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  2. Maddox

    About loneliness

    Loneliness is a dangerous health issue, one that is widespread and often unseen by other people. It’s not a contagious disease that can be passed onto others, but others can be affected by seeing the effects of loneliness in others. It’s not restricted to any one group of people or age group, nor is it restricted to any country or region; it is universal in its sinister effects on millions of people. There is no magic cure, no immunisation that can be applied; this is something that can enter your life without your intervention in doing anything to bring it about. Loneliness materialises without any warning and can come about over a period or hit you like a flying brick that comes out of nowhere. There is no one single issue that can be assigned to loneliness, there are many reasons and causes that have no limits. What affects one person may not be related to another; each person may be struggling for different reasons and many see no end to the misery that loneliness inflicts. It has been stated recently that loneliness could see the condition being recognised as the UK’s most dangerous health issue. The list of potential causes of loneliness that follows is by no means complete: Loss of a family member Loss of a close friend Being shy Breakup of a long-term relationship Lack of self-confidence Being bullied Low esteem Being abused Having no real trustworthy friends Loss of a pet Moving to a new area and leaving friends behind Coping with a disability Being withdrawn Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Retirement End of term of service in the armed forces Loss of faith Feeling worthless Being controlled Going through a divorce These and many, many other reasons can be attributed to the onset of loneliness. The effects of these can be far reaching in a person’s life and can lead to any of the following: Poor decision-making Depression Alcohol abuse Contemplating Suicide Drug abuse Cardiovascular disease Strokes Development of Alzheimer's disease Increased stress levels Reduced memory and learning abilities Anti-social behaviour The above lists are not comprehensive and there may be other factors or health related complications that may emerge due to the distressing nature of loneliness. Is there a cure? It depends on the individual and whether they want to eradicate loneliness from their life. Sometimes people just get used to the idea that this is all there is going to be, and this train of thought can deepen further the loneliness they are suffering. Accepting loneliness is not the be-all and end-all that life has to offer, there are a range of self-help exercises that can be employed to combat loneliness – we can explore these options together within the pages of this site and together with telephone helplines and other websites that have information and help to offer. There’s no magic wand to wave, or pills to pop; it requires a willingness to do something positive and this website is geared towards helping you achieve this goal. It won’t make loneliness disappear overnight, but it will, hopefully, help to guide you towards defeating this sapping disease and get you back into a position of positivity about your life. Welcome to Lonely People
  3. Maddox

