The many faces of loneliness

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i dont ever remember feeling lonely when I was a child or even in my teenage years or  twenties. But over the past twenty years there has  been extreme periods of this loneliness, coupled with depression, sadness and anxiety.

I live alone and I certainly love my own company. I love being with people as well, but not large crowds. Noise and lack of personal space can overwhelm me.

I have been giving loneliness alot of thought these past few days.   Since  mum died there has been a big vacuum,  but this hasnt made me lonely.  I miss family life and the laughter we used to share many years ago. There is a change in our relationships  with one another and it isnt the same.

Also because of ill health I miss the social connections I have had with voluntary work. I cannot do the things I used to do, but I can socially interact in small doses. Which leaves a lot of time to myself and in my own company. This last month has seen a severe decline into depression, a black depression which I cannot entirely put my finger on the root cause. I feel good when I have been with my dad and friends, and when I am in town among the crowd.  But I can only socialise for a small amount of time before I become fatigued ( M.E), so I have to go home.

i was thinking back to relationships I have been in – I was lonely in  them too! So it isn’t always about people.  There is as saying that you can be lonely in a crowded room.

So, where am I going with all of this.  I have no idea. This morning I decided to up my antidepressants back to the dose I should have been taking. When mum died I  became quite unwell after twelve months and was prescribed a higher dose which I took and felt better after a few months. My health remained good for about six months so I gradually brought them back down over eight months to the normal dose.  That was three months ago and now I am struggling to keep my head and my heart above a permanent morass of blackness. I am not thinking myself into this  as far as I am aware.  A black gulf opens up and consumes me.

This is when the loneliness comes in. So this morning after being in a lake of darkness on and off for the past month,  prayerfully I increased my medication to what it should be. Could take a few weeks to kick in but I hope it helps.

I am not a person who expects others to do things for me or sort me out, (I used to be). After having said that I have a good supportive network of sincere friends who I can and do reach out to.  At the moment I am doing all I can to not co-operate with the depression eg. Isolating. I really have to push myself sometimes, but sometimes the heaviness and weight is so great I have to lie down.

Where is Jesus in all of this? Well I have to believe the words of my favourite psalm,  139. ‘Even in the darkness I cannot hide from you, you are there with me, the darkness cannot extinguish your light”.

Prayer is difficult when every part of your being has come to a virtual stop. But I have been able to pray and talk to others about it. And I know God is here with me.

if anybody suffers from depression please feel free to comment.

As I am writing this in a coffee shop my  heart feels as if a dead weight is pulling it down but I have come out, had coffee with my dad and even managed to write this article.

 

best wishes

barbara