Being lonely

The results of the health report I completed on Health Unlocked made this suggestion:

"63% of other users in Weight Loss NHS identified feeling lonely as an area of concern. Why not talk to them about it".

So I thought I would. I feel lonely because I've not been working for a year, so see few people. I've just started part-time work again this week so things may change, but it's been just me and the dog for most of the day for months. It's not just that there aren't people around, it's also that I've not made much of an effort recently to see friends. I have gained weight and have become quite isolated. I've let friends go on purpose, and I'm going to be completely honest about the reasons for this.

Perhaps as there are 63% of you saying you're lonely too, there'll be one or two of you who may be able to identify with some of what I'm about to say.

A few years ago I began to question a lot of things about myself, and to be quite critical of past mistakes I felt I'd made. I became really caught-up in these feelings of self-doubt. You could call it a 'mid-life crisis' and it probably was, but in my case, some other factors happened around then that made things worse and I became more lonely as a result.

The menopause can be a dreadful time of: self-doubt, hot-flushes, weight-gain, losing confidence in ones looks; losing the ability to do and enjoy things; losing sleep - I only slept for about 3 hours a night and had all of the above. I was also going through intense period of overwork as a teacher, completing many hours of unpaid overtime, and I begun to be very worn-out and was anxious all the time. Then, I witnessed a serious crime on holiday abroad. I spent an hour trying to help the victim who was eventually taken away in an ambulance and I don't know if he survived or not.

This incident left me very shaken, and when I returned to work after the summer break, I was not at all rested and my insomnia had got much worse. I begun to have panic attacks in the car and felt totally and utterly overwhelmed in all areas of my life. I felt I was letting everyone down which became worse when I was signed-off work by my GP. I was diagnosed with depression and PTSD and got the help I needed. I was also offered meds which helped me to sleep for the first time in many months.

Then around this time, our teenage daughter developed an eating disorder and so we as a family went through many more months of treatment with her. It has been a very difficult time. Luckily our daughter's well now, and thankfully and I managed to keep well myself during her recovery.

The very sad thing is that some good friends drifted away when I mentioned the panic attacks and taking time off work for mental-health issues. A few other friends with teenagers also drifted away due to my daughter's illness. So, I focussed on the friends who stuck around when the going got tough. it says on Facebook that I have over 130 friends, but I know I have about 4 really good friends. One of those is my husband who's put up with a hell of lot from the women in his life and has been fantastic The people I am chose to now share a wicked sense of humour and we're been able to laugh at the madness that is 'The Change', as we go through it.

I'm 50 now and those years of worry and self-doubt I hope are behind me. It's been a very lonely time, but I'm hoping my own recovery and that of my daughter, remains a source of strength. I treasure the friends I have who are truly precious to me. I have a new job which will 'keep me off the streets' and give me back a sense of belonging. I can tackle the steady weight-gain made during this black time in my life. I know things are looking up because I don't dwell on the past in the way that I did; I'm much kinder to myself now. It is in this spirit that I feel able to tackle the final obstacle to feeling better about myself and it makes saying 'no' to cakes and crisps a little easier too.


Featured Content

Join the NHS Weight Loss Plan

Join over 40,000 others on our 12-week diet and exercise plan. Keep motivated to develop healthier eating habits & get more active.

Get Started!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

16 Replies

  • Hi! I am just digesting your post... thanks for sharing. I have felt lonely at times too - sometimes I can be lonely even when with other people. I hope you find the forum useful for company. Did you give up teaching? I am a teacher too and it is hard. 🌷

  • Sorry for the delay. Yes I mostly gave up teaching apart from a 1-to-1 session I teach at at centre locally. I still feel so bad that I took 6 weeks off last year- paid, my colleagues were not able to be sympathetic, I must have put them under tremendous strain. I do find it hard to forgive myself for this. I want to win the lottery so I can pay it all back.

