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Loneliness or alone-ness

Would love to hear others thoughts on this topic...

 

I work full time as a nurse so I have a lot of social interaction there, but am not socially active with co-workers as very few are: 1. single and 2. over 50.  I live out in the country, alone. I do not have children.    And do many activities alone such as hiking, riding my motorcycle, camping. 

 

I do not feel lonely,  but I worry that I am isolating myself and may regret not being more social as I age.  Particularly after I retire ( still 9 years away).I do have a few friends, but they don't live particularly close by, and I do make sure to get out with them 2 or 3 times a month.  I am not religious and joining a church isn't an option for me. 

 

What are you other single folks doing?  Give me some advice!  Thanks.

 

Jypsy Janet

 

Jypsy Janet
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I was attracted to the report about loneliness since I have been feeling lonely lately. In 1990 I had a brain-stem stroke that destroyed my balance and left me with very deep and nasily speech. Since 1990 I have not been able to particIpate in a conversation about anything or argue a point. By the time I get a full point out the conversation has moved three topics on. Initially I dedicated my time to writing two books and did not feel lonely. Now that I'm not writing a book (because my first two were not well recieved) I feel lonely. I'm acutely aware of the fact I have no one in my life.

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Social Isolation Looms Large as More Adults Live Alone

http://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2017/loneliness-growing-health-problem-fd.html...

 

This article appears on the AARP page and seems related to this discussion.  

I have never faced this issue.  We have a larger family and I work at a large company and I am surrounded by people all day  : )   so when I get home I need some isolation..   If I were to relocate after retirement that could be an issue so lots of the places we looked at were part of active communities that have lots of social time planned into the community.  While this is not for everyone is is one answer.  Another big issue is health which can isolate you more than you would ever choose.  But lots of discussions on this subject point out that society seems to be moving more and more to social media contact rather than face to face contact.  We have come a long way from small town American where everyone knows your name and business (and they still due) to the big city life where you don't know your neighbors.   Socializing without face to face kind of dehumanizes the contact.. you can say things because you don't know the person.  

It will be interesting to see how things go.

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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I have never been a "social butterfly".  I lost my adoptive Dad/best friend/mentor in June of this year.  He and I did everything together.  I feel lost without him.  I have friends 85 miles away (they were closer to his area), and they all have full family lives, so I don't think they feel comfortable around me, because I never married nor had any children, so they feel there is no common ground between us.  I have lived alone since 1999, and I only have a small dog and a single cat as company.  I have been feeling more alone than normally, since his death.  I just work, go home, listen to music and read or play downloaded games on my tablet.  I have never logged onto any social media, because to me, that is a very HUGE security risk.  I'm a six year Air Force Veteran, and security has always been a big issue for me.  I don't trust in humanity, just look at all the stories of attacks in the news lately.  I sometimes feel as if my biggest fear will come true, that I will die all alone, and it will be days before anyone finds my body.  I just live one day to the next at this point.

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@l136780y - I'm sorry for the recent loss of your surrogate dad! Since you mention being a veteran, are there any American Legion posts near you, where you can start developing a network of friends? Don't assume that you need to be 100% the same as your friends, to feel comfortable together! It's common (and a good idea) to have friends with whom you enjoy one or two things, so you can spend some time with each of them.

 

Your experience is a good lesson & reminder to all of us singles, that it can be very dangerous (albeit easy) to become so dependent on a single relative or friend, for our entire social life. Not only do we need variety, but the flexibility to still have other friends, if something happens to one of them.


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Last October 2016 I ran from an unsafe 12 year marriage.

I am 54 years old and live by myself now.

I am Disabled with severe fibromyalgia, anxiety/ panic attacks, asthma and allergies.

My social security disability check is just enough to pay my rent, phone, some medicine and food.

I don't quality for any medical help or prescription coverage.

I go to food banks when I have gas money to go.

I currently have .39 cents to last me 4 more days.

I don't know anybody. My last relationship kept me isolated to the house.

I am still isolated to my current place I'm staying because I have no one to help me.

I have no money for gas, food, medicines.

