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A Blog on Loneliness
Posted by Rosiebrownfightingstigma
23rd Feb 2014

Sylvia Plath has a magic way with words. She said:

"I talk to myself and look at the dark trees, blessedly neutral. So much easier than facing people, than having to look happy, invulnerable, clever.”

It captures exactly how I feel. Sometimes it is easier to just be my own company, rather than face people and talk to them about how I am feeling. Me + loneliness might be a pretty difficult equation for some people to understand. This is because I am not physically lonely or isolated. I am studying for an MA on a very intense course, where I have to be in college at least 9am-6pm every day (Mon-Fri). I am thus surrounded by people almost all the time. I then go home, where I live with 3 lovely people from my course. I am therefore, according to logic, anything but lonely. However lonely for me means something different.

I feel isolated and lonely in my struggles with a mental illness. I discussed this today with my therapist and for the first time I am starting to understand why I feel this way. (1) There’s the simple fact that it is very difficult for those who don’t suffer from a mental health condition to understand/ empathise with how you are feeling. Sympathise they may do. But empathy and true understanding can only come, I believe, with experience, or some very intense/ very good training!

You can help people understand by explaining to them how you feel. This is where I fall short. (2) I find it very difficult to talk face to face with people about how I am feeling. I come across fairly eloquently on my blog. But believe me, having a face to face conversation about my mental health causes me to come across embarrassed, insecure and awkward.This is where loneliness kicks in.

Because I have been let down in the past by people, I think I am scared of letting anyone new in. I push people away. I even push older friends and family away. If someone isn’t close to me emotionally then they can’t let me down. Unfortunately I have ended up pushing almost everybody away. I am lonely because I can’t let anyone get near me. I think I am scared that they won’t understand. And these fears are somewhat founded in truth. On the whole people haven’t been able to understand my illness. In the past this has led to break-ups, arguments, bullying etc. I suppose I am just scared of similar reactions.

I am driven to believe that if I cannot help myself then obviously nobody else is going to be able to help me. I shut myself off from exterior interference, sure that if I could just have a moments peace with myself that I would be able to sort out what is going on in my head. This hasn’t happened so far. In fact being alone has seemingly only served to worsen my problems.

I think at the moment I am resenting the fact that I have made myself emotionally distant and unavailable to my friends. I have imposed this loneliness on myself in some respects. A lot of the problem is that I don’t believe I can get better and therefore I resent people who try to help me. I’d rather be alone with my problems.

Writing this blog for SANE has taught me that it is so important to share your experiences. I think a lot of the time, because of embarrassment and fear, I don’t let people in. I need to conquer these fears. But I believe this battle would be made a lot easier if there was a better understanding of Mental Health in the community. So here I am. Blogging. Trying to educate… and providing myself we a form of self-therapy/help!

The thing to take from this blog is that even if someone isn’t physically isolated/ alone they may still be feeling very lonely. Just sending a text to someone may help alleviate these feelings, albeit for a short period of time (see the timetochange/ timetotalk campaign).

Thanks for reading.
I hope to write more blogs for SANE as it's such a fantastic charity.

I blog regularly on my own blog: http://www.rosiebrownfightingstigma.wordpress.com and on my twitter @fighting_stigma.

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