I am so p****d off I can barely breathe. I live in Lancashire amongst some of the most disagreeable people I have ever had the misfortune to meet. On either side are two b***hes of women who have taken umbridge over what can only be the smallest of irritations since we are careful to be good neighbours; behind is an old b****d who is half demented and smashed down a climbing plant I had planted because it was on his trellis, and we had to build a separate trellis on a common boundary - 6 inches in from his. Next door but one have god knows how many children who are permitted to scream - and I mean SCREAM, all day, every day, from morning to noon to nighttime when the weather is not raining and they play in the garden. Diagonally opposite is a man who owns little dogs that cannot bark, but squeal very very loudly. One time I had to go round at 5 in the morning and bang on his door - for a long time, since he knew what the problem might be, and get him to shut it the whatsit up. Which was the point from which his neighbour, the old b*****d behind me, started to be an old b******d.

There are hardly any groups here that I wish to join. I tried the writing group but was astonished to find that the attendees were barely literate. Tried a couple of other groups but found that either they were not really for me or that I was not particularly welcomed. For example, at the sewing group I was one of eight, and the brain fog did not endear me to the 'teacher', who gave me five minutes of her time to the twenty she gave to others explaining the intricacies of hidden zips, wonky seams and iron-on backing. I know - I timed it to make sure I wasn't being paranoid. And I guess that girly teachers in size 12 don't really want to show old heifers (as I am sure she viewed me) how to make dresses.

I guess I have the wrong accent or use words that were "too big" (an accusation that was leveled at me at a Lancashire university - on a post graduate course) or I think too much (another old one) or what? I'm too fat? Too old? Too clever? Too posh? Whatever it is, I am distinctly not liked.

Why I might be not liked, or even disliked, is something I have thought about, worked on, tried to analyse. But I was liked in Scotland, where I lived for several years and had many friends from every stratum of society, from ex-Barlinnie inmates to wealthy and successful business people and professionals. I liked them and they liked me. But the sad, the really sad thing is, now I am becoming someone I don't want to be around. It's taken nearly ten years trapped in this hateful small-minded little place, but here I am, sad, lonely, and angry.

Some of the Scots I knew had a saying they'd use wryly. "Life is sh** and then you die." I used to wryly laugh at it.

78 Replies

Schenks calm down nerves are only makes your thyroid worse. I know what you feel. Feel quite the same. From energetic, fast learning and active person I became a fat, 'lazy' pig with no energy. I live in a place which Is not my homeland. Far away from friends and family. As I have brain fog it really hard to learn another language. I feel people looks at my like I have been alien. Laugh when pronounce something wrong. But I am working hard, harder as my body letting me. Trying my best. What can I do. People are different. So cheer up Schenks. We have a bad and worse days :-)

I like you already on the basis that you've used the word stratum correctly. :-)


Would you believe the other night I went to an evening talk with Owen Jones and in front of a packed auditorium I actually said, "...across every strata of society..."


To be fair (sorry op this is so dreadfully off-topic) strata is the word most people will be the most familiar with, and I must admit I'd feel a terrible pedant if I corrected 'forums' or 'auditoriums' to 'fora' and 'auditoria'. (Even though I want to.) (I mean, I know I am a terrible pedant, but I try to keep it under my hat.)

I feel smug with it snug under mine!

I know this is really hard when you're unwell, but try and stop navel gazing. The people who are annoying you have their own problems/illnesses/hardships etc that you know nothing about and vice versa. If I start to analyse myself or the people that really pee me off, I downward spiral quite quickly and everything then is compounded.

Let them get on with whatever they're getting on with and try to find something that brings you a little joy and a break.

If some people don't like you, so what? It's their loss. Do you like everyone? I know I don't and that's okay.