All I have is my phone. I listen to self help videos. I am so weak, and fearful of my tomorrow- I don't have strength to get dressed.

I would like to go to church. I have allergies to the perfumes and hairsprays and no way to get there. I look up services and songs on u- tube. I am afraid to be touched because of past gramma. But I strongly want to be healed of that and wish I could have someone to talk to.

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I am truly sorry to hear about your difficulties.  You seem to have a lot on your plate right now and are too weary to make a move.

 

As far as qualifying for help...have you made an appointment with your city or town's Social Services Dept?  You should request an interview to be evaluated for whatever services are available through them. 

 

First off, have you made an application for food stamps (EBT card)?  Certainly you may qualify for some assistance there. 

 

Medical care?  If you are on Social Security Disability, shouldn't you qualify for Medicaid or Medicare?  If you are on Medicaid, your prescriptions can be obtained at a discounted rate, depending upon your state's Medicaid arrangement.  If no assistance is available, you should get in touch with the pharmaceutical company that manufactures your drugs. 

They usually have assistance programs to supply Rx drugs at reduced prices or free of cost. 

 

Counseling for your anxiety may be available through your local Public Health Dept.  They may be able to help you with drug costs if you are on any anti-anxiety drugs.

 

Have you checked to see if there is a shelter for battered women & their children in your town?  The may be able to give you some helpful information for women like you who have left an abusive marriage...particularly outreach programs to help you re-integrate into society.

 

The YMCA may offer programs as well.  Your city recreation department may be able to give you information on services for seniors.  You need to be active with your fibromyalgia in order to prevent flares and maintain your mobility.  Some senior centers have exercise rooms and fitness classes as well as offering a luncheon meal to seniors who gather there for fellowship.  There may also be classes for hobbies which might interest you.  Art classes, knitting, crocheting, sewing, cards & bingo, day trips to local areas of interest such as museums & parks.

 

AARP has a local presence in many areas.  Check this website and see if there is one near you.  They may have other suggestions for you.

 

Astraea's suggestion about calling the church ahead of time is an excellent one

 

This is a pretty lengthy list to get started with.  Just take it one step at a time...with the same resolve you used to become a member of this board and make your very first post.  Good luck!  Each new contact will lead you to others.  Before you know it, you will find yourself all plugged in to your newest adventure!

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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@v936580h - I'm so sorry to hear about the situation you're in! Some places have "displaced homemaker" programs, for women getting out of dangerous or otherwise bad marriages .. maybe you can look for something like that in your area, and see if there are any support programs.

 

Can you call the church & ask if they have any "fragrance free" areas for services; I know that a lot of people have sensitivities, and they might be aware of that & accommodating.

 

Congratulations on taking the first step, out of your bad relationship!


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These posts speak volumes to me.  I have one cousin in town who I am close to. My therapist thinks I isolate but what other choice do I have. It takes money to do stuff.  I swim 3 times a week,  I go to thrift shops often and see people.  I do live alone, with the exception of my cat.  I read a great deal and frequent this site quite a bit.  I attend a writer's group.  I often go to the library and am taking a safe driver's class later this month.  I try to stay alert for various activities  I'm completely non-secular so have no interest whatsoever in that vein. Thinkng about volunteering somehow if an opportunity arises.

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@m907706g wrote:

These posts speak volumes to me.  I have one cousin in town who I am close to. My therapist thinks I isolate but what other choice do I have. It takes money to do stuff.  I swim 3 times a week,  I go to thrift shops often and see people.  I do live alone, with the exception of my cat.  I read a great deal and frequent this site quite a bit.  I attend a writer's group.  I often go to the library and am taking a safe driver's class later this month.  I try to stay alert for various activities  I'm completely non-secular so have no interest whatsoever in that vein. Thinkng about volunteering somehow if an opportunity arises.


It seems to me that you are quite active. I am sorry that you don't have family or s close friend near.  

 

 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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@nyadrn AARP's "Create the GOOD" page offers a listing of volunteer opportunities in or near your area (depending on where you live) when you key in your zip code.