  • This will ring true to so many on this forum

    that was a well written piece

    Well done on getting back to work

    I wish you loads of luck on tackling your weight gain I know exactly how you feel as a hormonally 50 something lady too


  • Dear Domblina

    I am so glad that you feel you have turned the corner now and are looking positively to the future . I think we all go through times in our lives as you describe and the important thing to remember is nothing lasts forever

    I think the truth is people have many acquaintances but only a few real friends. You are very lucky to be able to count 4. But you are most lucky to have a supportive husband and a good relationship with your daughter.

    Now is your time and you will find it so helpful to talk to people who also struggle with their weight. There are so many reasons that people overeat and gradually find themselves trapped inside a body that they don't want. Together we can do something about that and you will find as time goes on and the weight drops off you we feel better and better,

    So every good wish for your success on your weight loss journey

  • Omg you have been through the Mills! Be proud of you self for getting through the bleak period of your life. The saying is you are never given more than you can manage (although life can be tough and things can look really bleak you do get through them). People come into your life at times you need them and sometimes they leave🙈 (it is what it is) your true friends are the ones you count on one hand (they've been with you through thick and thin, seem you drunk as a skunk, laughed with you and cried with you) 1 in 4 of us will suffer some form of mental health...sleep deprivation alone can bring on mild depression! you can be lonely but you are never truly alone. It sounds like you have an amazing hubby....remember you can't change the past or see into the future but you can live each day as it comes. I wish you all the best on your journey ☺

  • Hi Domblina, I agree with all that has been said by everyone who has already replied to you. Welcome to this wonderful forum where already you can see the support, empathy and kindness here. You will never feel alone on here. Wishing you well on your journey.😊❤

  • Thank you for sharing. I have suffered with some mental health issues also which has left no friends or family for me. I have a husband but he's gone for many months at a time so I am very lonely. I find friendship and support here helps. I hope you find some peace and sleep. Good luck to you.

  • Hi Domblina

    You have been through tough times and witnessed things that shouldn't happen in "a civilized world" and supported your daughter when she showed she needed help by her change in eating habits.. Well done for recognising her needs and supporting her. So glad your hubby is the rock you need and depend on.. a good man.

    Glad youve joined us here and planning to regain a healthy weight and life.. Continue to support and encourage your daughter and we will be here for you...

    cheering you on 🎉🎉🎉

  • Domblina I am so glad you felt that you could share so openly on our wonderful forum. Loneliness is indeed an issue for many people and you certainly don't have to be alone to feel lonely.

    You obviously have a very lovely husband which is fantastic news, for both you and your daughter. Family is so important but it is so easy to feel lonely even in the midst of a lovely family.

    I am sure there will be many people on the forum who will relate to lots of what you have said. I have never been a socialite but certainly I am happier going out, whether that be really out, or just to work, since I have lost some of my weight. I deliver training quite often and standing in front of 100 or so people can be a very lonely experience, especially if you are not really happy in your own skin.

    I am so glad that your spirit is coming to your assistance and you are able to tell yourself you deserve not to have the cake and the crisps rather than telling yourself you deserve them. I have found that simple twist in my thinking has really helped me.

    Keep on keeping on, getting stronger, fitter, healthier and slimmer - what's not to like? The wonderful folks on the forum will be certain to support you.

  • So glad you feel so much happier and have that wonderful support system of family and friends to help.💐

  • Hi Domblina,

    Thank you for your bravery and honesty. You write eloquently about the tough times and I know that many people will identify with what you have shared and may feel less alone as a result.

    I wish you all the very best!

  • ❤️

  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings, it sounds as though you've come through much stronger, I hope life continues to improve for you and your family. I so identify with finding out who your real friends are when things get tough.

    Best wishes to you.

  • Well done on your brave and honest post.. You've come through so much and you stayed the course. One thing at a time. Glad you can now concentrate more on yourself 😊

  • Thank you for your fab comments. It's very good to know you're all here.

  • What a great post ,my old boss used to say to me count your true friends on one hand .

    I don't have many true friends ,I have work colleagues and neighbours .

    You see your true friends when you are dealing with something and you need support with .

    People are sometimes ignorent or have a lack of knowledge about what you are going through,therefore they don't know what to say or do.

    Good luck with your positiveness.dont beat yourself up.

    Take care .


You may also like...