Hugs to you, H x

Thanks for the reply and the hugs. I don't thin I made it clear. I see no-one, day to day, other than my husband and the postie. No-one. Unless I go shopping, and that is limited owing to the limited supply of energy. My point which I failed to make, is my absolute isolation. I have no other family and absolutely no friends. This having been unable to make friends is what is crippling me emotionally, and the 'navel-gazing' (I prefer introspection) is part of "what the hell is the problem and what the hell can I do about this?" I've come to the conclusion it ain't all me.

Believe me, I don't give a f f fig about the neighbours - if they want to be pig ignorant sh***s that's their problem. Mine is the isolation. This area of Lancashire seems particularly limited for meeting intelligent, thinking people whose aims in their existence extend beyond ironed hair, fake tans, those awful thick, white-tipped nails and puffed-up, rippling muscles, shaved heads, shell suits and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. And that's just the women!

Seriously, this isn't a problem of depression causing isolation, but the reverse, and I'm at a loss how to change it.

I understand you Schenks I am working only 4 days have 3 days off. On that days I am alone have nobody to see, to talk with. I feel so lonely... My fiancée working different days so we see only in the evenings on my days off and his days off. It is really depressing when you have nobody to talk with to go even for a walk.

But anyway take care. Maybe there is somebody in your neighborhood with the same situation. Maybe on this forum?

I hope some of the replies to me here can help you too agataka. And your suggestion is a good one, thank you.

How about starting a local thyroid support group, to make friends and do knitting or whatever craft wise but meeting up at a local cafe, advertising on here and locally and see what happens at least you,d have something in common, and might meet others with more greymatter and less tango tan and only way is Essex fashion sense lol.

No, I get it. You're an alien, a fish out of water but you've dismissed and judged everyone around you. They dress differently, they're ignorant, they dismiss you... I'm not just talking about immediate neighbours but people who are in the local groups (probably trying their best to better themselves).

Do you have the energy or inclination to give the groups another chance?

I dismiss the lifestyles people most locally HA because I've tried and tried. I do know people are trying to do their best, but I have experienced their best in the few groups I've tried and their best aspirations I find to be hollow. It's the aspirations I judge. I don't judge everyone around me other than for these differences and I think it'd a fair distinction to make and therefore a valid assessment for a match. Each individual has a story, I get that, but I just don't share the values of status-driven, unthinking and basically self-absorbed individuals who are by and large disagreeable, pugnacious and selfish - and ignorant and unthinking. And that's what I've found here, quite unfailingly. I don't have any inclination to give the groups I've been to another chance - why bother? I'm having to widen the net, but within the constraints of ME/CFS, it's difficult.

Some of us have formed a really nice little group where we live - we'd never met before. We don't even know if we share lots of similarities or differences because we just got on so well from the outset: our common bond is hypothyroidism and KNOWING how it can feel at times. No formality within the group, just meet in a pub and discuss whatever... enjoying ourselves. Maybe think about looking along the top bar [drop down menu where your name is] and check out 'people near me'... get in touch with some of those people. Not everyone is everyone's cup of tea but you'll never know until you try. Best of Schenks :-)

Thanks, Linda, I'm going to do just that.

It really is worth a try... we're the only ones who understand one another. Take care and be well :-)

Hi schenks

Would you not try voluntary work ie. Mabe homeless I am hoping to start this as soon as I feel well I've been in bed from Xmas with flu then slipped disc . Anyhow I want to hand out tea blankets etc to the poor people who are less fortunate than me to have no home . It might also help you to see another side of the community in which you live . Try not to be hard on yourself an others . Everyone has there own troubles an worries . 🌸

Yes, I've done voluntary work. Not well enough to continue it after four and a half years, unfortunately, but good for you, I really mean it.

Ah that's a shame . My mum used to do a voluntary roll not sure if it would suit you but she loved it . It was sitting with someone like babysitting to let a family member have some time mabe to go to doctors library etc . Even think about putting an add in your local paper for a friend with same interests . Hope you find something to help you

Thanks, Snooze.

