Hello. So, about me: 41, happily married with three little kids. I'm a stay at home Dad. I had colon cancer 8 years ago and left work to fight it and have been a stay-at-home Dad since. I suffer from sleep apnea as well which means I'm very tired all day everyday but especially in the afternoons. And I've suffered from depression since I was a teenager.
I'm very alone. I can go months without talking to anyone but my wife and kids. It scares me that there's only 4 people on this planet who know I exist. Recently I've been trying to find penfriends to converse by email but that didn't lead anywhere. I thought maybe I might find some like-minded soul on here who might be able to relate to me.
I'm a vegan and minimalist. We sold our car in January, convinced we could live without it and it was one of the best decisions we made. I'm now forced to walk everywhere (taking the kids to school, to the shops for groceries) so that gets me out of the house which is great. Driving was becoming a little dangerous with my tiredness anyway so it's a win-win. I now average 20k steps a day. I could take the bus but I try to avoid people as much as I can and walking has become my passion now. It's difficult lugging 10-15kg of groceries home but it's not impossible, just hard work. I feel as though I'm doing something with my life instead of just sitting around waiting for some luck.
We struggle financially but I don't know how to reenter the workforce. I have no references, no friends, and the only jobs I'm qualified for would be retail and customer service. I suffer from social anxiety so dealing with people is a struggle.
I write stories and poetry when I have time (even published two novels) but they don't bring in money. It seems you need a vast social network to be a successful writer nowadays and I have no social media at all.
Anyway, that's me. Lost, alone, trying to get by. Hopeful of finding a friend.
Hi Vooshvazool (and a wave to Fuzzball too),
I’m so glad you have made a friend here already with Fuzzball who has kindly written in 🙂 As Fuzzball said, you’re always welcome to chat here...
You’ve certainly been through a lot. The battle with cancer must have been very rough, and the current sleep apnoea clearly and understandably takes its toll...
I think loneliness is a horrible feeling. Most of us humans have a desire for connection...I imagine struggling with social anxiety yet craving that connection makes things extra hard at times...
You sound like a very interesting person who has really thought about your life, and made a lot of decisions that reflect your own values and other priorities. Walking 20k daily is very impressive!
It sounds very rewarding, despite having to carry heavy shopping loads at times. I understand finances is an issue, but I wonder if you have considered perhaps looking for an affordable, second-hand fabric shopping cart (or something like that) to make life little easier when shopping for groceries. Just a little idea...
Your writing suggests to me that you have a creative streak. I enjoy dance, music and art. Have you had much time to write recently?
I'll be your friend!
You do sound like a very interesting, thoughtful person who puts his values and beliefs into action. So admirable.
I'm really sorry to hear your feelings of loneliness, and I really hope that you can make some good connections here maybe as a springboard to connections elsewhere as well.
Wow you've published two novels, that's awesome!!
You will not be alone here, I am so glad you've joined.
Here is a place you can come and lay your burdens down and be met with kindness and care.
I'm birdy, I'm 41 also (having a bit of a crisis over that, just at the moment, truth be told!), vegan (yay!!) I like growing my own veges and living a simple life too. Really pleased to meet you 😊
Hi Pepper, thank you for writing and your kind words.
I really struggle with my solitude. I had friends in school but after that we all drifted apart to do uni in different places and I never recovered from that. Whilst I was working (before cancer) I had work acquaintances but still no one I would call a friend and I'm not sure how to find one anymore. If I did, I'm not sure what to say. I feel once people know that I don't really have much going for me, they'll not be all that interested in me. I don't like going out, I don't watch tv, seldom read books. I spend my time walking and writing and being with my family.
I have thought about volunteering as a way of filling in the vast blank space on my resume and just feeling useful to society but I can't get over my fear of meeting new people.
