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I just need to say that I exist

(32 Posts)
agoodblue Sun 20-Jan-13 17:42:06

Because I'm not sure who knows that I do, and it's making me feel really sad. I wanted to reach out somewhere and the relationships board seemed a good place to do so, because this issue is about relationships.

I have a disability and at present I'm feeling very forgotten. I live with another woman in a flatshare who is lovely but she's always out. I don't work so don't have work colleagues, no children either. I do have good friends, but I'm not well enough to get out to see them more than every few weeks. And of course, they are really busy with their own lives; their children, their husbands, their jobs so it's not their fault I don't see them more.

I have not seen anyone in 5 days (other the housemate for about an hour one day when we watched some tv). I'm not going to see anyone until next Friday, when I go to volunteer, which I do for 2 wonderful hours a week. And I'm struggling so much with being so lonely. My disability has made me isolated for 10 years because of the nature of it; basically fatigue prevents me from doing all sorts.

I did have a partner, and it was bloody brilliant, knowing each day that someone was going to come home each evening, someone to laugh with. It was a good thing that relationship ended though and I am actually making the effort to go out on dates now (though Christmas wiped me out so I haven't been on one in awhile). I'm joining a couple of new social groups in my city because I do need to get out more. And I have all sorts of hobbies which I pursue in the day, which are not too tiring gentle but really fun. I have a lot of interests, which is lucky.

But I'm still struggling. I love people. I travelled a lot before getting ill, I felt passionate about seeing new places and meeting new people. I'm not suited to sitting in a house by myself day after day, year after year. But I'm not sure what I can do about my situation. I don't have family in the area and I can't move back to them as they live very rurally and my social life would shrink further.

Thank you if you've got this far. I'm not sure what I want from posting here. Support I suppose. Ideas to change my life (is such a thing possible?) And just for one moment not to be forgotten, because right now it feels like other than my parents everyone else has forgotten I'm sitting here, alone.

Sunnywithshowers Sun 20-Jan-13 17:46:47

Hello blue

I don't have any advice, but wanted you to know that you're not being ignored.

What are your hobbies and interests? There are loads of people on here to talk about everything from knitting to celebs to reading. And there are occasional meet ups.

agoodblue Sun 20-Jan-13 17:51:03

I'm not sure if I'd feel ok going to a meet up. I don't have children. I'd feel so out of place! I wouldn't want people to think I'm a bit strange turning up to a meeting for people with children.

I love to write. I love working on embroideries and crocheting. I would love to be a good painter, but, er, let's say I'm an enthusiastic painter. grin I love books. (currently reading Wolf Hall). I'm passionate about trying to live an eco friendly life. I love the countryside. I want to learn French and Arabic one day.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 20-Jan-13 17:52:15

" they are really busy with their own lives;"

This is the assumption to fix. People usually are busy with their own lives but that doesn't mean they don't have time for you. Say nothing and they'll think you're quite happy... busy getting on with your own life. Give them a call and ask them round - even if it's only a DVD and a takeaway - and I'm sure they'd be really happy to hear from you.

"Not drowning, just waving!"

MushroomSoup Sun 20-Jan-13 17:53:40

Ooh I'll be your penpal! Lets write lovely long letters but never actually meet or send photos. Anonymous, real letters, just for the price of a stamp! !

myroomisatip Sun 20-Jan-13 18:05:07

Ahh op. I am at home with two kids, who are young adults, and a STBXH and I feel much the same as you. They all have their lives and friends. What other family members I have are many miles away and my STBXH has knocked my confidence so much I find it very hard to make friends. Often they are all out and when I go to bed at night the house is empty and still empty when I get up in the morning sad

Some days I check my email obsessively, just to hear from someone, just to know that someone thought of me.

I will be reading the replies you get hoping for some inspiration!!!

KatieScarlett2833 Sun 20-Jan-13 18:07:33

Wolf Hall is fab and you still have Bring up the bodies to go, wish Hillary would hurry up with the third one wink

amillionyears Sun 20-Jan-13 18:11:42

Hi, agoodblue, nice to meet you.
I think you will be made to feel very welcome, and a lot less inconspicous, on MN.
Dont think I can personally help much with your practicalities, but MN is full of people who can.

dequoisagitil Sun 20-Jan-13 18:13:03

Sounds like you're doing good things by joining some groups etc.

Maybe gently poke your friends a bit to let them know you're a bit down & lonely.

Can you get out to a coffee shop or library during the day so you can at least people-watch and hopefully meet other regulars?