Schenks just to let you know you are not alone in finding suitable friends with similar outlook, due to age, limited energy and unfortunately living on an Estate with many ill-educated people around me it is hard not to feel isolated. That's what is enjoyable about this site, there are many educated people on here and it is a pleasure to hear their opinions and views. Have another hug x

Thank you for your support and solidarity, Joyia. It really helps. What county do you live in?

Kent, if you are near private message me. Glad you are finding some support here, loneliness is a dreadful scourge of our times.

Used to live in Kent! Sorry we left, but I guess the ignorant are everywhere!

sometimes friends are not true schenks...

You've got that right, No!

I've lived in my community since 2001. I used to live in a flat on my own with my dog, and I had one neighbour/friend after introducing myself in the hope of of enlisting her in my quest to get the neighbour between us to shut the **** up (he is a proper nuisance who once threw fireworks out the window at 3am). I also had a neighbour who objected to me using the communal clothes drying area so used to watch me hang up my clothes and then come down and pull them off the line and throw them on the ground. In the space of a few years there were no fewer than five serious house fires and a serious gas leak within, I swear, less than 30 feet of my flat. It was a time I remember with little fondness.

In 2005 I met my partner and in 2008 we bought a house *two streets south* of my previous address. We had a little moving-in party and invited the people who lived immediately around our house and via those people I managed to meet all my neighbours. I joined a local singing group and book group and now I know by sight and/or name at least 50 people in the area. I've been in their houses, met their kids and been invited to their parties. I've made two proper close friends out of the deal and about 10 really friendly relationships. I invited a lot of them to my wedding. I guess I should mention I'm a bit of a misanthrope and introvert, so this wasn't through my magical powers of charm and sociability.

I guess my point is that these things can turn on a sixpence and despite all your best efforts it can be hard to get stuff done until the time is mysteriously right. I recommend joining a book group just because at the very least you know the other members like to read and are less likely to shame you for your intellect.

Sorry for writing a tome here. I identified a lot with what you said and just wanted you to know you're not alone and things will get better. :-)

Phew - thank you for the reply. I was feeling a bit "come on, get off your arris, stop judging" - you understand where I'm at. I was looking at joining a book club but had run out of steam, but because of your uplifting reply, looked again. The most local one's book list was not my scene. But you have given me somewhat of a lift, to be honest, and as a result I've looked a little further afield today, as well as phoned the library to find out what's on (knit and natter ... not quite me), but their book club sounds more interesting. I'm going to look for courses that might be interesting too, and I love the idea of a singing group - nice suggestion.

It gave me a boost to know I'm not the only one who has had these experiences. Your identifying with me has helped a lot PB. BTW, we did try to make friends with our neighbours; they rejected all overtures and after about 6-7 years of trying to be neighbourly (I kid you not - we've tried!) we have concluded that they perceive kindness as weakness and behave accordingly. And it's my hubs who is the misanthropic introvert - I am the gregarious one!

I liked your 'mysterious timing'. I was thinking about it went with my husband to a place *a few streets south* this afternoon ( :0 ) and whilst he was in his meeting I gave the dogs a little walk. I was joined by a lovely young woman with whom I chatted, about our dogs at first, but she told me about herself as naturally as I have always known to engage with people, and it was as though 'The Universe' was giving just a little wink; about mysterious timing and that things can turn on a sixpence.

Thanks, PB. Your intention to let me know I'm not alone and things can get better has succeeded. And I'm going to the library tomorrow to pick up a copy of the book for the next reading group meeting!


You are very very welcome! And I'm really moved by your reply. I've felt understood by other people here when I've been low and it really matters to feel you're being heard.

Of course if you don't get on with your neighbours then they're not the right people. I just meant that a seemingly small change - for me just two streets away - can mean finding the right people. All the time I spent in my flat knowing no one and I had no way of knowing that soon I'd know loads of people in the next road. We were all there at the same time but for some reason it didn't happen until the time was right.

It's nice that you met someone with whom you shared a moment. And I find dogs so helpful for this too!



I suppose a move is out of the question ?

Regards Pp

G-d, how I wish!

