Help! I Have No One to Talk To
Ever since my dad died last year, I have had no one to talk to. And really, I had no one to talk to for the last three years of his life, ravaged as he was by Alzheimer’s.
I don’t have any other family. I have no close friends, no husband or boyfriend, and no children. It’s just me and my constant companions: emptiness, loneliness, and my 8-year-old dog Roxie. When she goes, my life will truly be meaningless. Sometimes I hope she outlives me. If God had told me this would be my life, I would have stayed put.
I’m not kidding when I say I can go three or four days without saying a word to anyone. I write, but it’s just for me (except this letter). Writing is like talking to myself, so that’s something, I guess. And it keeps me from losing track of language altogether. Sometimes I feel like I’m starting to lose my mind the way Dad did.
So now that you know how pathetic my life is, go ahead and tell me there is “hope” if only I do this, that, and the other thing. I probably won’t believe you, but I wouldn’t be writing if I had given up completely. —In Solitary
Your letter inspires my curiosity, not my advice. I’m not going to tell you to do anything because I believe you already know what to do—you’re just not ready. Perhaps you’re too mad or too sad. Both, maybe? What I will say is caring for your dad for three years took a lot out of you. You’re flattened, your energy seemingly used up.
It’s time for renewal. I think that’s why you wrote this letter. I don’t know what you do to care for yourself. I don’t know what you like to do, what you’d like to learn to do, or what you’d like to do differently, but you probably know the answers. Knowing what to do can be a lot easier than doing it, of course.
I’m not sure what you mean when you write, “If God had told me this would be my life, I would have stayed put.” Stayed put where? In a different house, job, city, state, state of existence? There are hints of hopelessness in your words, but there is always hope. Sometimes it helps when someone removed from your situation points it out. Speaking of hope, I hope you will consider working with a therapist for this reason. No good therapist is going to tell you what to do, but they will walk with you through the hardest parts until you see your own way forward.
Can you use your compassion and commitment for yourself, too? If not, why not?
Had you always lived with your father? Had you always lived the same way? You cared for your dad, Alzheimer’s and all, for three years. You know plenty about commitment and devotion to others. I wonder where and how you learned. Did someone once care for you that way? Can you use your compassion and commitment for yourself, too? If not, why not?
I have a lot of questions. Maybe too many. Do you ever question yourself? You write, so I’m guessing you do.
You are clearly lonely, but you know how to reach people if you want. You’ve put yourself in solitary confinement. I wonder what you’ve done to deserve this. Or what you think you’ve done.
Is it punishment or choice? Maybe you like having time alone, too. After all, you don’t have to take care of anybody except yourself and your dog.
You think your life is “pathetic”? I don’t think so. I think you’ve got plenty going for yourself. You just need to decide to use what you have.
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VHCSeptember 26th, 2018 at 11:17 AM
“solitary confinement” is the perfect way to put it.
gloria c.September 30th, 2018 at 4:26 PM
so im in love with my friends ex and we have classes together and the other day me and him was cuddling and he kissed my head what should i do should i tell her or what please help
SApril 11th, 2019 at 8:39 AM
So what if you do reach out and everyone ignores you? That is not a choice. I will email people reach out and get totally ignored. No one wants to hear anyone’s complaints or issues. Shoot I think I may not email myself back. So the only other option is to pay someone to? yea then they really don’t care, they just want the $. I’ve done that quite a few times and even when I don’t show up they never check on me. Awesome huh?
ChuckApril 26th, 2019 at 8:07 AM
I totally agree. No one really wants to take the time anymore to get to know someone. They are to distracted with the internet, cell phone, and social media. They don’t have the skills (including Counselors) to truly listen and discern where others are coming from. Then, you have the DSM 5 labeling people with all kinds of issues. There is nothing mentally wrong with these people. There just fed up. They are dealing with the cultural stigma of not fitting in. They end up experiencing much rejection, dejection, shame and being humiliated.
AmaechiJune 5th, 2019 at 8:28 AM
Not only that, ppl don’t phone. Hearing a voice is so much more personal and stimulating than a text from someone. Sadly, too many folks refuse to make calls or be called, either to save money (despite free ways to do it over social media) or avoid that intimacy.