    UK Minister for loneliness

    On Wednesday 17 January 2018 the UK Prime Minister set out how government is tackling loneliness and combating social isolation. She announced that the government is accepting a series of recommendations from the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness. The Prime Minister will host a reception at Downing Street to celebrate Jo Cox’s legacy, and the important work of her family, Foundation and the Commission in highlighting how many people are experiencing loneliness. Research shows: more than 9 million people always or often feel lonely around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month up to 85% of young disabled adults – 18-34-year olds – feel lonely Ahead of the reception, the Prime Minister paid tribute to Jo Cox, her family and to those working for the Foundation and Commission for highlighting the issue. The Prime Minister said: “For far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life.” “I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones – people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with.” “Jo Cox recognised the scale of loneliness across the country and dedicated herself to doing all she could to help those affected.” “So, I am pleased that government can build on her legacy with a ministerial lead for loneliness who will work with the Commission, businesses and charities to shine a light on the issue and pull together all strands of government to create the first ever strategy.” “We should all do everything we can to see that, in Jo’s memory, we bring an end to the acceptance of loneliness for good.” The Prime Minister has today implemented the first of the Jo Cox Commission’s recommendations – appointing a ministerial lead on loneliness. The Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey Crouch will lead a cross-government group which will take responsibility for driving action on loneliness across all parts of government and keeping it firmly on the agenda. In addition, work has also begun on: developing a cross-government strategy on loneliness in England to be published later this year. This will bring together government, local government, public services, the voluntary and community sector and businesses to identify opportunities to tackle loneliness, and build more integrated and resilient communities developing the evidence-base around the impact of different initiatives in tackling loneliness, across all ages and within all communities, led by the government’s What Works centres establishing appropriate indicators of loneliness across all ages with the Office for National Statistics so these figures can be included in major research studies a dedicated fund which will see government working with charitable trusts, foundations, and others to: stimulate innovative solutions to loneliness across all ages, backgrounds and communities provide seed funding for communities to come together to develop activities which enable people to connect scale-up and spread existing work offering practical and emotional support to help lonely individuals reconnect with their communities A number of government initiatives are already in place to help reduce loneliness, including improved mental health support, and the pocket parks programme which has transformed unused spaces into new green areas, giving lonely people the chance to join volunteering groups and interact with neighbours. New ministerial lead for loneliness, Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey Crouch said: “I am privileged to be taking forward the remarkable work done by Jo Cox, the Foundation and the Commission. I am sure that with the support of volunteers, campaigners, businesses and my fellow MPs from all sides of the House, we can make significant progress in defeating loneliness.” “This is an issue that Jo cared passionately about, and we will honour her memory by tackling it, helping the millions of people across the UK who suffer from loneliness.” Loneliness can be triggered by a life event, such as a bereavement or becoming a parent, with certain groups, such as young people and carers, particularly at risk. The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, chaired by Rachel Reeves MP and Seema Kennedy MP, has spent the last year considering what the government and others can do to help. They have been working with 13 charities including Age UK and Action for Children to develop ideas for change. Rachel Reeves MP and Seema Kennedy MP, co-Chairs of the Commission said: “We are really pleased to see that the government is taking the issue of loneliness very seriously with its prompt response to our report. Jo Cox said that “young or old, loneliness doesn’t discriminate.” “Throughout 2017 we have heard from new parents, children, disabled people, carers, refugees and older people about their experience of loneliness.” “We very much welcome that government has accepted the Commission’s recommendations including the appointment of a new ministerial lead who will have the responsibility for creating a national strategy to tackle loneliness. We look forward to working with Minister Tracey Crouch, businesses, community groups and the public to create a world less lonely.” Mark Robinson, Chief Officer of Age UK Barnet said: “Loneliness can kill. It’s proven to be worse for health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day, but it can be overcome and needn’t be a factor in older people’s lives.” “Age UK provide a wide variety of services and we welcome the work that the government is doing to support lonely people in communities throughout the country.” Phil Burton, a former Royal Artillery Lance Bombardier, will attend the reception to receive a Point of Light Award from the Prime Minister for his work to tackle loneliness. He founded the Veterans’ Café in Leyland which brings former members of the armed forces together, to talk, share experiences and access support from charities and the NHS. He said: “When I first started the venture with the Veterans’ Café, I never thought it would grow into something this big. I originally wanted to set this up for the veterans, so they had a place to meet, and talk to like-minded people with the same day to day issues. This has now brought the veteran community together and is allowing veterans of all ages to get the help where needed. This would never have been possible without the help of South Ribble Council, and the veterans that support the café on a fortnightly basis.”
  4. Maddox

