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persevere posted 4/6/2013 22:17 PM

We talk a lot in NB about learning to be alone, and I've been talking to my new IC about this as well. It seems to be making me focus on it and feel it all the more.

Maybe that's how it has to be - the "you have to go through it to get through it" thing. But it's hard and I think it's part of the wall I've been hitting now that I'm feeling like I'm past DDay, D and XWH for the most part.

My IC says that empty nesting, moving, and changing careers, all within three months of each other last fall is a lot to deal with. Maybe now that I've had the time to settle into it a little, the after affects are just starting to really hit me. The biggest being the fact that, except for work, I am alone most of the time.

I have friends who I spend time with, but the time at home alone is hard. I have a BF, but he has his kids every other week, so we only see each other on the alternate weeks. And now he's starting to travel internationally for work, so it's even less.

I've joined a new Meetup group that I plan to actually participate in. I'd like to meet some new people.

But I'm interested in other's experience in how they dealt with the loneliness thing.

ETA - Please excuse my misspelling of "Loneliness" LOL.

[This message edited by persevere at 10:18 PM, April 6th (Saturday)]

persevere posted 4/6/2013 22:20 PM

I would like to add, I think the difference from after my first D, is that I had my kids. It's very different with adult children.

Survivor3512 posted 4/6/2013 23:03 PM

(((Persevere))) I think joining a meet up group is a good way to meet others. This is something I struggle with as well. When my kids are with their dad, I struggle to fill my time. If I sit home alone too much I get depressed. I live in a really small town, so meet ups aren't a very good option. But, I am active in my church and have friends and activities there. I don't know if you are religious, but if so, that could be an option for you too.

FaithFool posted 4/6/2013 23:04 PM

I've been alone for five years now.

Estranged from most of my family, so I've learned to make a new family out of the people around me who care about me ... Mostly co workers. I'm very blessed to be part of a wonderful crew.

I guess I'm a bit of an introvert, and quite cerebral, so that means I get a lot of joy out of studying, being back in school, researching and writing.

Also spend a lot of time with my TV in the winter.

At first I resisted the idea that being without a mate was even possible.

Now I can hardly imagine making the time for one LOL.

Lately I've been fairly social, going out for regular happy hours and dinner with my peeps from work and school.

And I love coming home, closing the door and being alone.

I think it's a lot tougher for folks with kids who leave the nest, the transition can be unsettling.

It's a process.

Frasierkev posted 4/6/2013 23:10 PM

I struggle with this as well and even when I have my kids. I think it's yet one more window we all must past thru during the healing process. The desire to be loved and wanted by someone is strong and when it's not there anymore, loneliness and depression certainly set in.

hurtinky posted 4/6/2013 23:42 PM

I'm the odd bird who never feels lonely. I always have something to do at home. I am so grateful that I don't feel lonely. I bet it is awful.

I think having a lot of hobbies helps.
My hobbies are a things I can do alone and at home.

Sunnie posted 4/7/2013 05:38 AM

Since the S I too am alone a lot but I rarely feel lonely. I'm an introvert though and I have always needed alone time. But here are the activities that I do to enjoy being alone or feel less lonely (aside from going to work):

1. Gym 3x per week
2. Joined a running group (1x per week) + running alone 3-4x per week
3. Volunteer (meet 1x per week)
4. Photography course (meet 2x per month but try to practice at least 1x week)
5. Read (I LOVE to read)
6. Stay in touch with my family and friends (as I live in another town far away - at least 2x per month)
7. Try not to say no to a social invitation (usually get an unexpected one 1x month)
8. Do my therapy homework (30 min EVERY DAY)

That keeps me pretty busy but no so busy that I am overwhelmed. I also want to start a creative writing course soon.

If you don't know what to do, why don't you start a bucket list: list all the things you ever want to do, list all the steps for each thing that you need to do to achieve the goal and start working on each step.

Good luck!

ETA: it sounds like you already have social interactions and want more in order to feel less lonely. But in my opinion, being alone does not necessarily mean being lonely. I think it is important for you to find things to do alone that will make you happy. When you feel comfortable doing things by yourself and actually start looking forward to your "me time" you will feel much less lonely even though you are alone.

[This message edited by Sunnie at 5:46 AM, April 7th (Sunday)]

Williesmom posted 4/7/2013 06:48 AM

I'm really struggling with this lately. I work, go to the gym, and read.

I have friends that I do things with, but there is an empty spot in my life that is sometimes hard to ignore.

There are days on the weekends that go by without ever speaking to another human being. And there are times that I can't remember the last time that I've touched another person.

I'd like to say that it gets better, but I guess you just get used to it.