Poor Schenks and you do sound as though you're having a tough time. I really believe that this darn thyroid condition sucks all one's self esteem and confidence, it is a bloomin' lonely disease.

I realise it's a big ask but have you thought about voluntary work? For example, teaching folk to read/reading to the blind etc. I know I know, that probably doesn't appeal but you've a great way with words.

Voluntary work has made a huge difference to me, it's only at 3 periods of the year and I do as much or as little as I want. It involves dealing with the public and have talked with such interesting people.

Is there a thyroid support group in your part of the country? If not, why not organise one?

Hang in there girl.

Hi, cinnamon - you're not wrong there, about self-esteem and confidence. I have done voluntary work: I worked as a therapist in a hospice for 2 years and when I left two of the clients wanted to stay with me so I continued to counsel them without charge for a further 2 and a half years as well as running groups that I'd set up by myself over a couple of years at the same time.

You're entirely right, voluntary work does make a difference, but two things happened relatively recently. I suffered a huge relapse and became unable to continue and I also realised that I need to find something to 'put something back in' so to speak - I'm drained.

I'm now attending the local CFS/ME clinic to learn how to manage the currently crippling lack of energy and once I've got the balance I'll do some more voluntary work; it's a good thing, I totally agree. But unless I can make some friends, like puncturedbicycle has, it will all be giving, giving, giving. Sounds selfish, but in context it's really not.

But thanks CG - I'm hanging! Skin of teef, but hanging!

Oh gosh, you've been so generous with your time so now totally get what you're saying.

Good that you're attending the local clinic and do hope that you can improve your energy levels, must be incredibly frustrating for you. Look forwards, never backwards.

Anyway, you inspired me to organise a Hampshire meet-up so have set the ball rolling.

Nice one! Hope it goes really well. x

Maybe if you put up a post giving your area and ask if anyone would like to meet say every 3 months for a coffee and chat in some cafe.

Hmmm. I will!

At least we know the strangers will have one thing in common :)


Very true!

I met lots of nice thyroid folk when I did a meet-up but I've had to be away so much over the last three years I had to drop it. Nice people though, lots of good info and informed folk. And it was dead easy to organise. I put up a post here and rang the local Carluccio's, who put a table aside for us.

I so understand where you're coming from. I used to feel exactly the same when I was having to live cheek by jowl with neighbours who didn't want to be friends. It was the time when I realised I preferred my dog's company far more than any human contact. Thankfully, I managed to move out into the countryside where my nearest neighbour lives 300 yards away just over 30 years ago. I brought four children up here (all attending the local school that at one time had only 13 pupils!) and I'm glad to say they are all well-adjusted adults now in happy marriages with children of their own. I guess, by definition, my situation is literally one of isolation, but that's how I like it. My dogs are my closest confidants and they will never betray me and my husband is my best friend. I have never been comfortable around 'new' people and that has led to my being accused of being 'stand-offish', but I did manage (at the age of 60) to go to university and successfully complete a history and creative writing degree and I got on very well with my fellow students, young and old, as we were all there for the same purpose. I'm glad you're looking again at getting involved with book clubs where you'll be able to meet and socialise with similarly minded people. If you enjoy singing, why not look at the possibility of joining a local choir? Thanks to Gareth Malone, these are popping up everywhere these days and the results can be very rewarding. I wish you well. Just remember, you will never get a negative reaction here. We're all, to a lesser or greater extent, in the same boat and we know how you feel.

thanks, Z. i wish we could do the same as you, but we're trapped. We made a disastrous decision to buy a house here and now we are stuck. I was only saying to my husband that if we lived in the country I would be happier with the isolation, but to be surrounded by such disagreeable, ignorant, uneducated unconsciousness is beyond sickening.

I will be looking for a singing group, but I want to find one with people with whom I can click. Husband and I have just started to take out dogs to Flyball - my Welsh Collie/Patterdale cross is a killer at it and I will also be looking at book clubs. Thanks for your reply. Nice to know people know how this feels. I'm not just Johnny No Mates - an epithet I detest but part of the modern thuggish perspective, I guess!