 

It's amazing the types of activities, skills, talent, and experience, these requests for volunteers are asking/searching for.

Fey Lady
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@Calhounwoman wrote:

@nyadrn AARP's "Create the GOOD" page offers a listing of volunteer opportunities in or near your area (depending on where you live) when you key in your zip code.

 

It's amazing the types of activities, skills, talent, and experience, these requests for volunteers are asking/searching for.


Yes no doubt a good resource.  When I retire I will think about these various opportunities.

 

 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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I love in a rural community and am disabled. The community is very family based so as a 50 year old single person there is nothing. I belong to a Church but outside of Church everyone is once again family focused. I do not have the gas money to go into the big city to join groups or activities. 

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@d829124b wrote:

I love in a rural community and am disabled. The community is very family based so as a 50 year old single person there is nothing. I belong to a Church but outside of Church everyone is once again family focused. I do not have the gas money to go into the big city to join groups or activities. 


@d829124b - Is there a nearby larger town that might be better for you, being disabled & alone? Would you consider moving?

 

I find that the "senior" activities in my town, because they're all during the daytime, are attended by older retirees .. AARP, Women's Club, etc. So for someone in their 50s, or even their 60s, you feel a little out-of-place, in a group where the minimum age of other participants is 70-75!


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When my husband died, along with grief, I found new freedom: I could cook when I wanted to and nap when I wanted to, paint the walls any color I wanted to...but after a few years, I got lonely. I missed having someone to tell my good news to, missed someone who knew how to fix the computer and change ceiling light bulbs. I did go to church, I was in a writers group, enjoyed Netflix Facebook...but had no live person to share the little day-to-day happenings with. Also, when my husband died, my income was cut in half, and with the increasing living costs, finances were getting tight. My daughter lived many states away and kept urging me to come live with her and her husband. Not wanting to be the classic "mother-in-law", I kept my condo while trying out a new living arrangement, staying with them 8 months. We got along fine. In fact, I was able to go to many more interesting activities with them and I took care of their cats when they went on occasional overnight trips. I sold my house and invested half the money in an annuity, guaranteeing I would not outlive my bank account. The three of us figured out what added expense I caused by living with them, the food and utilities, and I write a check for that amount each month. I pay for my own meals when we eat out. Having given up driving, I've learned to use a local cab company. I have a large bedroom and bathroom which I decorated with my own stuff and have settled in nicely. Lonely no longer.

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Know what you're saying. I live alone and often wish I could call someone up to chat with. My cat is a poor conversationalist. TV gets old quickly and sometimes a good book helps. Take a short drive to a coffee shop to break up the monotony. Enjoy a caramel iced coffee and a little chit chat with a friendly waitress or two. Pretty much my social life in a nutshell. Kind of works for me though.
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@em869 wrote:

When my husband died, along with grief, I found new freedom: I could cook when I wanted to and nap when I wanted to, paint the walls any color I wanted to...but after a few years, I got lonely. I missed having someone to tell my good news to, missed someone who knew how to fix the computer and change ceiling light bulbs. I did go to church, I was in a writers group, enjoyed Netflix Facebook...but had no live person to share the little day-to-day happenings with. Also, when my husband died, my income was cut in half, and with the increasing living costs, finances were getting tight. My daughter lived many states away and kept urging me to come live with her and her husband. Not wanting to be the classic "mother-in-law", I kept my condo while trying out a new living arrangement, staying with them 8 months. We got along fine. In fact, I was able to go to many more interesting activities with them and I took care of their cats when they went on occasional overnight trips. I sold my house and invested half the money in an annuity, guaranteeing I would not outlive my bank account. The three of us figured out what added expense I caused by living with them, the food and utilities, and I write a check for that amount each month. I pay for my own meals when we eat out. Having given up driving, I've learned to use a local cab company. I have a large bedroom and bathroom which I decorated with my own stuff and have settled in nicely. Lonely no longer.


