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.
You're right, almost everyone can dance. I'm that elite, significant, one percent that can't. I'm also in the elite non-singing group too, so I'm special 🙂
Learning a language sounds great, something I've never really tried. Is there any reason you chose French?
I will continue looking into volunteering. I don't have a car now so I'm trying to find things close to where I live. But I do belive it's the next step for me. It will just require a massive grit-my-teeth-count-to-ten-and-go-talk-to-someone moment. Piece of cake 🙂
In regards to how we define success, I realise it's my view and perspective that really needs to shift. I feel like a failure when I tell people I haven't worked in years, so I just avoid having the conversation.
When I pick the kids from school I stand there by myself looking at the many parents talking and just feel so alone. My daughter played soccer last year and, though I tried to get to know the other parents, by the end of the season I was just smiling and saying hello and standing by myself watching whilst the other parents were in groups, having bonded over bbqs and get-togethers which I made up excuses not to attend because I just can't handle social situations like that.
I think I'm friendly and open and kind and a good listener but all my good qualities are beyond the reach of general conversationalists. I'm hidden behind a wall that keeps me safe and protected, but also very alone.
I would love to find like-minded people which is why I was trying to find penpals online but after several months there was only one person who got in touch and I stopped hearing from them after a week.
I often think that I'm the invisible man and words are the white powder I throw on myself in order to be seen. Without my writing, no-one sees me. What's worse is that my words (quotes from my books, or other things I've written) are floating around the internet and being used as motivation and inspiration for others. The irony.
Sorry, I'm feeling a little low today. At the back of my mind is the thought that, whilst talking on this forum is helping, eventually it will go the way of many other things.
It probably will but that's okay. I know in the end I need to help myself. And I will. I can figure it out. I just have down days where it's hard to keep going but I know it's just about doing whatever's necessary to survive those and looking forward to the upswing again.
Hope you have a good day.
I love your poem. It's so tender but also dark.
The way you describe your words as the powder you throw on yourself to make you visible is so powerful.
I wish I could read your books!
I almost cried when I read your paragraph about being a soccer dad.
You have a tremendous gift with language.
Although I have kept in touch with friends from school etc, I can also relate in a lot of ways to how you describe your loneliness, because I have lately withdrawn so much from so many people - the old turtle trick. I just want to be in my little world with my little garden and my solitude. But then when I start to spiral into my anxiety cycle, I crave the connections that I have just been pushing away. It is incredibly painful. I understand.
Living in the concrete jungle, I understand the challenges of being in such close proximity to so many strangers. It is so trying, I remember it well, especially when you yearn to be out with the trees and the fresh air and connecting with the earth. We have moved to a coastal area that is not exactly rural, but one block away from us there is farmland. (I would definitely struggle without a car here, but I get inspired hearing stories like yours and always dream of paring everything right down). We just have a few rescued chickens and our doggies (would love to have enough land to provide refuge for rescued animals, maybe one day).
Do you have a Community Garden anywhere close to your neighbourhood, where you could share growing food?
I'm quite emotional today - sorry you are feeling low as well. Just go with it. Ride it out and have compassion for it and for yourself. I'll try to do the same.
Maybe I should try dancing this emotional feeling out Pepper? V., I defy your assertion that you can't dance. My dogs can dance, so I'm 100% sure you can too. If you can move, you can dance. Their favourite song to dance to at the moment is "If it feels good (then it must be)" by Leon Bridges. I just found it in my playlist and started it, I couldn't help starting to feel a bit better. But I'm not ready yet to feel better, so off it goes. Sometimes I just like to be in my sadness, do you?
Hi V. (and a wave to all),
It sounds like you were having a particularly rough day last time you wrote. Feeling low is horrible. I feel for you...is it okay if I ask how have you been since then?
The way you expressed your loneliness and feeling a certain emotional distance/disconnect at soccer was poignant. Feeling as though you’re on the “outer”, peering in from the sidelines, must be hard. Also, the way you expressed feeling invisible and using words to feel seen moved me...
About friendship, I actually think forging deep connections can be difficult. Though I’m not entirely sure if that’s what you’re after by way of friendship...
I understand your beautiful words is your way to connect with the world. As wonderful as your words are, and as much as we love them, surely, there’s depth, complexity and rich offerings beneath those words?
In any case, you seem very thoughtful to me...I suppose what I’m trying to express is I think you’re much more than just your words. Powerful as your words are, there is more...layers...
French because I might be doing a bit of travelling late this year/early next year with a couple of friends. Though we might want to push it to June/July next year as it will be summer then in the Northern hemisphere. Not sure how I feel about being there in the icy cold winter so mid-year might be better 😉
I like talking to you. I think you’re very interesting, and I agree with lovely birdy that you have a gift with words. I also agree with her that if you can move, you can dance 😉 Perhaps it’s a new perspective you might like to consider...
Thinking of you with kind thoughts...