Have only just seen this but I'm thinking if you have a Collie/Pattie cross you must be a brave lady and that must be one fast and clever dog!

My most beloved (sadly departed) was a working Lakeland (red Fell type) and about two years ago after our second dog was put down we fostered a Patterdale. I've never known a dog to jump so high from a standing position. He gave the game away by knocking a platter off the dining room table when he was taking a stroll up there. Also had a serious altercation w next door's cat who almost took his face right off.

(Sorry to go off topic; I'm a terrier person.) :-)

You've got it! He's the most loving and delightful, quick and clever terriorist I've ever met! He's a Patterdale on stilts - and so fast only a whippet could best him, but Wisley is faster on the turn! We've started taking him to Flyball and he's twigged that it's a race - and he hates to be beaten, so watch out Wembley!

He's a rescue dog - and he chose me. It was only after we adopted him that our vet, who we didn't know owns Patterdales, told us we have just acquired the most single-minded, untrainable breed in the known world. Fortunately, he has Welsh Collie in him (however the hell they managed, but you know Fell terriorists!), which makes him a little more amenable to training but so bl**dy clever he can outwit anybody! He's currently patrolling the garden hunting the mice that live in the brush around the bird table; keeps him happy for hours.

So sorry about your lovely boy. There's always The One dog, isn't there? Took me years to get another dog after my most beloved boy Boots died. I so admire you for fostering. Will you be owned by another, do you think?

Ah, yes - it's too late for us, they've got us already. :-)

We lost my The One (Bessie, my most wonderful and beloved) and a couple of years later our other dog (rescue Lakeland) also went. We'd only had him for five-ish years after his owner died and he was very elderly. Then the terror that was the Pattie came for a while. He was adorable but far too clever for us and went off to a permanent home, which was fabulous for everyone because he truly hated other dogs and I dreaded walking him.

Because we have the space and time we asked if there were any 'couples' who needed respite from kennels and got our two, who never went back. They're lovely and great fun and adore each other.

Fostering is fabulous if you can manage to say goodbye. Having had three 'failed fosters' I'm not really that person. so I admire those who are.

One of my dogs is a whippet cross and in principle would adore something like flyball but he is visually impaired so I'm not sure how he would fare - ? But you've really inspired me to look into it. If his vision is up to it I think he'd love it, and I really need to get out and be more active, so thanks so much for sharing your enthusiasm!

Your dog sounds fabulous. Once you've loved a terrier there is no hope for you. xx

My OH and I were just talking about Jasper, our boy who died five years ago and who still resides in our hearts as closely as he ever did. Jasper was Graham's first dog. When he and I met Graham believed that he disliked dogs, but he told me about having been frightened by one on his way to school every morning and that that made him dislike and mistrust them ever since. He had never had close contact with a dog since childhood. Of course, I did the only thing possible - five months after we were married I got my way and we adopted the 12 week old scrap from the RSPCA. Within a week Jasper was to be found sleeping on Graham's chest as he lay on the sofa, unable to move in case he woke the 'baby'! 18 years on and Graham now calls himself a 'doggie person' and is nuts about them - all of them! As long as our boys are there when we die, I will be filled with joy. After all, what would Heaven be without dogs?

It's strange, isn't it, how you can love another dog so much even though Bessie still fills your heart? It's like they expand our hearts as they move in. We believe they are God's greatest gift. Actually, this may sound utterly bizarre, but I think that if you want to understand Jesus, live with a dog. Perfect love, perfect loyalty, perfect forgiveness. If there is a Creator, S/He/It/They is or are trying to show us the way with the most humble scrap of creation. That's my philosophy, anyway.

