Loneliness or just boredom?

I’ve realised that a lot of my feelings of loneliness are due to boredom.

Before I left my husband my life was far more busy. I was cooking for at least 4 people every day, ironing everyone’s clothes, cleaning a large house and tending to a large garden. All of that has gone. Most of the time I’m cooking for either just myself or 2 at the most (myself and my youngest daughter). I have stopped ironing clothes, except for very occasionally. There is hardly any housework to do in my much smaller house with only me occupying it a lot of the time. My garden is much smaller than the one I left behind. So, I have a huge amount of spare time compared to previously. I find it hard to keep busy. I am bored.

Work fills some of my time but I still have loads of time by myself.

I bought an Amazon Echo today. It’s amazing how relaxed it’s made me feel. I can talk to it regularly. I can ask it things, I can play endless music, I can ask it to tell me jokes, I can even ask it to bark at the dog.

I’ve also properly discovered Netflix. I watch films and series on there which I can then talk to my work colleagues and friends about. I feel connected to others even when I’m watching the TV on my own. And I can binge watch which can kill hours of time.

I have been feeling for months that I had to keep my calendar full all of the time. I had a weird anxiety whenever I was alone that I should be doing something, I should be busy, I should be with other people. I’m gradually feeling relaxed about being myself and doing very little. It still feels a bit uncomfortable, but nothing like it did.

Everyone says ‘find a hobby’. It’s hard to just find a hobby. I have discovered painting by numbers – it’s very therapeutic, but I can only do it in good light, so at the moment it’s only a daytime activity.

I’m doing classes and swimming at the local Leisure Centre. It fills up some time.

I’m now on 3 dating apps, but I realise that there is no Mr Right who will come along and make my life perfect. I realise that I have to feel happy in myself – I cannot expect anyone else to fill the void in my life.

I’m getting there but I am still a work in progress.

New Year’s Eve part 2

New Year’s bloody Eve.

Bloody New Year’s Eve.

It’s nearly over and I’ve managed to survive it. On my own, with the dog. I’ve had to drug him so the fireworks won’t distress him – we got some medication from the vet so he’s really chilled.

Today hasn’t been easy. I’ve cried twice – proper sobbing from deep inside. But I have got through it.

I made myself a delicious tea – homemade nut roast for one, roast potatoes and broccoli in cheese sauce. It was lovely. Then I had Christmas pudding for dessert, followed by chocolate truffles and Bailey’s. I watched 2 films on Netflix – the second one was about learning to love being single. It’s just what I needed.

I am going to be ok. I will get through this.

Right now I’m determined to get to sleep before the fireworks begin.

Happy New Year.

New Year’s Eve

I have been feeling quite well for the past few weeks and then today my mood has plummeted. The cause is the fact that it’s New Year’s Eve and I’m on my own. I went running with 38 other people this morning – my running friends most of whom I know well, but even though I was surrounded by people I knew, I was feeling alone. I burst into tears on the way home. I feel so sorry for myself that I am spending New Year’s Eve alone with just the dog and Netflix for company.

I don’t know why I’m so sad about it. It’s not as if last New Year was any fun. The whole of last December and most of January was crap.

I think the trouble is that we are led, especially by advertisers, to believe that Christmas and New Year are such a happy time with everyone else having great fun. I know I’m not the only one feeling sad and lonely. Just look at any dating app for confirmation of that.

Talking of dating, I dipped my toe into the game of online dating and went on my first date yesterday. What a complete disaster that was. The guy admitted his profile picture was 4 years old – he looked nothing like it – and in real life he was fat and scruffy. As soon as I laid eyes on him I wanted to run in the other direction and I spent the 2 hours we chatted planning how I would let him down gently and then run away. I suppose I should just put it down to experience, but I know that part of the reason I’m feeling low today is because of the nightmare date yesterday. It has made me realise that I will probably never meet Mr Perfect. The rational part of me knows full well that I cannot ever rely on any other person to make me happy. I need to learn to be on my own.

I am going to try my hardest to enjoy my New Year’s Eve solo night in, with my dog, a box of chocolates & Netflix. If I need to cry I will cry. And I will raise a toast to the end of 2018. My annus horribilis.

Next year can’t possibly be worse.