As for the shopping, I had thought of that, but that would make it easy. And if it's easy I don't see the point. It's kind of my whole outlook on life actually. I've a feeling I could conquer the world if not for this one flaw I have (or series of little flaws). Having fought cancer in my thirties I can safely say that was easy compared to what I deal with on a daily basis now. The lingering side effects of the chemo I think have added to the problems, but I was in some ways happier in that period of my life because I had an enemy to focus on. Depression and solitude are wraiths. You fight them, see them turn to smoke and think you're safe but they seem to keep returning.
I do still write, it's all I have. As Stephen King said, "We don't survive to write. We write to survive." And that's very true for me. I wish I could make a living from it but even my best novel which garnered wonderful reviews netted me less than $100. And for a year's work ... it's just very depressing.
What type of dancing do you do? I've always admired people who could dance, as I absolutely can't.
Thank you again for writing.
Thank you for writing. It's nice to have people to talk to and to see that others share some of the same issues.
How long have you been a vegan? I've been vegetarian for awhile and vegan for a little over a year now. I've always been someone who questions everything so once I started looking at food it was pretty obvious how much influence the meat and dairy industries had over advertising and even education and so on. Plus I love animals. I won't even hurt flies, I actually go around with a little net and catch them and release them outside if they come in. I'm a great believer in all life being precious regardless of how big or small the creature is so I sidestep ants when I'm out walking too 🙂
I would love to grow my own food, that sounds like a wonderful life. I'm all for simplicity like that. Unfortunately we rent a little apartment and don't have a yard so I can't do that, but maybe one day. My dream would be to own a little piece of land, build a tiny house on it and have a garden and some animals. Just need Hugh Jackman to discover my book, turn it into a movie and I'll be set 🙂
You mentioned a crisis, is that just because of the age? I think I stopped having birthdays at around 28. I decided then it didn't matter. I felt young, I still do. I'm in the best shape of my life thanks to all the walking I do now (plus the veganism) so age is relative I think.
Thank you for writing, I wasn't aware there was no notification when people respond to your posts so I'll try to check back often.
Have a nice day,
I can relate to what you wrote about having lots of friends when young then everyone sort of drifting in to their lives. I think once you reach your 40s if you can count a few people on one hand on whom you can really count, you're doing well.
Yeah I think (not entirely sure) that I'm having a bit of a freak out after turning 40. I like the idea of not having a bday after 28, sounds about right. I don't know what's come over me really, it's actually a culmination of lots of stuff no doubt, but it sounds kind of cool in my head to say I'm having a crisis about turning 40, so that's what I'm having!! Sometimes I enjoy being a bit theatrical.
Oh i really understand your fears about getting in touch with people too, & them thinking I have nothing going for me. Let me assure you that you are more interesting than you think you are, we can see that already! I keep in touch with a few friends from school, and for instance two of them are so unbelievably successful and one of them is actually world renowned in his field (music), and I always feel kind of embarrassed about my humble little life. But guess who they ring and want to pour their hearts out to when things go wrong?
Believe in your good and passionate heart V.
But I get it, I avoid lots of social things for this exact reason.
I was vegetarian most of my adult life, & went vegan just over 2 years ago when I finally took my blinkers off to what occurs in the dairy & egg industry. Like you, I escort the flies out the door, take spiders outside in a jar with paper over the lid etc ...
I unfortunately don't grow all my own veggies, I only have a modest veg patch, & focus on growing the majority of our greens year-round, I grow our year's supply of garlic, & then whatever I can fit in seasonally: zucchini, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, beans, shallots ... etc I have the exact same dream as you - a bit of land with a tiny house & animals. Although I'm a bit of a hypocrite at the moment because I currently have a small size block with a small house & some animals, & I don't have enough room, so am building a shed! I'm a work in progress to say the least.
Could you ask permission to build a little patch for herbs etc on the block the apartment sits?
I am totally inspired about your 20K steps & giving up the family vehicle too, have been thinking of doing similar.
I have gone on & on about me, I'm so sorry, but I am glad you're here!
Sorry I raved on.