    Defeating Loneliness

    Loneliness will generally affect people at different times and in different ways. It can be fleeting or a constant state of withdrawal from normal social interaction and to deal with this in a positive way you need to first look to yourself and decide what ‘you’ are going to do to battle this unwanted feeling. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution as everyone is different and the circumstances that brought on the loneliness in your life can be wide and varied. Take a lead from the self-help advice below and try to work some (if not all) of it into your life and perhaps you can then begin to take control. Loneliness is a perfectly normal feeling that everyone will feel from time to time, but you don’t have to feel this way all the time. We all experience the occasional spell of loneliness; it can creep up on us during periods of change such as moving home, changing job or the end of a relationship. Many different issues can leave us feeling physically or emotionally dissociated from other people. Loneliness doesn’t just descend when we are by ourselves. You can feel lonely in a crowd of people when you’re feeling disconnected from a one to one association with others. For many, loneliness is more than a momentary feeling, it can be a prolonged state with long-term consequences. Loneliness is not something that is easily seen or spotted by others; unlike a physical accident there are no visible signs that instantly shout out that you are feeling lonely. A lonely person may go out a lot and be highly social, but these social exchanges are generally superficial. So, even though many may give off the appearance of being popular, they may be feeling very lonely deep down; the cause of this is that they are not letting people get close to them. So, while some people may be more inclined to enduring loneliness than others, it can be overcome with a little self help to begin with and then from allowing others to enter your life and get to know you better. Firstly, do not isolate yourself. When you are feeling lonely it can be hard to think about trying to engage with other people but floundering around in your own company will generally only make the problem worse. Loneliness often comes from people not feeling relaxed enough about letting other people close to them; if you project a negative self-image, you may be afraid to let others get to know you in fear that they might not like what they find. If you cannot let people get close to you then you are without any doubt going to feel alone. The problem is, that when you detach yourself from social interaction there is never going to be anyone around to challenge your damaging self-image; you only have your own self-opinionated view of yourself. Get out and about. It may be the last thing you want to do if you’re feeling isolated but joining a group such as a book club, evening educational course, a choir or a group that follows your own passions. This is where you can meet people who share you own interests and strike up friendships that could lead to expanding your social group. By joining a group where the activity is expressive for you and you enjoy being there amongst others who share your interest the chances are it will bring out the best in you. By feeling good whilst you are involved in the activities it will help you feel more connected to the people around you because you have this one thing in common. That will help you to leave behind that self-opinionated view that you may have about yourself; let others judge you and accept you for who you are and not what you think that you ought to be. If you are persistently lonely you may be frightened of letting people get too close to you. Changing an undesirable view of yourself takes a lot of tender care and development that must come from you. The first relationship you need to work on is your connection with yourself; learn to love yourself. If you cannot love yourself there is little chance of getting out and meeting others who can love you for who you are. We are all special in our own unique ways. The principal test is to treat yourself well when you are not feeling good about yourself. Being happier with yourself will make it easier to reach out to others and to let others feel comfortable joining in with you. It is easy to say get out and learn, but the more you learn about loneliness and how common it is, the less alone you may feel; joining this site will be your first major step in getting wise about loneliness – knowledge is power and by empowering yourself with knowledge it will help you to understand that you are not alone. If you live in a vacuum the you deprive yourself of the air that you need to breath. You are not alone in your loneliness but giving in to it is accepting defeat – this is one battle that you need to win. Try and find someone to reach out to. It can be a friend or family member that you can confide in and talk about how loneliness has crept into your life. If you do not feel comfortable talking to someone close, talk to your doctor who may refer you to a therapist who specialises in helping people overcome loneliness. Be confident about this step, do not allow thoughts of perceived social stigmas deprive you of getting some much-needed help. Bottling up your feelings and keeping them tightly locked away will only feed the loneliness that has crept into your life and will make you feel far worse than taking that first step and seeking help. When we are feeling bad about ourselves and the twists and turns that life challenges us with daily, keeping those feelings to yourself will only leave you feeling worse. You need to hear a different message from other people around you that you matter to them and that you are worthier than you may believe yourself to be to be happy and productive and get rid of the loneliness that drags you down. It is very easy to write these words and suggestions, but I know that it is not so easy to put these suggestions into practice. You need to build up your self-confidence to put these into practice. A very good friend of mine one said to me “to fail is miserable”, “to try and fail is an achievement”, but “to try and succeed is …” you finish it off and come back and tell us what word is missing when you discover it. If you cannot use the advice and guidelines above, or feel that your situation is beyond your control, then you must seek professional help. There are numbers shown at the top of each page on this site that can direct you to people that can offer more help and advice in a professional way. If you feel that you need bereavement counselling, contact your doctor’s surgery and find out if they have access to a counsellor or information on where you can go. Believe me, bereavement counselling does work having has first hand experience of it. Never feel too proud, awkward or afraid to seek counselling – it does not mean that you are somehow afflicted with some form of incurable disease or in need of psychiatric help; it’s a first step to help dealing with your loss. The key is to keep on trying, keep moving forward and never look back … and more importantly, never give in!
  5. Maddox