Wow  congrats!  What a smart way to make the change.. do a trial run and see how things go.  I am glad it worked out for you and that you are happy with the change and mostly that you are lonely no more Woman Happy

 

 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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@d829124b

@EveRH

Just because there is a large age gap doesn't mean you won't have any interests in common with this age group. I have always gotten along with people 10-20 years older and younger than I am. I also have a DIL that is 51 and has friends from 40's-80's.

Putting age aside you might just try out a couple of groups and see what happens. 

Does the town have a library, do you like to read, and is there reading group?  I have a friend that is in her mid 80's that belongs to such a group at the library.

These are ways to get to know people and make friends.

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@SassiLady - It was just an observation I made, about a couple of meetings I attended. I have been a caregiver too many times, to want to belong to any organization, where all the other members are 20+ years older than I am, only a few used e-mail, and most were married.

 

Since I bought my first house 32 years ago, I was in "married with children" suburbs. I found that anyone who had children still at home had their activities revolve around the children's interests & needs, and had no adult interests or free time for themselves. Fine for them, but that doesn't make for good "activity buddies" with a retiree.


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Me too. I am retired. We two r retired grandparents.  Since I had to give up my drivers license loneliness etc hit me like a big brick in the face. For a long time I depended on reading Ebooks. I have no hearing in my right ear and I can barely hear, even with a hearing aid, in the left ear.. I am a reitired **bleep** teacher.

My wife does better. She is a retired speech pathologist. I am 83. 

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Bob

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@rfayhallock wrote:

Me too. I am retired. We two r retired grandparents.  Since I had to give up my drivers license loneliness etc hit me like a big brick in the face. For a long time I depended on reading Ebooks. I have no hearing in my right ear and I can barely hear, even with a hearing aid, in the left ear.. I am a reitired **bleep** teacher.

My wife does better. She is a retired speech pathologist. I am 83. 

86327

Bob


Bob

 

More and more people use car services  like uber.  Maybe you could plan to get out once a week with a friend who drives or think of other options!

 

 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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@nelsjm, Hi Jypsy Janet!  As the oldest of 6, and as a teenager,  it was an eye opening life lesson to experience loneliness (isolation) in a house full of people.  I don't wish that kind of loneliness on anyone.

 

Do you plan on doing some type of volunteer nursing during retirement? Would you consider starting an annual excursion experience with like minded single nursing peers?  There must be other single nurses your age at other workplaces--connect with them.  Do you belong to any professional nursing organizations? Great way to meet new people with something in common; making new connections now, with a couple of people will make it easier when you do retire.

 

I have never married or concieved (on pupose).  Since retiring a little over two years ago, I haven't had time to be lonely.  As another poster mentioned, everyone seems to demand more of your time; it's as if my retirement is their retirement. "No" has become a very useful and effective recurring mantra for me.

 

I keep engaged by doing what I've always done:  write, volunteer, travel, take courses of interest, etc.  It's easy for me to meet people, but I prefer to keep my circle of confidants very small--less drama that way.

 

My most challenging retirement lifestyle learning curve has been to accept that my idea of what aging looks like is not in line with that of some of my family members, friends, and former peers.  I have actually had to disassociate from some of them because they were simply too old in their mindset. My 60 is not my Mom's or my Grammy's.  I will be "too old to be doing that" soon enough...but in my own way and my own time.

 

Let me know what you decide to do.

 

 

Fey Lady
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@Calhounwoman - I have considered going on a "volunteer vacation", but it bothers me that you live in spartan quarters, work hard at least 1/2 or 3/4 of the time you're there .. but you pay more for that "experience", than if you went on a conventional trip & stayed at a nice resort!

 

I've also considered going with a special interest group, like the Audubon Society, Smithsonian, or one of the classical music stations, but the price of their trips is prohibitive. They say they get special guest speakers, and get the group into places not normally open to tourists, and part of the price is a "donation" to the organization. I don't like when a "donation" is mandated like that. Oh, and they generally have a 30% extra charge for singles.


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@EveRHOoooohhh, did you just bring up my most annoying peeve (single pay penalty) about being a Single Independent (one income source)?  I have experienced every situation you mentioned and every time I get a notice about a volunteer/donation opportunity I ask about the single penalty.  I either get a prepackaged response that doesn't offer any options or my request is totally ignored.