SJuly 19th, 2019 at 3:28 PM
Wow…..with the previous 5 comments/replies, I’m ASTOUNDED that I
am NOT the only one who has recognized for quite some time that
human “contact” verbally(in person or phone) has had such a “visably
noticeable” affect on GENUINE human “interaction” among mainly
the folks using the cell phones, smart phones!! Example…..boy/girl
dating in restaurant…..for the 45min-1 hour they are there, at LEAST
80% of ALL that time is devoted to activities on smart phones. These
type people have become (walking “dead”) ROBOTS with compromised
communication skills going forward……SO SAD!!!!! S
ChrisJuly 24th, 2019 at 10:36 AM
I truly have no one. I know that if i were gone tomorrow it would not matter to a soul. my parents are gone, my grandmother is gone, children have no use for me (they only care when they need money) and bf threatens to move out at every turn. it is very hard to step back from the edge of the thought process that i have no meaning, no impact, no point to being here. I know i would not be missed.
The GoodTherapy TeamJuly 24th, 2019 at 12:02 PM
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CarlieAugust 15th, 2019 at 1:36 PM
Hi, Chris. I’m with you. I recently had someone text me, “We’re not excluding you. We just don’t think about you.” Another one emailed me, “You’re not one of the cool kids to us but you are a cool kid to someone else.” AMAZING! I recommend doing volunteer work of some sort. There are nursing homes, hospices, all kinds of places where lonely, hurting people would LOVE to make eye contact with YOU. I also recommend going to an open AA meeting. No, in open meetings you don’t have to have a problem with alcohol or any substance, but it’s a place you can go to hear people talk about their thoughts and feelings — being HUMAN. You must find a way to reach out and touch someone, to quote an old advo phrase.
Prayed for you.
JenniferJuly 30th, 2019 at 10:05 AM
My mother had the same problem and she was always terribly hurt when plans would be canceled or she would get blown off entirely which was honestly the story of her life. She hated being called ‘pretty’ feeling she only attracted men and nothing meaningful. She spent a lot of time at CODA meetings which was both good and bad. Her name was Gail and perhaps when you are really feeling down you can ask for her spirit in guidance. I tell my son that if our only job everyday is to survive that is OK also. God has a plan. Good luck :)
ReneeSeptember 10th, 2019 at 9:11 PM
I have no one to talk to hang out with nothing, my father passed away, my mother has Alzheimer’s my brother lives 1,500 miles away and never answer his phone my husband past away so it’s just me and 2 dogs renting a room with house privileges the people I’m renting from doesn’t really talk to me unless it’s to complain about something or someone or ask for money. Life is spiraling out of control counselors are just out for $ they don’t act like they care or what to help.
vanesaa rOctober 4th, 2019 at 6:06 AM
I am going to be going through a divorce and my world is turning upside down. I need to be there mentally for my 9 year old daughter who counts on me but I feel I have no one to vent to about what I am going through.
AngelaNovember 23rd, 2019 at 1:45 PM
I have a boyfriend who cares but I lost interest because I fell in love with this one guy who happens to be my former neighbor we have never spoke to each other yet I still liked him one day he sat by his door step as I stared at him I noticed something was strange I then found out him and his whole family were moving we left and when we came back he was gone I suddenly felt tears coming out and then I said to myself that he was gone even before I got to know him my sister does care my best friend sorta cares but she speaks bad behind my back and I have no one to cry on what should I do plz I know this isn’t that serious but I am desperate for anything
MichaelFebruary 20th, 2020 at 3:06 PM
I am not at the same point of having nobody to talk to that the original poster and some of the commentators are. But I can see myself getting to that point someday if I am not careful. And there was a period some years back when I felt that I was somewhat close that point
I have spent so much of my life working long hours and doing a lengthy commute I never had much time or energy to spend building up any sort of network or social circle other than online.
The solution to the problem is actually rather simple: expand your social circle and find people who share your interests and values and can add meaning to life.
But, of course, implementing that solution is not always simple and does require an investment of time and effort.
I think Carlie in the comments is on to something when she suggested doing volunteer work.
I would add to that by suggesting to do ANYTHING that is positive and worthwhile that will put you in regular contact with other people. If you want more people in your life, you need to put yourself in circulation where you can find such people and where they can find you.
But I have found that there is one EXTREMELY important rule when doing so: any event or activity you attend needs to be something that you will gain value and enjoyment from REGARDLESs as to whether you make new friends.
If you go for no other purpose than finding friends and you don’t then you will have considered it a waste of time and will eventually become discouraged.
