I have no one to talk to, and I’m alone
With only one month to go until Christmas Day I’ve been thinking about all those people who will be lonely over this Festive Season.
In England this Christmas, one in five adults will be spending the day alone. And the Salvation Army say that almost a million elderly people, aged 65 and over, will be alone on Christmas Day, and most of them will be very lonely. Tradition and Hollywood both say that Christmas is a special time to spend with friends and family, and yet millions of people don’t even plan to leave their homes at Christmas.
If you are a mature adult the chances are that you have spent at least one holiday season by yourself. There are many possible reasons for this, you may live far away from family and old friends, you could have been divorced, or your relationship might have fallen apart, or you may have lost a loved one, or you may be suffering from your own problems such as alcoholism, drug addiction, severe mental illness….. Or it just might be that you had plans and for some reason they fell apart at the last minute.
This year I will be alone in the garret, and you can tick several of the reasons I’ve just mentioned as to the cause of my solitary Christmas. I wonder how many of you reading this will also be alone over the Festive Season, and how many will be spending it with an aching heart looking back at the mistakes of the past. Life can be viciously unkind, and not everyone we have ever met and loved was going to be worth the tears we shed. How many times do we have to say that we’re sorry for the things we have done or not done before we are forgiven? And when will we ever learn?
Not all need be doom and gloom if you are going to be alone at Christmas with nobody to talk to and nobody to even care. There are some positive things you can do;
- Don’t get drunk or high or take to much mood-altering medication.
- Don’t spend Christmas day unwashed, unshaven / not made up, with your hair uncombed, in dirty clothes or your night attire.
- Don’t stay in bed all day feeling unutterably melancholy or depressed.
- At least go out and take a short walk to some place that has special meaning for you.
- Make use of the empty streets to take some different photographs.
- Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself some positive self-talk.
- Trust yourself, even if nobody else does, things will get better, nothing stays melancholy and depressing forever.
- Contemplate the past, the present, and all possible futures while listening to some inspiring music.
- Cook yourself a special meal and be thankful that you are safe, warm, and eating well.
- Reach out to those you would have truly liked to be spending Christmas with.
- Clean up the administrative dross from this year, and make positive plans for the future.
Some say that Christmas Day is just another day. And that it’s not being alone that makes you lonely, it’s that nobody even cares. All I know is that I intend to make the very best of being on my own at Christmas.
Living alone is perhaps the ultimate expression of the alternative lifestyle, yet so many people now live a solitary existence in their home. Perhaps I have taken it a little far with my Rule # 2 Nobody Is Allowed Into The Garret. (The garret is what I call my small loft apartment.) Literally this means I never have house guests, dinner guests, lunch guests, random visitors, or girls I want to sleep with, in my place. My place is my space and I don’t want another person in my space.
There are upsides to this very solitary lifestyle. For example; nobody leaves their junk around, everything is tidy and clean, the garret is exactly the way I want it, I can do whatever I want when I want, and I never have to ask anyone if they’re happy with what I am doing or how I am doing it. If I need to paint the whole place black, then I will. As it happens the garret is completely decorated and furnished in white and natural wood.
You know, one of my fears about living alone so long is that you get used to doing everything your own way. ~ Terry McMillan
There are some downsides to my isolated and remote life. For example being seen as antisocial and reclusive, which I am anyhow. Other potential downsides include being; lonely, friendless, introverted, withdrawn, introspective, unsociable, and being literally without help in times of crisis.
Some people who live alone can develop some quite nasty habits, for example; never washing or changing their clothes, never cleaning the place, not eating properly, keeping strange hours, drinking too much, smoking too much, taking drugs, watching too much pornography, spending all of their time on-line… In fact, living alone can be dangerous for your health.
I have been guilty of some of these undesirable habits from time to time ~ particularly drinking too much and keeping strange hours.
Perhaps the most common characteristic of someone who lives alone is that we become far too reflective and thoughtful, too introspective, too philosophical and meditative, too broody and serious, too melancholy and solemn, and too set in our ways. This can lead to some serious mental health problems such as melancholic depression ~ luckily for me it’s mostly women who suffer from this treatment resistant disorder. My personal disorders are that I suffer from obsessive thinking ~ which I have always had, but then I have mostly always lived and worked alone.
Hungry people are always thinking about food; poor people are always thinking about wealth. Obsessive thinking can kill your dreams. ~ Stephen Richards
The ‘cure’ for living alone but not falling into these traps is to have an active life outside of your home. However, as I have discovered to my cost, taking the solitary lifestyle mindset outside the sanctuary of your own home can get you into serious trouble. What gets you into more trouble is if you flip from being solitary and introspective at home, into being extrovert and available outside of the home.