It's wonderful you still keep in touch with friends from school and you are there for them. Friendship is the one thing, more than anything, that I wish I had in my life. The idea of having someone who loves you as a friend unconditionally is my greatest desire, but I think I passed the age where that will happen now.
Your garden sounds wonderful. I'd love to have something like that. We live in a little concrete jungle of apartments and townhouses so there isn't anywhere for a garden. It's challenging being in close proximity to so many strangers. I wrote a poem about it (I put a lot of things down in rhyme it helps me express my feelings). I feel a lot of guilt about raising our three little girls in this environment but I don't know anyway out. Rents are going up and where we are is close to bus routes for my wife and close to the kid's schools so I don't think we can leave. Anyway I wrote this:
That lullaby you love, I sing
for reasons you cannot begin
to understand, my little thing
I need to send you off to sleep
before the darkness settles in
before the tyres start to spin
before the neighbours start to fling
their vulgar words and broken things
and boisterous yang
turns violent yin
and flashing lights bathe everything
That lullaby you love, I sing
for reasons you cannot begin
to understand, my little thing
I'm glad I inspired you with the walking. I learned about minimalism a few years ago and it made a lot of sense to me, about decluttering your life and keeping only what you need. In January we got rid of our car and I'm so happy for it. It was getting dangerous for me to drive and it was costing a lot of money on petrol, registration, repairs etc. I knew it would be difficult walking everywhere but when there is no other choice, you just have to. 10k steps a day is a good place to start if you want to walk more, it's not too hard. But I just like pushing my limits and found I was doing 20k easily from dropping kids at school (a 30minute walk), continuing onto the grocery store (40mins) and then walking home.
As a plus, I have not been sick all year, from being outdoors much more, and I am in the best shape of my life. So definitely give it a try. Sometimes it's not until you have to that you realise you can.
What animals do you have? Do you live in a rural environment? It would be harder to give up the car if you did, I'd imagine.
I've written lots now so I'd better stop 🙂
Have a nice day.
Hi V. (with a wave to Scott, birdy and all),
I think solitude is a bit of a double edged sword. I suppose there can be a certain peace in it at times. But if there’s too much of it, it can quickly morph into loneliness...
I felt that the way you described depression and solitude was very sad but poetic. Yes, both can be very persistent as you said...it can be a relentless, ongoing struggle...
I think, in many ways, school is the ideal environment for maintaining friendships. 5 days of friendship, most weeks; it doesn’t get much more consistent than that...
But then that consistency quickly unravels as life circumstances change...graduation, uni/TAFE, work, relocating/moving, relationships, children, illness, etc. Also circumstances aside, people themselves who evolve...
I think there’s a certain social/cultural compass about what constitutes “success” or an “interesting” life/person, and it can be very discouraging or intimidating if you don’t navigate life according to that compass. I think it’s perfectly okay if you don’t go out much and that you aren’t into the things that a lot of other people are...
I suppose maybe your challenge is more about finding people who are on the same page as you. would you realistically get along with someone who loves to go out 7 nights a week, drives fast, lives fast, etc? Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with those things, but I suppose what I’m getting at is genuine compatibility...sorry, I feel like I’m not making much sense...
I think volunteering is a great idea, but I understand your fear of meeting new people. I wonder if maybe you would be open to a more behind-the-scenes or online role e.g. online work for a wildlife protection/environmental conservation charity, etc. Not saying that that’s necessarily right for you, but I’m just giving you suggestions...
I smiled at your passion, and your profound love for and need to write. That definitely comes across...it keeps you going. I get that it’s your lifeblood. Though it is disheartening not to be able to make a living from it ...
I think almost everyone can dance, including you 😉 Technique aside, it’s about letting go of inhibitions.
I enjoy a range of dance genres. I was into hip hop for a while. I used to do ballet, & have been meaning to learn salsa. But that hasn’t happened yet, like my French learning plans.
I also enjoy freestyle, unstructured dance too. Just as writing uses words to tell a story, dance uses movement to do the same 🙂