    Loneliness from domestic violence

    Many people have experienced physical violence and abuse during their relationship usually, along with other forms of abuse, such as emotional psychological abuse, controlling behaviour, sexual or financial abuse. Physical violence may include hitting, slapping, kicking, pinching, pushing, burning, strangling, punching or being beaten up. Loneliness is rarely attributed to this heinous assault on your physical and mental wellbeing. Being a victim of any assault can leave you feeling very vulnerable and very lonely, never sure whether to speak out to family and friends to retain a relationship. Most people stay in abusive relationships for many years, knowing things are not right but the abusive relationship became a normal way of life. Their partners’ abusive behaviour often escalated gradually over time and they were too involved, too controlled to see the reality of their situation. At its extreme end, the viciousness of these assaults can lead to serious, even deadly, injuries. Injuries may be inflicted many times, causing collective damage such as numerous black eyes or broken bones. Physical violence can also be directed at children. Violence and damage towards the home and property is also a common factor. It is not just being injured by a partner which can cause physical harm. Research shows that domestic abuse can be related to a range of poor health issues including gynaecological problems, irritable bowel syndrome and gastrointestinal issues; the effects of domestic violence and abuse on their body and mental health included being unable to eat properly or experiencing long-term progressive health problems. For many people, emotional-psychological abuse can often be as damaging as physical abuse. Unlike the impacts of physical abuse, the emotional and psychological scars are not instantly visible; one of the major issues that people must contend with is that if it can’t be seen then it doesn’t exist. Yet constantly having to deal with the changing demands of an abusive partner wears both men and women down, so that they develop a range of problems, such as finding it difficult to sleep and eat and symptoms of anxiety, self-harming and even suicide attempts. Both men and women have described how their partners would stop them from seeing family and friends, constantly criticise their behaviour or appearance and punish them if they failed to meet their exacting demands. By isolating people through emotional and psychological abuse, a partners’ control often increased. The impact of emotional-psychological abuse can be profound and long-lasting and leave a person feeling very alone. Once they were able to leave the abusive relationship, many people were able to regain their confidence and boost their self-esteem. Not recognising that they were experiencing domestic abuse was the biggest barrier for both men and women in getting help and leaving an abusive relationship. They knew very little about domestic abuse. Some people said that generations of abusive and controlling relationships in their family, or a succession of recent abusive relationships distorted their understanding of what a normal relationship is like. Recognising abuse is very important, since only when people realise what is going on did they feel able to seek help. For the majority, this was after many years of abuse or after the relationship ended. For some men and women, learning about domestic abuse came from a chance encounter with a poster or news clipping and even websites. Understanding about abuse has a major impact, like a light suddenly coming on. People began to realise that their partner’s behaviour was not at all normal, and the realisation that it was not their fault was the first step towards getting help and leaving the relationship or, if they had already left, recovering from their experiences. Both men and women made excuses for their partner’s behaviour or thought that it was all their own fault and felt they should work harder at their partnership to make it happier. A major problem for both men and women was the image they had of an abused spouse was one who has been beaten up and is covered in bruises. But some people were never physically attacked, and it took most people a long time to realise they were being manipulated, bullied and brainwashed by their partner. Friends and family were generally unaware of what was going on, and domestic violence was just not something people talked about. People felt that there was a general lack of awareness and education in society about domestic violence. Investigations which have charted survivors over time shows how dealing with the emotional impacts of grief, anger and fear can be a long-term process. Feelings of shock and grief after recognising abuse for some people, when they realised that they had been in an abusive relationship, the emotional and psychological impact was almost like experiencing a bereavement as they came to terms with the loss of the relationship they wanted, or thought, they had. Alongside feelings of shock and grief, both men and women also experienced anger at their ex-partner, but quite often the anger was directed towards themselves for allowing the abuse to continue for an extended period without doing something about it. If you have been a victim of domestic violence and abuse, please join our support circle and discuss how it affected you and how you dealt with it to bring it to an end and move on.
  6. Maddox