I'm really glad you're thinking of Flyball. Listen, there is a whippet at our gang who has one eye and three legs and she is totally unbeatable - the fastest dog there, totally gets it and has now moved up from the learners to train in the teams for competition. The jumps are a set distance apart wherever you go and so they get familiar with them to such a degree that it becomes automatic and they fly without even thinking about it. I'm telling you, I wish I'd tried this 30 years ago. It is the most mental, joyous, daft, fun, thrilling and hugely funny thing I've ever done and you know dogs - you FEEL their joy. The noise, the pleasure, the sheer exuberance - just go for it. Your dogs will LOVE it, no matter how good, and you will have an injection of joy that will last for a week.

And you're right about terriers - I'm hooked! Double addiction!

See you at Wembley!


:-) :-) :-)

My partner's story is similar - no pets ever, now a total convert. xx


Yor post saddens me. I too find that some Northers can we unwelcoming and rude to anyone who is not from their particular county, especially southerners. My lovely cousin had a really hard time when she moved from the south to a Yorkshire care home to be near her daughter. Hardly anyone spoke to her & she had to do all the work to try & make friends. She eventually made friends with a lady from Surrey.

She's no longer with us, but she had a wicked sense of humour, spoke with a slightly posh accent, but I never heard her say a bad word about anyone and she was always friendly and had a welcoming smile.

I do hope that you can find a group of like minded people soon, I'm sure they're out there, you just have to persevere.

Thank, Pluto. I hope they are too!

Schenks, sorry to hear about your loneliness. Would you find meetup.com useful? It has become very big recently, and is a bit like Facebook for clubs and groups. Each one has its own page and posts all their events. You may find additional book groups, choirs, and things like that there. It looks like most towns and districts have at least one large very general group, where people want someone to go to restaurants, theatre, Country walks and that kind of thing. So you can go to the theatre with 6+ people and have a drink afterwards to discuss it.

Before I was ill I moved house 3 or 4 times in a few years and got very good at meeting people. If you have the energy I think the secret with finding groups is to audit A LOT of them. Groups have their own character and personality, and 2 superficially similar ones can attract completely different people and talk about different things. So I think it's good to find out about as many as you can, attend 2 or 3 sessions of a few of them, and if you aren't starting to like the people, Cross it off the list and go on.

hi, Silver and thank you for your reply.

I'd never heard of meetup.com and just had a look - not really any groups that attract me for various reasons, and valid, not-being-a-choosy-pratt ones! E.G. I can't go for walks with the dogs regularly or for any length of time at the moment until I get the CFS under control; similarly with salsa. Don't want to lunch in Preston as too far to drive for same reasons (tiring) - this is why the location needing to be near to here in Staffordshire Bull Terrier/White Van Land is so limiting! But I did check it out, as well as groups within 10 miles of here, and there were 12 groups, including Blackpool Socialites (an oxymoron if ever there was one - and from 20s-30s), Blackpool Roller Skating (ever seen Fantasia - the hippos in tutus? That's what I'd look like if ever I could to roller skate!) and the following ad:

"I am aa Reiki master teacher, *Karuna Reiki* master reader and work crystals and Diamond Inguz light healing. Treatments include crystal healing, Reiki & Karuna Reiki*, Energy healing toning and sound. Consultation included. FEBRUARY OFFER :Book a course of 6 treatments, including plan and tips for continuing your healing between session for £120".

*&+"$%@>?s, rhymes with rollocks.

However your saying that groups that may be similar can be very different was hope inspiring, as well as reminding me that, actually, I have permission to try them and reject them until I find the fit. It made me remember that there needs to be a fit, not just that I don't! So thank you. I will remember that and I am going to trying to find a group or two another whirl.

And I'm going to check the grammar and spelling more carefully before posting. :O

Oh yes, I think giving yourself permission to ditch the group and blame them, not you, Is essential. Nothing worse than getting yourself trapped in a weekly meeting and dreading going!

Do give singing a go if you can find a nearby group. My hubby and I joined a Community Choir a few years ago, and it just makes you feel good to sing. We are a very mixed bunch of people, but have this shared interest, which breaks down lots of barriers.

That's a lovely idea - a community choir, and I'm going to give myself permission to find the right one. thanks, Mari.