Pre-Christmas blues

I’ve been on my own today, alone with my thoughts. I’ve been baking Christmas cakes, mince pies and Christmas puddings. Inevitably this has reminded me of Christmases past. There were some happy times at Christmas over the years, but mostly this time of the year just caused stress and more arguments than usual.

I have to remind myself of last Christmas which was the worst of all. I spent most of the day in tears.

This year I’m going to my oldest daughter’s house for Christmas Eve until Boxing Day. I’m looking forward to it, but mostly I’ll just be really relieved when it’s all over.

On my own

I’m slowly getting used to being on my own. I still feel a bit anxious when I am alone, but I’m less afraid of it than I was.

My return to work is going fairly well, I’m making slow but steady progress but it’s taking me time to get my confidence back.

It’s taking me time to just get used to getting up every day and getting out of the house.

In the meantime my ex is apparently not coping well. His best friend died suddenly 2 weeks ago and another close friend of his has been diagnosed with cancer. I feel sorry for him, but don’t I feel I can help him.

If he hadn’t been so nasty to me, showing me no respect or trust then maybe I would feel more compassionate towards him, but he brought about the one thing he was terrified of – he made me leave.

I am upset about comments that he made in his financial declaration. He said that I had hidden my savings from him. I had told him about the ISA I took out to make up for the missing years of my pension. He just didn’t listen. He often didn’t listen to me.

I have found out that he has 3 ISAs and a savings bond. I had no idea about those. He has done the very thing he accused me of – he hid his savings from me.

Oh, I am so fed up of the whole thing.

It’s that time of year

I’ve been struggling today with feelings of loneliness. Obviously now that we’re in December there are reminders everywhere of Christmas – music playing in the shops, lights on houses, trees in windows. In fact I’ve just walked the dog and not only were there trees in the window of one of the bungalows around the corner, there were scary-looking Santas as well. There’ll be none of that tat in my house. I’ve bought myself a tiny tree in a pot and a star and some reindeer that I’ve painted. I can’t pretend that Christmas isn’t happening. I have to accept that it is even though it’s so painful. I’m going to have my own version of Christmas.

The one thing I must keep reminding myself is just how shit last Christmas was. I cried so much. I was constantly crying.

I know that all the Christmas adverts and songs on the radio paint a version of Christmas that doesn’t exist for an awful lot of people. An awful lot of people are miserable at Christmas and January is the month when there’s a spike in marriage break-ups.

I’ve joined 2 dating sites but I don’t think I’m ready to actually date anyone yet. I’m just window shopping. I mostly swipe left but I have had strange online conversations with a couple of guys. And I’ve been ghosted 👻 twice. I’m not ready for rejection in real life just yet. Also, I don’t want to start looking for a man just to be another half to make me whole. I have to accept myself as whole on my own first.

I’ve felt a bit sorry for myself generally today. I’m anxious about work. But one thing is for certain – I have to get back into work. The alternative is unthinkable i.e all day every day with nothing to do. While I was off work it became incredibly difficult to fill my days. I couldn’t imagine retiring.

It’s been a while

I haven’t written anything for weeks. The reason is that I’m much better but again I haven’t wanted to jinx it by actually saying it out loud.

I’m back at work and have been for 3 weeks. I know I’m getting my confidence back gradually, but I’m still full of self doubt. I know it’s ridiculous and there’s no good reason to doubt myself. The work I’ve done has been to my normal high standard, but I’m thinking about it all too much. I became overwhelmed by anxiety this afternoon but I held it together so no-one noticed.

I’m finding it weird to even get up and go to work. I haven’t done it for so long.

I’m feeling lonely. It doesn’t help that all the girls at work talk constantly about their partners/husbands and what they’ll be doing at the weekend. I know in my logical head that I would have had those same conversations 10 years ago, before it all went horribly wrong.

Ifeel like I have no-one to talk to – my rational self knows that is not true. A lot of people who care about me are only a phone call away.

I have to keep fighting the self doubt and low moods. I can’t let my ex win. If I fall to pieces again he will have won. I cannot let that happen.

I have to start living my life and enjoying it for myself. I have to stop feeling that my life is over. It isn’t over and the only one judging and doubting me is me.

One day I will come out the other side.

One day I will wake up and realise that I am enough.