More than one in ten people suffer from chronic loneliness… Our cultures do little to recognise this alarmingly growing trend. In fact, chronic loneliness can become a disease that eats into the soul causing depression and deep psychological change. The chronically lonely person asks, “What’s wrong with me?” Why don’t I fit in? Why am I the odd one out?” We don’t talk about feeling lonely, as responses might vary from…”Join a club,” “change your attitude,” “you’re imagining things,” “it’s your fault,” “think positive.” Comments and attitudes such as these accentuate feelings of loneliness and isolation. The busy, socially successful person cannot possibly understand the feeling of being insanely lonely…why should they? There are many different kinds of loneliness: the loneliness of the elderly whose friends have passed, whose families now find them surplus to requirement, a burden, inconvenient, useless. There is the loneliness of the young – eager to belong, establish self-worth, establish an identity, relate, self-determine, join in, but find themselves marginalised, not quite fitting in, not quite able to crack the right joke, say the right thing, wear the right clothes, be one of the in-crowd. There is the loneliness of those abandoned by the loss or death of a loved one…suddenly vulnerable, forced to begin anew, shifted from the comfort of knowing and loving someone to being surrounded by strangers again. There is the loneliness of those seeking a mate, a home, a sense of belonging whose brilliant achievements are as dry desert dust, as there is no one to share them with. There is the loneliness of the talented, desperate to share soul in a world where it is undervalued. There is spiritual loneliness… All forms of loneliness have stigma attached: Something is wrong with you… one of life’s rejected failures. In my past work as a psychotherapist, I have met those suffering all manner of loneliness. In my current work as a writer, poet and musician, it is my task to voice the unexpressed, to speak for the marginalised, the misunderstood, to promote unique voices that might otherwise never be heard. I sent out a call across Facebook, announcing that I wanted to do an anthology on All The Lonely People…poems, art, prose focussing on the subject of loneliness. The response was overwhelming. Contained in the pages of our new Plum Tree Books anthology are the outpourings of those few willing to speak up for the many, in the hope of giving it voice. Thank you to all the contributing authors, artists and photographers. You have come from all over the world. This is one of the beauties of social networking. It is possible to reach beyond social stigma and deeply touch other lives, forge amazing friendships and express the beauty inherent in having soul.Check out this beautiful anthology HereI will be featuring some of the poems and pieces featured o this anthology. Join in with our blog…
Beautiful and moving poetry. A “must see”.
Check it out: “Destiny” Haiku #29.
We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves. Henry Ward Beecher
I remember when we were all younger and wish I had those times back again.
Do me a favor, and in the next year reach out to someone who is alone. Bring the mail in for your elderly neighbor or make them cookies once a month or books. Watch a movie with someone who is shut in. Call and check in to an old friend. Offer to help and mean it. Even taking someone to the store, the grocery store or Target means a lot. Those simple acts and everyday things we take for granted are sometimes a BIG deal for someone who is alone. I know it isn’t always easy, but that unease will turn to comfort and joy.