There is a site called 'streetlife', which is UK wide, a social network site. Covers lots of different things and on our local one lots of people ask about 'meeting up' - newly moved, hobby groups etc etc. You may get some ideas or try putting up a post

Here's info on the site streetlife.com/about/

Good luck.

Darling Silver Fairy, I've tried it. I find that wen i rite like this i get ansers, but should I have the temerity to write like this and use terms like arborist (I mistakenly asked if anyone knew of an arborist in the area as opposed to someone good with trees) I get not one one single response! Honestly - and I could prove it to you. Not one of the posts in this street area is for anything other than, for example, people wanting freebies, tradespeople advice, dog pooh on the sidewalk and green bin levies from the counsell (sic). I've posted asking if anyone is interested in healing, if anyone is interested in spiritual matters - the only responses I have ever received were when I asked for a roller and Venetian blind fitter and one for a roofer!

It's a net far wider than this street and its environs I need to cast! But I will try again, especially after reading the above and realising that there maybe, just maybe a group out there who are not so intellectually challenged, but I'm now holding out much hope! I'm going to re-post right now and see if I get a response about the spiritual interest stuff - and I don't want to join a spiritualist church - tried different ones to see if there were people willing to discuss and explore but have decided that that must be brain-damaging, judging from their attendees. But thank you all the same, I appreciate your reply.

Hi Shenks

Are u interested in history? U may find a local history group and from my experience the people who attend usually hve a reasonable I Q. Ditto art appreciation/classes. I am a northerner but hve lived in the South for 40 yrs. I too have met this reverse snobbery many times - v small minded.

Hi Caze - sorry for not replying sooner but I didn't get a notification that you had replied! No, I don't get turned on by history although I agree that history buffs have higher IQs - I'm married to one. But Art Appreciation - now there is a thought. Going to look into that too, thank you. Nice definition, reverse snobbery!

I have a similar situation. The recession forced me to choose between my business and the house I had bought with a view to moving into when I was very old - and one which I could afford as opposed to the ones in my business area. My business was in an area full of people with genius intellect, my house is in the countryside and I am surrounded with pleasant people but most of whom dropped out of high school, fly NRA flags in their gardens/fields and talk about how great it will be when Trump is president! What I do is go back to my old business neighborhood (American spelling) and spend as long as I can wearing myself out with my old friends and then I retreat to my house and spend most of my time quietly, gardening, looking after my animals, reading, learning impossible mathematical concepts which I never understood as a post graduate and studying the endocrine system so that I can survive. As soon as loneliness sets in, I go up north and see my friends again or house/pet sit for the rich ones.

Don't give up, you will eventuality come up with a solution. Is there a university near by? You could go to their events, shows, movies. You will eventually meet a couple of people who will give you some respite from your situation. Then use your home as a retreat and somewhere to sleep and keep your stuff.

I read a book once called "Human Groups", where the author said that you only need five people as friends to feel "whole", and that's counting your spouse and siblings. So, you see you need not look for dozens of people, just five altogether.

Hope this helps.

Thanks, LAHs. I like the info about 5 people, and the encouragement. I feel for you - and God help us all if that vile toad you mentioned gets in to power.

Probably jealous of you schenks, being well educated and having good manners! I have had the posh and pretentious label pinned on me, because I once said at work I loved Oscar Wilde's play, the importance of being earnest". Chin up! You will find kindred spirits here.

Just an update for anyone who might spot this (since I don't receive notifications of who has replied with anything like consistency).

I did feel encouraged by kindness, understanding and support on here.So, just to leyt you know that so far I've been to a group with similar interests, have visited the library and decided to go to a book reading group and my better half and I have taken our dogs to flyball! Not only do the dogs 'get it', being very competitive and bl***y fast, but it is huge FUN! I had forgotten what that word actually meant! So although it's only once a fortnight and it's utterly knackering for me (jumping up and down and screaming at Wisley - my canine partner - to go flat out, which he does like whatsit off a shovel) and I have to rest-up for the whole of the next day, the pleasure it gives not only is something I had utterly forgotten but also persists throughout the following days.

