Young People Can Be Lonely Too

Often when thinking about loneliness, people think about the elderly. There are schemes set up to support elderly people so that they do not have to be on their own all of the time. People have an awareness and understanding that elderly people are vulnerable to loneliness and will therefore call in for a cup of tea and so on. I remember as a child, my Great Gran lived alone and everybody knew she was lonely and so we would call in and take her out for lunch or bring fish and chips to her house. My extended family would always make sure that she had somewhere to go on Christmas day but on top of the support from family and friends she was part of a social group that would go to bingo or have dinners and so on.

I don’t feel that it is always recognised that young people can be, and are, lonely too. I am 22 years old and I often spend all day, every day on my own. The reason being mental illness.

The loneliness is crushing, painful. It makes me feel as though I’m nothing. Worthless. I am just an existence in a house that nobody knows about. There are times when I don’t notice the loneliness quite so much, maybe I spent the day listening to music or reading or I saw someone from my mental health team and it helped me to feel less alone but there are other days when it’s overwhelming.

I have an older sister who will often go for coffee or to Cardiff with her friends, she might go on a night out or go to a restaurant for someones’ birthday. Those are the times when the loneliness hits me. I let all these opportunities and events pass me by. I can’t go to see my favourite band in concert because I have nobody to go with. There are place I want to go, things I want to do and see but I can’t because I don’t want to go there on my own.

This year I went to a fireworks display for the first time in a years. I went with my Dad because I don’t have any friends my own age that live nearby. It was such a good display, everyone had glow sticks and they were playing songs with a beat and people were dancing in the dark, waving their glow sticks in the air and I was just stood there wishing that I had friends. I wanted to dance, I wanted to have fun but I couldn’t do that on my own.

I haven’t had an invite to a New Year’s party for the past 4 years. The past 4 years I have counted in the New Year alone or I’ve gone to bed and pretended to be asleep whilst silently crying to the sound of the fireworks going off. It always makes me feel so unimportant, so worthless that nobody thought of me, nobody wanted to count the New Year in with me. I absolutely dread that night, it is the worst night for loneliness by far.

I often make a joke at Christmas time that I love having no friends because it’s so cheap. It is only a joke though. How much I wish I could go to a Christmas party or take part in Secret Santa. I would love that. I love celebrating with my parents don’t get me wrong but I am 22 and I would love to do something more age appropriate.

I think it is important to remember that anybody can be lonely. The elderly man that gets on the bus each morning can be lonely but so can the young girl with perfectly straightened hair and fair isle leggings and the young man who always wears his headphones around his neck. This year at Christmas remember that people from all walks of life can be alone, but especially think about those around you that suffer with mental illness and have very few friends. Why not pop in for a cup of tea or invite them to your Christmas party? Lets conquer loneliness.

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4 thoughts on “Young People Can Be Lonely Too

  1. Reblogged this on I place a hand on the body of the organism. It breathes beneath my fingertips. It has an invisible boundary, unreal in every way. A tissue width cage so transparent it might burn in the dawn. My palm lifts from it and my fingertips balance like ballet dancers with the quickest of talents. The beast’s eyes are all shut. The curtains pulled over, blinds set in place. It sleeps so soundly it won’t notice a thing. My prodding steps do little to stir it. It takes in air expanding against them. I push with some effort and the paint flexes concaving with the pressure. More than the way I imagined so many times before. Finally it splits, at each finger, my digits burst into the coarse stone sand below. The sand yields quite easily and falls past my wrists in a glitter down to the floor. I miss the beams expertly arranged to create the true wall. Its essence and honest stability and I’ve slipped past them. I reach further into an airless void uncertain of what’s next. A thin layer of wood. It turns to matchsticks with my touch and breaks easily by my elbowed pressure. Past the wooden façade I feel the brick, hard and rough and singular. I push and nothing. I bring all my fingers into a cone. I transform them into a fist. I pound the new earth baked by human hands and cured into blocks for transport. There’d be a solid wall here if not for that. Four solid layers that would reach up the single story apartment wall if it were allowed, but it’s not. It’s joint is its weakness. A glue that is never unbreakable. I feel for it and dig at it and it tears my nails and rips them clean off. My fist is now tighter without their self inflicting danger. I aim for only one and it frees. Its mortar cracks loose creating a small hole and I am free once again. I am not alone. I am not alone. I know HOW TO BE ALONE.

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  2. I struggle to think of a post which I’ve related to more – this could literally have come straight out of my mouth! I’m 19 and due to IP admissions am not at uni or in a job. Most of my friends have naturally moved away with uni etc. It means I have no social life and because I live in a fairly small town there is nothing for anyone my age. I don’t know what to do or where to go and literally have no social life. I can relate so much to that all encompassing loneliness and just hope you can find something helpful soon
    x

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  3. I can totally relate to your post. I’m 26 and have been extremely involved in my work for the past 3 years, neglecting the friends I once had (my own fault). Now I’ve been diagnosed with a mental health problem, and been forced to take time away from work I’m really realising how lonely I’ve been and that I’ve been throwing myself into my work and making excuses to avoid the realisation that I’m lonely. Sitting at home alone all day, every day, is awful. And worse, I feel I can’t go and do things because I’m off work ‘sick’ so shouldn’t be out doing things that stop me feeling lonely. It’s a never ending cycle. Perhaps we need to start similar clubs that older people have, but for younger people who also don’t have strong social networks?

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