Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Loneliness - Causes - Effects - What to do about it?????

Apropos of nothing in particular, simply because it is a part of many peoples' lives, it occurs to me that not enough consideration is given to this terribly important facet of existence.

It is perfectly possible to be lonely in a crowd, in a close relationship, in a family and indeed anywhere. Sadly life doesn't come with any guarantees  that a particular life style, life choice will produce a given result and for most of us, trial and error are the means by which we arrive at our solution.

For some people the idea of actively putting themselves in a public arena and "confessing" to the awful "shame" of needing people to communicate with, socialise with, form group or individual liaisons with, is just completely impossible.  For others, it is all too easy to loudly proclaim how desperate they are for company at virtually any price.  Yet others, attempt to sidle into existing groups, as it were, unobtrusively.

If the lonely individual is young it is perhaps not so difficult to form new friendships since most group activities cater almost exclusively for that sector, but as one ages, it becomes increasingly difficult to break into ready-formed "clubs" and a common experience is that the newcomer is made to feel like an intruder.

The lucky few people who have never experienced real loneliness are I think a totally different breed from those who live with the condition (curse), on a day-to-day basis.

Marriage break-ups, huge irreparable differences of opinion, bereavement, depression with its side-effects all can cause intense loneliness in even the best-balanced of people.  How to cope with it and if possible at least alleviate its effects is quite another matter.

If you are in the enviable position of having a thriving active community nearby, it will be less of a strain to make at least a few aquaintances, some of whom may in time become good friends.  If not, it will be necessary to seek out a group of people who share some of your own tastes, interests.

Some people, myself included, have had to totally reinvent themselves and start again from scratch, not easy but quite rewarding if enough effort is put into the process.

Each and everyone of us has at least one skill, gift, personal trait which is worth developing and can slowly lead to new options, ways of passing the days (if, alas, not the nights) and it should be possible to beat the grey cloud of depression - at least some of the time- and begin to find ways of making life worth the effort.

A long, pretty grim sounding diatribe I know, but some things are better aired than left to smoulder.
If you disagree please feel free to say so.  Or indeed to agree !

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Insomnia 111

Yet again faced with the dubious blessing of a sleepless night, having somehow lost the ability to relax, it seemed pointless to lie with a whirling mind and restless limbs with the keyboard beckoning.

The rain lashing at the windows and early (very early) traffic on the distant A41, are the only sounds.  Somehow having the world to myself is not as thrilling a prospect as it might seem.

Strange isn't it how one's perception of peace shifts according to the quality of  what is on offer.  My own company used to be quite adequate when it was seldom available, whereas now that it is all there is, almost any alternative appears preferable!

Perhaps it is just part of the human condition to always want what is not 'on the menu' and to despise what is.

I wonder if maybe I could start an insomniac's nocturnal dialogue club and if I did, would my lonely night-time cyber conversations start a trend, or would it lure all the creepiest night-owls out from their hiding places blinking at the unaccustomed intrusion into their dark surroundings.

Where on earth did that come from?  The lack of sleep (three night's in a row) is clearly beginning to leave its mark on my fragile psyche.  Time to stop before they come to get me.....

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Last Butterfly - Swansong

Today is warm sunny and beautiful as only a rare few October days can be.  Attempting to save the shreds of  my once-lovely garden from brambles, elder, and other unwelcome invaders (I have the national collection of weeds)!, I saw not one or two, but six red admiral butterflies on what remains of the yellow blooms of my buddlea.

It is not the first time I've noticed that the imminent approach of Winter offers a final glimpse of  the best-loved visitors of Summer.

Do they know I wonder, that their days are numbered?  Is it a last peacock-like show of glorious colour before the inevitable happens?

Beauty, whether in nature or in human form is a transient, fleeting thing and those few people lucky enough to be blessed with it, are no more able to hang on to it than is any other living creature.  So how should we respond to it?

My own attitude is to accord it admiration, respect for its uniqueness, but no more than that, since, sadly we are all as we are and only God has the ability to turn an "ugly duckling" into a swan.  Therefore, make the most of what we have, enjoy each other's special attributes and as we age, try to avoid mirrors!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Soggy Doggy Bloggy

As it is the heart's desire of my neighbour/friend/life-support system (let's call her K), that i do a dog-blog here goes. 

At the most inopportune moments, like when I've just got in from a tiring or traumatic couple of hours surrounded by people whose grasp on life is even more tenuous than mine, just as I sit down with my feet up there is a ring at the doorbell and there is K, large as life, ten times noisier than the rest of the world and ten times more welcome.  "Do you feel like walking Ziggy with me, I won't be out long  and he needs some exercise Bless him"?

The last thing I need is exercise, what I want most in all the world is my feet up and a coffee, or better still a large glass of red wine, but what i say is "yes I'd love to, hang on while I get my coat", and as i say it, suddenly it's true.

As I said to her the other evening there is something tremendously therapeutic about going for a walk in the rain, with a completely bonkers young collie (to say nothing of his owner), whose idea of fun is to get you to lob his ball as far as you can so that he can either completely ignore it and hare off in the opposite direction then sit laughing with his tongue dangling while you retrieve the ball and try again, or dive into the filthy brook and run lovingly back as fast as he can so you can have the full benefit of a 'doggy shower'.

So far he has contrived to drop at least half a dozen balls right down in the reeds at the bottom of the water so there is no hope of ever getting back while he makes sad little whining "why don't you jump in and get it for me, you would if you loved me" noises.

When he finally accepts that he has donated yet another ball to the river gods he decides what he really wants is a paddle, so five minutes later back he comes at full gallop to give us yet another mud bath.

If all this sounds less than heaven then I have completely failed to do justice to two wonderful friends, one with two legs and one with four.  May they never lose their enthusiasm for long soggy strolls nor their willingness to share it with me.