    Loneliness from being bullied

    Bullying is discrimination, yet bullying does not discriminate. Anyone can be affected by bullies; this can be at school, in the workplace or even with neighbours. It can be an intense experience that makes you feel like an outsider, or that you are not normal in some way. It is invasive, unpleasant, demoralising and can leave you feeling isolated; but you do not have to tolerate or put up with it. Never feel that you must cope with this alone. Help is always at hand and one of the first places you can look to by yourself, with no other outside involvement or influence is here at the link below. Bullying at School, Bullying at Work and Cyberbullying Advice WWW.NATIONALBULLYINGHELPLINE.CO.UK Bullying help and advice related to bullying at school and bullying at work. If you are struggling with bullying, harassment or cyberbullying, we can help. These are some of the guides and advice provided by this amazing organisation: On Adult bullying: If you believe you are being bullied in the community, by a neighbour or by someone you know, we may be able to help. Do you believe your life is at risk? Are you being threatened, harassed or stalked. You will find resources and sources of material here. Do not confront the perpetrators but seek advice or go to our section containing Guides. On Cyber Bullying, something that is rife online: If you believe you are a victim of Cyberbullying, we have a dedicated website called eCRIME. The eCRIME website contains useful, common-sense approaches, advice and practical information on most Cyberbullying issues. The site is an arm of The National Bullying Helpline and has been endorsed by the Police. Link to the section below: Cyberbullying | Bullying online advice WWW.NATIONALBULLYINGHELPLINE.CO.UK Cyber Bullying | Cyberbullying advice related to ecrime, on-line abuse and bullying using technology Bullying at Work: If you believe you are being bullied or harassed at work by a colleague or management, we can help. You may have been Suspended, Dismissed or Disciplined or left feeling you have been treated unfairly. Click here to find ideas, solutions and strategies to ease your work-related stress and help you though the situation. Hopefully this will lead to a solution to your problem. Link to the section below: Bullying at work advice for staff and employees WWW.NATIONALBULLYINGHELPLINE.CO.UK Bullying at work and harassment advice for employees including practical help and support for all staff dealing with bullying by managers and colleagues Information for Parents: Are you dealing with bullying in or outside school, at a social club or in the community? Are you a parent dealing with a distressed child who is being bullied right now? Here you will find help and ideas so that you can stop the bullying or at least know what to do to get immediate help and support. Link to the section below: Bullying at school | Bullying advice for parents WWW.NATIONALBULLYINGHELPLINE.CO.UK Bullying at school advice for children and parents with practical solutions for dealing with bullying. At Lonely People we are 100% behind those who feel that they are being bullied. It’s one of the most insidious causes of loneliness that affects millions of people daily. It is unnecessary, unwarranted and undesirable in any society. Bullies are essentially cowards at heart and bullying in any form is totally unacceptable and needs to be stamped out. As ever, never feel that you must cope with this situation alone. There are always people and organisations available to help. The following website give a great breakdown of myths and facts about bulling: There are many myths surrounding bullying issues and some of these myths can often trivialise bullying and suggest the bullied individual is making a big deal out of nothing when that is not the case. This can undermine how a person feels if they are being bullied. Bullying should not be tolerated in any form. We believe it is important to address bullying whether it is in a workplace, school or in a neighbourhood so that the message is clear that bullying is unacceptable. Follow the link below: Bullying myths and facts - Family Lives WWW.BULLYING.CO.UK Read our Bullying UK Myths and Facts on bullying for advice and support. Help for parents who believe their children are being bullied can be obtained through the following links (snippets have been provided so you will know what to expect and understand the content is for guidance: Getting teenagers to talk openly about what's bothering them can be hard. Follow these tips to help get them talking to you about their worries. Ask, don't judge Start by assuming they have a good reason for doing what they do. Show them you respect their intelligence and are curious about the choices they've made. If you don't pre-judge their behaviour as "stupid" or "wrong", they're more likely to open up and explain why their actions made sense to them. Ask, don't assume or accuse Don't assume that you know what's wrong. Rather than asking "Are you being bullied?", try saying "I've been worried about you. You don't seem your usual self, and I wondered what's going on with you at the moment? Is there anything I can help with?". To read more follow the link below: Talking to your teenager - NHS WWW.NHS.UK Advice and tips for parents on talking to teenagers and getting them to open up about what's bothering them. How to identify if you're being bullied at work, how to stop it, and advice on getting support. What is workplace bullying? Bullying can involve arguments and rudeness, but it can also be more subtle. Excluding and ignoring people and their contribution, unacceptable criticisms and overloading people with work are other forms of bullying. What effect does it have? Bullying can make working life miserable. You lose all faith in yourself, you can feel ill and depressed, and find it hard to motivate yourself to work. Bullying isn't always a case of someone picking on the weak. Sometimes a person's strengths in the workplace can make the bully feel threatened, and that triggers their behaviour. To read more follow the link below: Bullying at work - NHS WWW.NHS.UK How to identify if you're being bullied at work, how to stop it and advice on getting support. Bullying can come about for many reasons; racial, religious beliefs, skin colour, ethnic origins, sexuality and more. It is an extremely broad subject with many contexts. However, it is totally unacceptable in any society and needs to be stamped out. Remember, as always, you are never alone. Open up and talk to people about your situation, that is the first step to getting help and ending your suffering and loneliness.
  7. Maddox

