“So this is how it feels to be lonely, this is how it feels to be small” ~ The Inspiral Carpets

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Lonely (adj): isolated, unhappy at being alone, rarely visited


Of all the human conditions that can be suffered, loneliness is perhaps the one that brings out the most pathos.  It’s something that everyone has experienced at some point; a condition or state that is so very much “there but for the grace of God go I”

Every day, calls are put into the Samaritans from people who are lonely; housebound due to disability or age, no family in easy visiting distance or some with no family at all. There may not be any particular tragedy attached to their life, other than people they knew are no longer alive. Which, whilst a natural progression of life, is so poignant as to make one weep.

Advances in technology, the plethora of social media platforms; these things can provide an essential conduit to many. To be able to banter online, to be able to Skype your family in another country, the fact that these things are so easy to do amazes me.

Of course it is not necessary to be physically ‘alone’ to feel lonely.. The lack of likeminded souls in an environment can lead to feelings of isolation. That can happen in your work, with your friends, in your own home. And it can take a brave soul to admit to feeling lonely in that situation. For feeling lonely is seen a shameful thing, to be hidden away and not talked about. ‘How dare you not fit in with us here? What’s wrong with you? We’re all fine.’ Hard, very hard sometimes, to speak against that. It can be much easier to start to believe that there is something wrong with you, to push the loneliness of feeling different, the unease, deep down inside.

I don’t think there’s anything shameful in feeling lonely. I know it feels horrible, I know it feels small, but I wish I could help stop anyone feeling ashamed of it. I joined Twitter because I was lonely. It took a long time for me to be able to admit it. But in admitting it, in letting that deep down unease come out a little, I found that a fair few people felt the same and that in turn helped me to do something about it for myself.

That isn’t an answer for everyone, I know. I say it merely to highlight that when I speak of loneliness I am not coming at from the abstract pondering but from personal experience.

There are over 7 billion people in the world. We are all unique but also we’re not so very different. If you feel lonely, if you feel isolated in your world, then perhaps it’s time to stop thinking it’s something that is wrong with you, stop trying to suppress yourself, and take a peek at the wider world. You never know, you might be the missing piece that helps ease someone else’s loneliness too.




I Can’t Help You, If You Won’t Help Yourself

“I can’t help you, if you won’t help yourself” ~ Amy Winehouse

Or, as defined by my dictionary:

Help Yourself (idiom): To serve or provide onself


I get quite creative in my bath. (Not like that, stop sniggering at the back!). What I mean is some of my best musings, ponderings, major decisions, all come from that time of peace and still in the dark, with music in the background, as thoughts drift through my head. It’s no coincidence that nearly all my blog posts have been composed mentally whilst either in the bath or in the small hours of the night when I can’t sleep.

This afternoon, whilst in the bath, I mused for awhile and topped and tailed a blog post on Strength. (Watch this space.) I then read a few chapters of a book that touched on rejection. This blew the post I had been planning in the last 48 hours on Rejection out of the water, if you’ll pardon the pun.

So then I thought about my weekend. Bar phonecalls and interactions with shop assistants (yes, I am old enough to buy this bottle of wine at the self-service till) I have spent the last couple of days alone. Now this is partly through choice so don’t play the world’s smallest violin at me just yet. I like my own company, I like my own space, I like the freedom to do what I want, when I want. This is often very little but then what of it?

But, just at times, I get lonely. Bone-achingly, crushingly, lonely. I live on my own, I have no friends who live that close (like, popping round for a cuppa in your slippers distance – yes, I did used to have this), and I’m single. I’m happy, I have great friends all over, and I’m sure one day I’ll go on another date or two, just occasionally it all gets me down.

Sometime last year there was an article that said you’re supposed to get 13 hugs a day. It makes you healthy. Or something. A DAY??? I don’t get 13 hugs in a week! The point being, of course, that human beings are sociable creatures and pack animals. We may not always like it or want it, but we do need each other and we do need physical contact. In lieu of a hug, I shall hope one of my cat visitors pops round to say hello later.

Anyway, anyway, whilst pondering all this, turning it into a blog post, then rejecting it on the grounds of being maudlin and “I’m only a poor little leopard” the following lyrics permeated my consciousness from the stereo:

“I can’t help you if you won’t help yourself
I can’t help you if you don’t help yourself
You can only get so much from someone yeah
You can get so much from me
I can’t help you if you won’t help yourself”

Well, you do kinda have to laugh at the timing, don’t you? I duly considered myself told by the universe. I will now enjoy my evening in and look forward to all the socialising I have to come. And, hopefully, a hug or two.

Now please share; do you get lonely? Do you get enough hugs? And is 13 unlucky for some? Answers on a comment box-shaped postcard, as always.