Lonely Lady

5 Aug

Letterbalm Woman in Rocking ChairDear LetterBalm: After almost 50 years of marriage, my husband died three years ago. He was a controlling man. He insisted that I have no friends outside his family and mine. I drifted apart from both and never was able to make other friends. I have a few people I talk with online, but mostly I’m alone. Two years ago, I moved into a retirement facility, but I haven’t been able to make any friends. Nobody wants to talk or get together, and the retirement home doesn’t have any activities. I’m really lonely and regretting my decision to live here.

–Solitary Old Woman

Are you sure that, in addition to being lonely, you aren’t depressed? You had almost half a century of restriction and control, and you still might be grieving for your husband (although it’s perfectly understandable if you’re not). You could be telegraphing sadness and lack of energy, and nobody wants to hang around people who are downers. Arrange for a visit to your doctor. You need medication, and it may take several tries to get it right. You might consider sessions with a therapist to address your concerns. And, when you feel better, consider reaching out to family members on both sides who might welcome hearing from you. And, when you can go outside yourself, Ms. L.B. always advocates approaching the person in the room who looks the most alone, sitting down, asking some questions and listening. You might be pleasantly surprised. Notice details, and be engaged, interested and upbeat. Try this – it’s basic, but it might work:

Hello. My name is Flora, and I’ve been living here for two years. I’ve seen you before, but we’ve never talked. I’ve always admired your style – you have such pretty scarves and shawls and tie them in attractive ways. I’ve lived here all my life, and I wish I had traveled more. Have you been to other countries? Did you have a career? I have a son and daughter. Do you have children?

You get the idea.

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2 Responses to “Lonely Lady”

  1. landa 08/05/2015 at 3:17 am #

    that is so sad smh

  2. Randell 08/12/2015 at 12:34 am #

    It’s difficult to find educated people on this topic however you sound like you
    know what you’re talking about! Thank you for this post.

    I certainly agree with what you are saying.
    Keep us posted.

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