I'm looking up some other activities, and I feel as though I'm creeping out from under a very big rock towards being a bit human again. So thank you for what actually amounts to your love. A much underrated and misunderstood word in all its nuances, in my opinion, but in whose gentler warmth I felt warmed myself, enough to move my frozen self and at least try.

I am very glad to read this Schenks, I think the light is beginning to appear at the end of your tunnel.

Thank you. x

Schenks I'm so pleased to hear this. One thing you must always appreciate is that you are willing, in this setting anyway, to be open and vulnerable with others, which is an absolutely precious and rare quality. So many people try to cultivate an air of being untouched and underwhelmed by everything, and often those are the people who will try to cut you down when you show yourself to be an open person. It helps them feel superior because you're showing your vulnerability while they've maintained their facade, but what they don't know is that if you don't have a facade you don't have to maintain it and life is simpler and better that way.

I'm really moved by this update and I thank you for posting it. You're a star. x

I wish we could do emoticon kisses, but even so, thank you. XXXX

Hi Schenks,

My neighbours' left me frightened to leave home, & come back again after going out. The police & environmental health did nothing to help. Thankfully the worst offenders have now moved out, & I'm just left with a very heavy footed person in the flat above.

Lancashire's quite a big county. If you're anywhere near Preston, there's a lovely green community cafe called Beautiful Planet. I've been in a few times, & ended up talking to nice people & staff, & coming out feeling better. There's also a good community co-op shop in Accrington. Sadly, these places are one & two hours away from home.

I meet up with friends from my local pain management course, & sometimes go to the weekly drop in session at the clinic where it's run. There's also a community drop in & advice centre, with a cafe. Perhaps there's something similar in your local area?

Sometimes having a few hours away from the domestic issues helps me cope.


Hi, Leverette - love the user name! Thanks for your reply, and I'm really saddened to hear about the awful time you've had, especially since the police didn't do anything. At least you're only left with Bigfoot, but that probably makes you jump, your nerves will be so frayed.

Is Beautiful Planet the one in UCLAN's campus? If so, I know it. It used to be a lovely vegetarian cafe but it's now all meaty and I don't like their slaughter practices, I'm afraid. If it isn't, I don't know that one. But even so, Preston is a bit too far (at least 3/4 hour away) - but I get your drift and it's an interesting idea, the community cafe one, thanks. Strangely enough, I've just been referred to my local pain management centre too! We'll see what happens!

Thanks again.


schenks I have the solution-- move down south next door to me and bring the dawgs, we can walk along the beach on a windy way and stop for tea and cream buns... and then you com e home and you can go into your house next door to me, we can then chat over the

fence and borrow a cup of sugar! we can take turns sitting bythe fire with the dawgs, I will win the lottery and we can open a proper medical centre and a dog centre and invite all our friends down for shindig.. xx

That sounds like my dream come true. It seems to have been the worst move we ever mat, moving here, but I guess onlGod knows the bigger picture, and She's saying nothing! But if I manage to finally, after over 10 years, I find that I can make a living out of writing, then I'll be down there like a shot, hubs and dogs and all! And Rapunzel lives dahn sahff too, so there's going to be a PARTAY!

ah yes dreams DO come true, schenks I have written a childrens book when I came out of hospital in 2007, its aimed at 3 to 7 year olds and I have had the devils own job to try to get it published, natural Katie price and nadia Hussein ( bake off woman) and fergie all get theirs published so any tios I shall be grateful for as I have given up and its a shame as it is a lovely little story with a moral for child safety added in. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Have you looked at publishing on the net? I'm not sure how to go about it, but apparently it isn't difficult. But I believe your best bet is to find an agent. The book called something like the Writer's and Artists' something or other is supposed to be a good guide.

yes I need an artist too .xxx

Eh? Writer's and Artist's Yearbook - just remembered. You know of it, yes?

yes must get it. x

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