Get a cat?

susanann Sun 20-Jan-13 18:30:32

Hi Blue sorry to hear youre lonely. Its a horrible way to feel. Could you do more volunteering or does your disability stop you doing more? Im unemployed at the moment so spend a lot of time on my own. Thats why im on here so much! Could you make a start on learning french or arabic? Are there any day centre type places that you could go to?

agoodblue Sun 20-Jan-13 18:51:01

Thanks for all the replies! It means a lot.

I was referred to a day centre a few years ago but found the idea very depressing. And to be totally honest I would have found it exhausting, and I decided I'd rather use my energy going to a social group which didn't have anything to do with disabilities. Which perhaps was silly of me, and maybe I should look into it again.

A cat is a good idea, my housemate is allergic but perhaps when she moves on (which she is thinking of doing soon) I will do that. A pet would be a brilliant companion. I'm a bit scared of being too unwell to get up and feed it, but I'm sure there's a way round that.

I do think it would be good for me to try and sit in a library one day a week, or take up a new course. My fatigue is very crushing and I get scared of taking on new things in case I make myself much worse. But I do have a couple of dates in the diary to get to some groups here over the next month (a knitting group and a social group designed to help you make friends). The place where I volunteer is lovely and they're always asking me to come in more, which of course I'd love to do as we have so much fun, (we drink coffee and eat chocolate with the tiniest bit of work thrown in [grin} ) I'm usually just too tired to do more. 2 hours a week of sitting typing is, according to my stupid body, the equivalent of running a marathon already.

Katie, Hilary Mantel is a god! So talented. Looking forward to getting on to Bringing up the Bodies.

Cogito, I love 'not drowning, just waving!' The idea is not to say 'oh shit I'm lonely come and feel sorry for me and sit with me,' but 'come and have a really fun night over a glass of wine.' I'm terrified of someone hearing the former in my e-mails/texts.

I hope it doesn't seem like I'm rejecting all your ideas too much. They are good ones and I need to make more effort. Just in the last half hour I've got my bum onto and e-mailed a couple of guys and e-mailed one friend and asked her for coffee, so just posting the thread has helped. I just wish I could click my fingers and magic up a boyfriend because I know that would make all the difference in the world. I know too that lots of people out there are struggling with loneliness even if they have partners/children. Loneliness is vile.

susanann Sun 20-Jan-13 19:05:12

Glad posting the thread has helped. We could be text buddies if you like? PM me if youre interested.

Sunnywithshowers Sun 20-Jan-13 19:12:04

Hello again good. A lot of us on MN (including me) are sprogless for various reasons, so you're not unusual. There are some lovely men on here too.

There are various meets, I haven't been able to get to one yet. Some are in the daytime and more 'family' affairs, where others are more geared around chatting and getting pissed. grin

I love writing too, I've read Bringing up the Bodies and I luffs it. There's a big section on here for book lovers, btw, and writing.

ktef Sun 20-Jan-13 19:14:46

Hi blue. Sorry to hear you are feeling lonely. Just thought I'd suggest that you definitely contact your friends and tell them how you feel, particularly the ones with children. I find, now I have children, that its very easy to be very busy, but busy with washing clothes, school runs, lunches, nappies etc. But I can be doing all that and feel really lonely too. I would love it if someone asked me for advice, or asked me for a coffee. But sometimes I think all people see is a busy person with children and don't realise that you can be physically busy but still emotionally alone and unoccupied. Not sure if that makes sense, just trying to say don't be put off talking to your good friends. And keep posting here if you are feeling blue.

agoodblue Sun 20-Jan-13 22:45:54

I can imagine it can be very lonely with children ktef. It is easy for me to idealise family life because I'm so desperate for it but I know that not everyone is blissfully loved up and happy in their relationships or situations. Or even for people who are, I'm sure it can still be a long, lonely day.

Right, I've phoned 2 people tonight to ask them about coffee. One is sorted for a week's time, the other will get back to me as her mum is in hospital. Date sorted for Thursday night (he genuinely seems really interesting and kind). And that's all I can do for tonight. But it's a start. I still feel absolutely crushed by loneliness right now, and really scared I'm not going to stop feeling like this. But I'm glad to have reached out.

dequoisagitil Sun 20-Jan-13 23:07:57

You've done brilliantly, well done grin. At least you've got a couple of things to look forward to.

Is your housemate allergic to all pet-hair or just cats? Guinea pigs are good little pets, they like attention. Fancy rats too, I believe.

kiwigirl42 Sun 20-Jan-13 23:24:59

Its really difficult when you have chronic illness. I have chronic migraine - 5 yrs ago I had a career, friends and fun. now I have none of those but I'm still me under the pain. My main problem is boredom. I have had a really sore head for the past 7 days which is getting me down and I am so bored. Pets help alot I find. I have 3 cats (2 lovely Ragdolls and one Mog), a choc labrador and a bunny. I've been thinking of trying to learn Arabic as well! Message me if you like to chat!

werewolvesdidit Sun 20-Jan-13 23:26:32

Whereabouts do you live agoodblue? (if you don't mind saying).

agoodblue Tue 22-Jan-13 17:27:36

Sorry to go awol. I'm so shattered I'm struggling to do much at all and not coping too well, mostly because of exhaustion.