LadyQ posted 4/7/2013 09:03 AM

Williesmom, funny you mention touching. I find since I'm alone now, I touch others more in casual settings. Not like a grope or anything, but I find myself placing my hand on someone, or doing side hugs or whatever. It's interesting because I've never really been very physical. I find touch to be very personal and I don't normally share that with just anyone. I get plenty of hugs and kisses from my kiddos and the kids at school, but I find that I miss that aspect just a teensy bit.

Williesmom posted 4/7/2013 14:58 PM

Yeah, my 22 year old nephew is the last person that touched me. Heis 6'4" and just wraps you in a full body hug. I just need that contact sometimes.

Sad in AZ posted 4/7/2013 16:48 PM

I'm introverted and shy, so I spend a lot of time alone, and I'm rarely lonely, but every once in a while it hits. Usually when I see or hear that DS is visiting his father or enjoying a holiday with DIL's family.

So, I plan an outing; it doesn't help immediately but if I have something to look forward to, I know it's going to get better.

If all else fails, I drink...

gardenparty posted 4/7/2013 17:51 PM

I made a point after my separation to never say no to any invitation. Someone would phone me and ask if I wanted to go for a walk...YES...a paint their living room...YES. Even when I was dog tired I went and slowly built up a friend group that has become for me the biggest joy since my divorce. It did take time and a lot of effort but I am so glad that I did put myself out there.

BrokenSpirit50 posted 4/7/2013 18:33 PM

Persevere, I'm right there with you. I feel it.

I try to remind myself we might feel lonely but, we are never alone. We have all our fellow SIers :-D

I make sure I see my family at least once a week. I don't have kids but, I do have a 92 yo father.

I joined a grief group through church and I have made some caring friends.

I try to spoil my dog by a long weekend walk.

I joined a meetup group.

I work on a project in my house or craft project.

I read and watch TV. (I don't advocate TV but, I'm guilty)

good luck

WeAreAllOne posted 4/7/2013 20:17 PM

Losing Your Loneliness

twiceburned posted 4/8/2013 17:00 PM

It is so odd that I stumbled upon this thread. I have felt lonely for the first time in forever. I don't know if I am sending off bad vibes, usually I light up and connect in social settings. I went out the other night to watch basketball and have wings, sat in the bar area with random people all around. I have never felt so alone. I tried to smile and talk, but I felt invisible. It was very odd for me, but I felt alone. I will say that for me, even feeling alone and somewhat sad is better than being with the wrong person.

phmh posted 4/8/2013 18:41 PM

I am very rarely lonely, as I definitely have an introverted side. Plus I deal with people all day at work and I can converse with my parrots while at home (granted, the conversation is not scintillating as mostly we just say "Hello" and "How are you?" back and forth...)

However, one thing I haven't seen mentioned explicitly yet (so maybe it's just true for me and not for other people) is that when I do feel kind of lonely, it's when I'm doing a passive, rather than an active, hobby.

For example, if I spend the weekend at home and basically just read, that makes me feel more lonely than if I run, paint, go to a museum, etc. Even if those more active hobbies are just done at home. (Note: I do read a lot, but make sure to do other things over the weekend as well.)

Just sitting there watching TV seems strange and rather lonely, but if I'm knitting a scarf while watching, the time flies by and I don't even notice that I'm alone.

So I guess I'd recommend trying to pick up a more active hobby or two (and I don't even mean active as in running -- though I pretty much always recommend that as a great hobby) but something that keeps your hands and mind active, like knitting, making mosaics, painting, puzzles, sudoku, sculpture, weaving, sewing, etc.

ISPIFFD posted 4/8/2013 19:12 PM

I've been struggling with this since exWH moved out three years ago. I do a LOT better now than at first, but the loneliness still rears its ugly head periodically. I am alone with my cats most of the time when I'm not at work, so I'm trying to get out more, joined a couple meetup groups, make myself talk to my new neighbors even if it's just "hi, how's it going?" in passing, and not depend on the one friendship I have in this town that I was way over depending on.

I see my IC and this is a main topic. She's supportive but also big on "baby steps" since a lot has happened in the past couple years. Don't be too hard on yourself is a biggie here. What I'm noticing is that overall, I'm a lot happier being alone than I used to be. Like hurtinky, I vote for hobbies. I've taken up soap making and knitting. And I'm volunteering at the local cat shelter so that I don't adopt anymore cats myself

I think you're already doing good things to conquer your loneliness. That whole damn "Time" thing is a key here, unfortunately.


ladies_first posted 4/8/2013 20:26 PM

when I do feel kind of lonely, it's when I'm doing a passive, rather than an active, hobby.

I find loneliness has nothing to do with what I'm doing, or not doing, and everything to do with what I'm THINKING. And negative thinking is easier with passive activities.

Have you ever read "Inside-out healing : transforming your life through the power of presence" by Richard Moss?

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