk Loneliness 
⭐️ WellbeingInfo.Org
⭐️ I Will - Loneliness in young people
⭐️ Scope - Disability charity // Loneliness search

Some online groups and forums that may interest you: