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Anyone had to spend days alone without anyone to talk to?

Hanna3
Community Member

Hi all, apart from here and a brief visit to church last night (to make it feel Christmassy and to just be with people) I've had day after day for weeks now with nobody at all to talk to. This time of year especially it's really depressing. Old friends that live far away are gradually losing contact with me - I ring them but they don't ring me. I understand they're busy with their live elsewhere but still it's hard when you're lonely. I'm going to a Christmas Eve service at the local church tomorrow night to at least be with people for a little while... but otherwise all day I'm alone, just me and the dog. Sometimes I strike up a conversation on BB but then the other person disappears and that's the end of that...

How are people meant to cope with prolonged periods of social isolation? I read, I watch DVDs, normally I'd go for long walks with the dog but thick smoke from bushfires and intense hot weather have stopped that. I go to a café alone sometimes. Any ideas/help?

3,055 Replies 3,055

Paw Prints
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Hanna3,

I spend the majority of my time alone with just my dog. I do realise that spending time alone makes many people feel lonely, but it doesn't have that affect on me as I actually prefer being alone.

This being the Xmas holiday season so many things/places close til late January which really doesn't help you find ways to connect with people.

Not knowing if you live rural/city or if you have transport/mobility issues or mh issues which limit you currently, I will throw some really broad idea's in the ring just to start.

Have you thought of other types of volunteering, there are an amazing number of things you can volunteer to do, which means it's easy to find something you would enjoy & most groups allow you to chose how much time you spend. I say other as being on BB you are already volunteering your time & effort/care.

Do you have any interests/hobbies that you could join in a community group or club. It can be on-line, in person or both. Be aware that some groups are really supportive/encouraging/friendly & some are just competitive/nasty/mean.

Have you thought of doing things which let your dog socialise as you do. There are activities to suit most breeds/ages of dog & their humans usually enjoy them too.

Happy to chat, throw idea's about

Paws

Hi Paw Prints,

Thanks so much for replying. I wish I could read the print on your picture it looks like the dog has chewed up the couch but what do the words say?!

I moved 3 months ago from the coast to an inland large regional centre. I have one friend here but her husband is abusive so I can only have contact with her when he is away for his work. I came down with flu after moving here and was housebound for about six weeks, which meant by the time I was well enough to join anything everything was winding down for Christmas. I've posted elsewhere that I feel I've made a big mistake moving here, I'm homesick, and currently I don't have the money to move again (I'm in public housing).

I would like to volunteer but by little dog has bad separation anxiety which makes it difficult, plus volunteering needs a police check which I don't yet have...

I joined a choir and a church and made one friend but she's divorced and busy with three teenage kids and going to Sydney for Christmas and anyway during the holidays busy with the children. I'm single and older. The nearby severe bushfires haven't helped with smoke and severe heatwaves. I guess a really bad time to have moved here as it turns out!

I'm pretty introvert so I need a fair bit of time alone, but three months now of being alone with only the occasional conversation is getting me down, plus being stuck indoors so much due to the severe smoke and heat - I wasn't expecting bushfires when I moved here but we're close to one of the worst fires...

I have a car and used to be on an online social affairs forum but the trolls and comments were often nasty so I don't go on that any more. Funnly enough my friend here with the kids was on a knitting forum and the comments got so nasty it got shut down - a group of women knitters! I thought that was funny/horrifying at the same time!

Thanks for posting I appreciate it. Just being able to talk to someone about it helps. Xmas Eve and I'm alone until a church service tonight at 9pm and alone for Xmas tomorrow.... and on it goes. Just have to hunker down with my books and DVDs for a few weeks I guess! Again thanks for your help and best wishes!

I guess there's no solution over Xmas/New Year as you say nothing starts up again until after school holidays end...

Paw Prints
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Hanna3,

The top line on my avatar reads : So I'm just sitting here and the whole dang thing explodes! The bottom line reads: I'm just as surprised as you are.

It's a bit of a running joke with those of us who have Great Danes that things just seem to "mysteriously explode" around them, especially when they are young. My boy is now 6 so getting old for a Dane.

I live rural there is a small post office/general store/petrol pump about 10 km away & the nearest town with chemists, doctors, shops etc is about 50 km away. I moved here a few years ago from the city.

It can take time to find your feet after such a big move. I'm not surprised your feeling homesick, what a terrible start, coming down with the flu and now with the fires/smoke as well as everything being closed with the Christmas/NY break. They say bad things come in 3, so that's yours done. (Touch wood)

Is your avatar a picture of your dog? How old? Have you thought of doing training/mind games with your dog while your both stuck inside? It can tire your dog just as much as a walk does & it can pass some time for you hunting on-line for ones that would suit your dog as well as the time it will take teaching/playing. Just google "mind games for dogs".

Paws

Hi Paw Prints, I had a laugh when I read what the caption on your pic says! I didn't know that about Great Danes. Don't think one would fit too well in my tiny cottage... it's strictly Sam-size.

Wow you did make a move to a small town - what made you decide to make a move as major as that - from a city that must have been quite an adjustment. I'm actually finding this town too big and the traffic too busy - guess I had got used to living in a quiet seaside town where you never had to worry about where you were going to park... I didn't realise how jolting the change would be.

Sam is 8 but he has a liver problem which the vet said will probably shorten his life - he said maybe another 3-4 years but I'm hoping to prove him wrong, Sam's my little guy and beloved companion. Yes we play hide the treat, where I hide treats around the house and he has to sniff them out, and he learns tricks with treat rewards, and I've bought two new toys for him for Christmas to play tug-o-war with which he loves playing. Find the treat is his favourite game, using his nose to sniff out where I've hidden the treats seems to be a great game for him.

He's never been shut inside like this either and I'm sure he's depressed. In the park he doesn't want to get back in the car when we have to go home poor little guy. I feel so guilty I've put him through this, but he was suffering terribly from the humidity where we lived - the last summer there I truly thought he might die he was so sick from the heat - I didn't know the summers here had become so hot, they used to be mild, with long winters and Sam loves the cold. We came here when it was snowing to look at the house and he absolutely loved it, he was running around the park in minus-6 degrees and was soooo happy! So I thought I was making a good move. Not.

How do you find life in your small town?

Paw Prints
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Hanna3,

Our woofa's really know how to worm their way into our hearts, don't they. It must be a worry Sam having liver issues, I'm guessing you need to be careful what you feed him. Sam sounds much smarter than my boy, we haven't progressed to hiding the treats, he still struggles to find them all even when they are scattered in full view around him. They do say "like owner - like dog", I've done that standing in shop & just not seeing what I want even though it's right before me.

I moved here for my mental health, my sisters thought I was barmy moving here given I'm on my own & with my physical health issues etc. It was a sudden decision, (which I think had a lot to do with their doubts). I love being here, even though the mobile phone/internet is patchy. I have state forest across the road & I'm surrounded by paddocks of cows. There are far fewer triggers here so I find it much less stressful.

The weather is crazy isn't it, bush fires starting in spring. I think you definitely did the right thing for Sam moving from somewhere with high humidity. Dogs struggle with humidity because it stops their panting to cool down from working as it should. At least with dry heat when you wet them down, the water can easily evaporate keeping them cooler.

The smoke sounds like the big bug bear, being stuck indoors must be driving you both up the wall, without it you could go places with Sam, explore your new town, find a creek he could splash around in etc. Do you get any decent breaks from it or is it pretty much constant?

How bad is Sam's separation anxiety? Can you leave him for short times like an hour or so? Just pondering over things you could do to get out of the house & meet people, keeping Sam in mind.

Paws

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Hanna, and please excuse me for only noticing your thread, but I also know that when I'm away from my little Jack Russell I worry, so that then determines the mood I'm in, a positive mood or perhaps a negative one.

You could be in a room full of friends, family members or other distinguished protocol you might know, but if your dog is either not around or being looked after then you aren't going to feel at ease.

Best wishes.

Geoff.

Hi Geoff Hi PawPrints,

Gee it was nice to have you guys come along and post here, thanks! You're right Geoff when Sam's not around I worry about him...

Pawprints where you are sounds nice, I think this town is too busy for me I got used to living in a quiet little hamlet - but I had only a few hours to view the house and it was winter and snowing heavily and I guess nobody was outside so I didn't realize just how big and busy it had become. I feel it's too much for me. I'm keeping in mind the possibility of moving to a smaller town with access to this big town in the future if it's possible on my pension to rent something...

It's been tough on Sam because after moving here I got the worst influenza despite the flu shot, the sickest I ever want to be, could only manage to get out for some food then back to bed and that went on for over a month, then I was very weak. So poor Sam no walks!

Then the heat set in and the bushfires and the smoke here is horrendous we are near the megafire and they say it will have to burn itself out for weeks. Another problem is I don't feel very safe in this area - I'm in public housing but there are some very rough people around here and I don't feel safe walking Sam around here, so we have to drive somewhere for walks. Where I lived before I felt safe everywhere. So that's a real bummer.

I am trying to find a street that is fairly flat and shady and maybe walk him around 7pm when it's cooler. He's having trouble with the move, and is finding the strange streets frightening and often refuses to walk down them. He has very bad separation anxiety which started about 3 years ago, the vet told me anxiety starts in dogs about that age - he used to be fine. He gets so upset that it's hard to leave him. He barks non-stop and is very scared. The smoke is pretty constant and we're heading into another heatwave so yes we're pretty much stuck in the house except for a short morning walk in the park and maybe somewhere in the evenings early...

Don't know anything to be done about it except wish for autumn... thanks so much guys it's great to talk to you.

PawPrints/Geoff, the long reply I typed hasn't come through yet... gee it was a help to talk to people about Sam's and my problems. PawPrints could you check in on here again sometime later... I have to take Sam out for a walk before it gets too hot, but I've love some help with a problem with him here. It really helped to have someone to talk to - would you come by again as I'll write a bit more later if you could stand it, it would really help to chat to you. Thanks so much!

Paw Prints
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

I will keep popping into check if your back from your walk

Paws