My recent cruise to Asia on the Celebrity only happened because I repeatedly requested a "Single" stateroom.  Since I was meeting up with a large group of seniors, the tour agent got me an excellent price for the three-week trip.  But, as you know, I got lucky!  Apparently, more and more cruise companies are recognizing the increased demand by single travelers.  Single staterooms are being offered, but demand is so intense that they are snapped up quickly.

 

I think our best option may be to create our own volunteer experience with a group of our own making.  Although I like to get dirty when I travel--the jungles of Guatemala and the interior of Belize is still my all-time favorite eco-trip--I don't want to feel like an indentured servant who is worked to the point of exhaustion where I feel too tired to enjoy the "experience".

 

I'd like to experience working on a farm or ranch where room and board is included or help someone set up a food co-op or community farmer's market or even help create support services for seniors living in rural areas.  The challenge is connecting with people who are comfortable with strangers staying in their home or on their property.  I have learned that most people who prefer rural life also are not particularly comfortable around a lot of people--that is why they choose rural living.  

 

Free labor that pays a nominal fee for room and board for a short period of time sounds like a great idea to me.  What do you think?

Fey Lady
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@Calhounwoman - I think I've reached a stage in life where "volunteering is work," while "vacation is NOT work." I think I'm happier not trying to mix them together! 🙂


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@EveRH Yes, I totally understand! LOL!!!

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I can relate a little! I've been single for awhile. . I date but I enjoy living alone. I have a very full life with work and socializing with my friends. Volunteering is GREAT but it can have drawbacks as well. Once they know that you're single they think you don't have a life and your phone tends to ring a lot. You have to learn to say no sometimes. I like giving back. I've raised funds for causes, I'm a Project leader for the United Way, Find a cause that you believe in and give it your all. Someone stated breaking in sometimes be difficult. This is very true. There are cliques in volunteering but in time you'll find like-minded people who you'd enjoy away from volunteering. I wish you the best.
That which you attempt to control...controls you - Iyanla Vanzant
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@pvdugas

 

(That which you attempt to control...controls you - Iyanla Vanzant)

 

AHA!  Just like living with a cat. LOL!

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@pvdugas  Welcome!  It's very nice to see a new face and read a very positive and life-affirming post.  I noticed you have also posted on the genealogy thread here as well.  We look forward to seeing you on the other AARP discussion forums as you explore the various topics that interest you.

 

Please feel free to create a new topic here if you have a subject you'd like to explore with other singles.

 

If you'd like to respond to a particular poster, please use the @ sign and a drop-down menu will show up at the bottom of the dialogue box.  It will contain the names of the members who have already posted on a thread.  Highlight the name of the person you are responding to and it will show up in red...just as your name appears at the beginning of this post.  This will simultaneously alert that poster that you've mentioned them in a post.  That increases the chances that you will receive a response.

 

We hope you enjoy your conversations and the time you spend here!

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Hi Janet, I can relate to your situation! I've lived on my own since the early 1980s .. about 35 years, and am happy with that arrangement. I've lived in a few suburbs in NJ, within commuting distance to NYC, where I worked. Because most of the employees were scattered, none of my work friends lived close enough to me, to socialize regularly. Before I moved to the shore, I thought my current location had more singles > 55, but 95% of the people I know are married, and even the the widows/divorcees are involved with children & grandchildren.

 

I'm an introvert, and am happier with a few very good friends, than a large posse of them (or "squad"). I wouldn't want to live in an isolated area though, because I do enjoy the theater, and attend a show at some regional venue about once a month. I've been involved in various organizations, but outside of their activities, there are very few who've become personal good buddies.

 

I like living in a single family home, rather than a development with restrictions. I would definitely consider downsizing, if I could find a place in a thriving downtown area, with everything in walking distance .. if such a place exists in NJ.


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Thanks for your reply.  Your situation sounds very similar to mine and reassures me that I am not such an odd ball after all!

 

I don't feel unhappy with my current situation, but do wonder if I can sustain it in the long run.  Thanks again!

Jypsy Janet
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