Dequoi just cats! I should look into guinea pigs but not sure how I'd clean their hutch out. My carer has enough to do already and I couldn't manage.

Kiwi so sorry to hear about your situation. I'm lucky I don't get too bored most of the time because I love my hobbies but sometimes it is a real killer. I love how many pets you have! Will plan on messaging you (and the other kind people who have offered to chat), but forgive me if I don't get round to it at the moment, it'll be because of exhaustion.

Were I'm not sure if I can say, would be so embarrassed if a friend read this and recognised me.

It has been a bad day. I sorted a couple of dates/coffees out and am having to contact people to cancel as too tired. I've been lying here terrified my parents are going to die and no one will remember I'm here or ever ask if I'm ok. As a restult I've contacted a counsellor, my anxiety about this has been out of control for a long time and it just feeds my exhaustion. I don't like living with this level of fear. I just feel very sad and baffled how this is my life when as a child I was so ambitious and hard working and healthy. I never dreamed this would be my life. I'm 30 and I've been in bed for 10 years while everyone else lives their life. sad

KatieScarlett2833 Tue 22-Jan-13 17:40:10

Sometimes in order to destress I put on the audible version of Hillarys books, light a candle and relax. Better than meditation and less strenuous than Yoga wink

susanann Tue 22-Jan-13 17:42:21

Sorry to hear youre so exhausted Blue. Just rest, we will still be here when you feel better. x

examiner99 Tue 22-Jan-13 17:53:59

I can understand why your situation makes you so sad, especially when you look back at the child you. You need to keep busy but that exhausts your body and feeds your sadness - a classic spiral. I really hope the counselling will help you [smiley]. As for everyone, I guess it is a question of taking one day at a time, and plan something to make every day one to look forward to.

fuzzpig Tue 22-Jan-13 18:18:27

Just wanted to say hello, and that I understand.

I have CFS/ME and POTS, just diagnosed last year. I am 26. I feel like a shadow of a person!

I am around people a lot but feel very lonely - that sounds ungrateful as I know I am lucky to have my DH and DCs. My colleagues are lovely, and I know a few local mums, but due to numerous MH issues I don't get close to anyone anymore, even though I really want to!

I am thinking seriously of cutting my hours as work is making me more ill but it's hard to find the balance between physical exhaustion and mental wellbeing isn't it.

I do believe that you go through a kind of grief when you have a disability, you have to say goodbye to the person you wanted to be, who you thought you'd be.

MadBusLady Tue 22-Jan-13 18:47:00

Your last post is quite heart-rending. Agree with what fuzzpig says about a grieving process - I think it's true of all kinds of chronic illness, physical and mental.

On reaching out: I read ages ago about a little experiment. A group of people were asked to make a list of people who they'd be thrilled and happy to receive a call from on a Saturday afternoon asking them if they wanted to go to the cinema that night. Then they were asked to make another list - of people they themselves would feel able to call and ask. The second lists were much shorter! Moral: people are generally much happier to be asked to do stuff than you think.

One other thing, this might be an unsuitable suggestion so please ignore if so, but would whiling away a couple of hours in a cafe whenever you feel up to it be any good? Maybe that's not interactive enough. It would get you outside and mean you could take advantage of any energetic windows you have though.

agoodblue Tue 22-Jan-13 19:27:36

Candle/music/audiobook and a bath sounds great Katie.

Fuzz sorry to hear you have M.E too, that's what I have in addition to other things. You know it's interesting, I think when I got ill I thought 'it'll take me a couple of years to grieve then I'll come to terms with it and live my life' but that isn't true. I grieve in one way or another every day. It never gets easier. I have found a way to live a good, meaningful life in many ways and am grateful for all sorts of things I have. I'm still so priviledged compared to many around the world; I'm well fed, have friends, have a roof over my head and money in my bank account for upcoming bills. But each day it's a feeling of 'how did this happen? How can I reverse this and have all the things I so want (I can't), how on earth can I cope with years more of this lifestyle?' It never gets easier.

A couple of hours in a cafe would be good. There's one a 5 min drive away. When the snow clears I shall try and go. Last time I went there the waitress kept calling me darling and I almost burst into tears at someone being kind. But will take waterproof mascara and hankies next time. wink

I am feeling positive about the counselling. I have been saying I'll go for years and put it off because of the cost, but it's important.

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