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

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.

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.

I feel stuck

It’s ages since I’ve written anything. I really should write more often because it does help me to get my thoughts out of my head. I’m still depressed. I feel stuck in a rut that I am unable to break free from. I’ve just read a book on co-dependency and I’ve learned that I have pathological loneliness which is connected to me being a codependent – it’s probably the reason I became a codependent in the first place. I have an intense fear of being by myself. This is something I am going to have to tackle if am ever going to break free from my depression.

My husband is still refusing to sell the marital home – if he’s not careful he’s going to have to put up with me moving back in with him when I can’t afford to live by myself any longer. That would be a disaster for both of us. We are a nightmare together – within weeks we’d be back to our cycle of arguments, or even worse. Over the past few years we’d lost respect for each other more and more to the point where we had forgotten how to communicate in anything other than a completely dysfunctional way.

I need some kind of therapy to help me out of this. I’m waiting for CBT, but I think I probably need psychotherapy to delve into how I’ve ended up like this. I’m no longer seeing the therapist I had been paying to see – his appointments required a 50 mile round trip in the car and right now I can never predict whether I’ll be able to drive or not from day to day because my concentration fluctuates. I can’t plan anything in advance. I tried driving on the motorway 2 days ago and I couldn’t concentrate at all – it didn’t feel safe. Only a few days before I’d driven with no problem at all.

If I can’t drive I can’t get back to work.

I can’t tell if I’m getting better or not. I keep having a glimmer of normality and then I crash again. I’ve been nearly admitted twice over the past 2 months – the last time was 5 weeks ago. I think I’m better than I was then, but when you’re living with it day to day it’s hard to tell if you’re making progress.

Last week I attended an intensive course of CBT and DBT. I’m trying to practice mindfulness regularly and also radical acceptance – I have mantras that I say to myself over and over

“I accept my life as it is right now”

“I accept the things I cannot change”

I’m staying with my oldest daughter this week, and my grandchildren. I’m loving spending time with them, but I can’t help thinking that I’m running away from my problems rather than tackling them.

I’m going to go for a mindful walk now

– it’s a beautiful sunny day.

When it’s raining look for rainbows

I’m still depressed and I’m feeling very very lonely. I’m not sure if the loneliness caused my depression or the depression is making me lonely. Probably both.

I’m so bored as well. I’ve been off work for 7 weeks now. I’ve got very little to do during the day and my boredom compounds my loneliness. I’m in a never-ending cycle of nothingness and solitude. I’ve taken to doing colouring and painting by numbers but it doesn’t feel like much of an achievement when I complete a page of my colouring book. I can just about concentrate to read and I’m going through a fair number of books. I’m reading one at the moment written by a woman who was emotionally and physically abused – I read half of it yesterday.

Next week I’ve decided to go to my mum’s to stay. I’m hoping that if I am in company continually for the next few weeks that my mood will lift and I’ll hopefully be able to sustain any improvement – whenever people are around me my mood does lift, then at the moment it plummets as soon as I am alone. I had no issue about being on my own before the depression started.

My youngest daughter is with me this week, but she’s at school during the day. I’m dragging myself to pilates and yoga classes, but I really am having to drag myself. I’ve got the dog this week so I have to walk him twice a day. I’ve just been on a dog walk – I really didn’t want to go but I made myself and I actually enjoyed it despite my paranoia and agoraphobia – I have to remember that I enjoyed it for future reference.

I am fighting this depression as hard as I can. I’m making myself do the opposite of what I feel like doing. Most of the time I’d much rather lie in bed than do anything. I’m not letting myself lie in bed.

I have an intrusive rumination at the moment – my husband is refusing to sell the marital home and I’m worried that I’ll lose my house because I won’t be able to pay my mortgage. In my logical head I know that I have savings that I can dip into if I need to which should keep me afloat for at least a year – my anxiety is exacerbating the depression and my pay running out will become a self fulfilling prophecy if I’m not careful. I get full pay until November, then half pay until March. I keep going over and over it in my head. It’s wearing me out.

I hate depression. 3 months ago my life seemed normal – I could go food shopping without even thinking about it. I could drive for hundreds of miles by myself without a care. Now I have to think through every stage of any task and it feels like climbing a massive mountain. I can’t go shopping without severe anxiety beforehand or drive more than a couple of miles without feeling panicky and wanting to return home.

I have had these feelings before. My last depression was 8 years ago and I did get better. I know it’s possible and that I mustn’t give up.

This beautiful rainbow just appeared outside while I was writing.

When it’s raining look for rainbows.

Still fighting

It’s nine days since I last wrote anything. In some ways I’m better. My mood has lifted a bit, but I still have massive anxiety symptoms and I feel very unsettled today.

The girls came back from the trip to Rome with my ex. I survived the week they were away and my youngest is staying with me this week.

I’ve been off work for the past 5 weeks. I can’t imagine doing my job at the moment – I’ve lost all my confidence and I can’t concentrate on much.

But on a positive note I joined a new choir on Monday and I went running with my running club last night despite my anxiety.

I’m apprehensive about next week as I will be completely by myself again. I’m just not sure how I’ll keep myself busy. When I’m by myself time just feels like a vast ocean with no end. I spend all day longing to go back to bed to sleep. There are things I could do to busy myself if I had the motivation and if I could fight my feelings of paranoia and agoraphobia which stop me stepping outside my front door.

I have to keep fighting this. I don’t want to be depressed. I hate it.

Arrgghhh

My mood was getting better, then my youngest daughter went back to her dad’s for a week yesterday. Since then my mood has dipped yet again. I went for a run first thing with the dog, and managed 5.5 miles – the furthest I’ve run for months.

I decided to start some DIY when I got back to keep myself occupied so I didn’t ruminate too much. Everything was a disaster. After my shower this morning I noticed the silicon sealant needed replacing around the bath. So I went to the DIY shop and got all the stuff. Then when I removed the old sealant I noticed one of the tiles was loose, so what should have been a simple job has turned out to be far from simple.

So, I gave up with the bathroom and decided to paint the banister. I started painting and did quite a lot of painting until I finally decided the paint was totally the wrong shade of white. So, now I need to get more paint tomorrow which is nearer to the right colour, otherwise I’ll have to paint all of the woodwork in the house.

This afternoon I received an email from the pensions people – on a Sunday – to say that I hadn’t sent them a form PD1. I know I did send the form – more than 2 months ago. I’ve sent them two of the damn things, one in April and one in June.

After all of my DIY exploits going badly wrong, and the email about the CETV, I ended up sobbing my heart out – it was surprisingly cathartic.

I feel quite calm right now, calmer than I have felt all day.