But, if there was some other value that made attending worthwhile – then it wasn’t a waste of your time.
It is important to go into such things with a certain realism. One doesn’t just meet someone and become close friends the same day. Relationships take time to evolve.
Be prepared for the possiblity that more of the events you attend will likley NOT result in potential freinds than those that will.
It is like any other type of treasure hunt – you have to sift through a certain amount of stuff you have no interest in before you find what you are looking for. But if you aren’t out there sifting through the pebbles and the rocks you will never find the nugget of gold that is waiting for you.
Also, one more thing that is also VERY important once you do start meeting people: friendship is based on shared interests and values.
Everybody has problems in their lives. And everybody goes through rough periods in their lives. Sometimes helping a friend during a difficult time can draw the friendship closer. But one has to be VERY careful about this. If a person’s problems get to the point that they overwhelm the shared interests and values that the friendship is based on – that can end a friendship very quickly. There is a term for it: empathy fatigue.
A friend should NEVER be used as a substitute for a therapist. That is a quick way of ending a friendship. Whether you are the one in need of help or if it is your friend – don’t cross that line.
Again, everybody has problems in their lives and I don’t know of anybody who is wanting to take on more problems. Be sensitive of that.
If you are needing someone to talk to about life challenges, find a support group, find a therapist, find some sort of online forum or online virtual support group that meets through video conference.
Also – don’t look for friends though a perfectionist mindset.
Expectations of finding a friend who is exactly like a friend you have lost is not realistic – every person is unique.
Expectations of finding a friend who shares your taste in books AND movies AND has the exact same hobbies that you do AND the same exact political views – that will set you up for disappointment.
A rich social circle will contain many types of friends, some you are closer with than others. Some friends you might only spend time with a few times per year – others perhaps a few times a week or more.
Maybe the basis for some friendships will be a shared hobby. If so, avoid complicating such friendships by discussions of subjects such as religion and politics.
If you like to talk about religion and politics, then find seek out people where those subjects can be the common bond.
Eventually, you might find a certain special friend who shares your values in many areas of life. That is wonderful. But, until then, don’t let that stop you from enjoying the company of people who share only some but not all of your values.
As to where to find friends locally – the Internet can actually be very helpful in this area.
Check online and see if there are any events of interest in your area.
And, of course, any sort of organization or club that is devoted to causes, viewpoints or activities that are of value to you are a great place to meet people.
Anyhow, much of the above is advice I have recently given to myself and am seeking ways to implement. If I don’t want to end up being lonely with nobody to talk with – then I need to make the time and effort to get out and meet with people.
The world is full of wonderful people – some of whom share my interests and values and would enjoy knowing me just as much as I would enjoy knowing them. But if I don’t make the effort to put myself in circulation where I can find them and they can find me – then both of our lives will be less rich than they could have been and I likely will end up being lonely.
EileenMay 14th, 2020 at 3:02 PM
Yours is such an uplifting post and for that reason I cannot imagine you being lonely for long as it is positivity, kindness, and a warm personality that helps us connect. It is not easy these days though and I do believe that technology has hindered us as far as social skills go. Some years ago I parted company with my mobile phone and noticed all the more, how people walked with their heads down totally engrossed with the screen in front of them. In my twenties, I loved going on a train journey, often to work in London, not knowing who I might talk to along the way. Even if it was just the weather, I often felt lifted by talking to someone and if I saw an elderly person who I thought might be interested in a conversation, I would sit beside them. Today, I think that type of action would be considered odd! A few years ago, I volunteered for a local stroke club and met some wonderful people through that but still find that life is lonely at times and do not quite know how it ended up that way as I’ve been told I’m a friendly human being! One of the stroke volunteers is still in touch and recently through the lock down here in England, I wrote to her and thanked her for her kindness and thoughtfulness towards me.
I hope you manage to branch out and share your positive attitude with those around you Michael. Good luck to you.
AdeMay 3rd, 2020 at 4:33 PM
Sometimes I feel lonely but I blame myself because I never let anybody close to me. I know now I should have. I could blame it on marriage and children. But no that wouldn’t be true. Live and learn. You need to be there for friends so maybe they will be there for you.
ChuckMay 4th, 2020 at 9:58 AM
It’s hard to be there for others. When you were traumatized as a child. No therapy in the world is going to change those circumstances.
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