Help! I Have No One to Talk To

Dear GoodTherapy,

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

Dear 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.

Take care,

Lynn Somerstein, PhD, NCPsyA, C-IAYT

Lynn Somerstein
Lynn Somerstein, PhD, NCPsyA, C-IAYT is a Manhattan-based, licensed psychotherapist with more than 30 years in private practice. She is also a yoga teacher and student of Ayuveda—the Indian science of wellness. Her main interest is in helping people find healthy ways of living, loving, and working in the particular combination that works best for them, connecting to their deepest energic source so their full range of abilities can be expressed. Lynn's specialty is understanding and alleviating anxiety and depression.
  • 12 comments
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  • VHC

    VHC

    September 26th, 2018 at 11:17 AM

    “solitary confinement” is the perfect way to put it.

  • gloria c.

    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

  • S

    S

    April 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?

  • Chuck

    Chuck

    April 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.

  • Amaechi

    Amaechi

    June 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.

  • S

    S

    July 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

  • Chris

    Chris

    July 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 Team

    The GoodTherapy Team

    July 24th, 2019 at 12:02 PM

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your comment. If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage, http://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your postal/zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area. If you’re looking for a counselor that practices a specific type of therapy, or who deals with specific concerns, you can make an advanced search by clicking here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list, you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. Please contact us if you have any questions.

    If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, in danger of hurting yourself or others, feeling suicidal, overwhelmed, or in crisis, it’s very important that you get immediate help! Information about what to do in a crisis is available here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

  • Carlie

    Carlie

    August 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.

  • Jennifer

    Jennifer

    July 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 :)

  • Renee

    Renee

    September 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 r

    vanesaa r

    October 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.

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