    Drink, Drugs and Loneliness

    The root of loneliness is feeling a lack of connection to those around us. It is the strong feeling that you are separate or different from others that many people in addiction recovery experience. Loneliness is a multifaceted experience, and if we look closely, buried under feelings of loneliness is often a sense of worthlessness. We struggle to connect because deep down we do not believe we deserve to. To truly overcome loneliness, we must look within ourselves as well as to outside companionship. Admitting that alcohol has become a negative force in your life is never going to be easy. This legal and socially acceptable substance is something that many people forget can be very addictive and dangerous. Since alcohol affects the body in so many ways, and it can make individuals feel relaxed and content, the temptation to abuse it can be overwhelming. Some people will only ever have one or two drinks of alcohol at one time, but many others cannot seem to stop once they have started. One drink will inevitably lead to two, and then another and so on. Others drink alcohol with the sole intention of getting drunk; this binge drinking behaviour is particularly harmful to health. There are many reasons individuals drink; some do so to forget their problems while others drink because they enjoy the effects. Some people, however, drink because they are lonely, and alcohol makes them feel better. This is a common cause of alcoholism; many find solace in a bottle of alcohol while a spouse or partner is working long hours. While a partner is away from home, an alcoholic drink can provide some relief from the loneliness. Nevertheless, continued alcohol consumption can lead to an increased tolerance, which can then result in alcoholism without the individual even realising a physical dependence has occurred. Blame is another common emotion felt by those with alcoholism and by their loved ones. Many alcoholics will blame others for their problems or will blame their circumstances. They will say things like ‘I wouldn’t drink if my job wasn’t so tough’ or ‘If my husband was at home more, I wouldn’t need to drink’. Family members also blame themselves, with many believing that they could have done more to prevent their loved one from turning to alcohol. Whatever the reason a person is abusing alcohol, blame will not help anyone. Overcoming addictions such as alcoholism is always going to be tough, but with the help and support of family and friends, it is possible. One thing is clear, however, and this is that those who continue to abuse alcohol are putting their health and relationships at risk. Early intervention is always best in terms of treating alcoholism. The most important factor in tackling addiction is to understand what the causes are, and therefore how family and friends can best help those in their time of need. Recovery is different for everyone, and for many they may need to maintain certain other habits as a crutch to help them on their path to recovery. Loneliness is one of the most common addiction relapse triggers. It can lead to depression and anxiety, guilt and shame, social isolation, and ultimately relapse. In early addiction recovery, failure to make a new group of friends, combined with low self-esteem, can lead to intense loneliness which could make you question the value of life in recovery – a dangerous, slippery slope towards relapse. After drug or alcohol rehab, those in recovery must build a new social support network, often from the ground up. This process is daunting, and loneliness can creep in as you try to find the right support group, work on rebuilding relationships with family and friends, and weed out anyone who is detrimental to your hard-earned addiction recovery. It may seem counterintuitive, but after achieving addiction recovery you lose your former best friend — your drug or addictive behaviour, plus everyone you associated with during your using days. Allowing yourself to grieve this loss will help you move forward and through the resulting loneliness. The key here is not just talking to someone but talking to someone about your feelings of loneliness. While calling a friend when you are lonely can be great, to really help alleviate the intensity of the feeling you need to talk to them about your loneliness. A therapist or counsellor can be someone you trust to talk to about uncomfortable feelings when they come up, such as loneliness. A counsellor will help you identify thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that are no longer serving you. They will support you and hold you accountable as you rebuild your life in recovery. Regularly using drugs and alcohol acclimatises the user to experiencing instant gratification. Once in addiction recovery, former addicts often struggle to have patience with themselves and others. Social support is key to sustaining long term sobriety and overcoming loneliness, but also requires patience to develop. When you find yourself lonely, remember that forming close relationships in recovery takes time, but because loneliness is a strong trigger for relapse you should have a plan to cope with it. Take a deep breath and do something on the list below to take care of yourself. Join a support group Joining a recovery group after addiction treatment is always suggested. It may take time and steady attending before you personally connect with someone but attending a group will remind you that you are not alone in your addiction recovery and it is important that you remember this. Search the Internet Google can be your friend here and you can access many recovery networks online. While connections online should not replace real life social networks, they do offer an option for combating loneliness through recovery forums, reading about other people’s stories, and pointing you in the right direction to find a support group in your area; that’s what this site it all about. Become a volunteer Offering to help others will help you feel more related to the world around you, combatting the sense of disconnection which is a main characteristic of loneliness. Whether it is at a local animal shelter or helping clean up the park, through volunteering you can meet new people and feel good about contributing to your community. Buy a plant or get a pet Believe it or not, having house plants can help ward off loneliness. Keeping a plant alive puts you in touch with your connection to the world. Pets are also great companions, but only consider getting a pet if you know you can take on the responsibility. If you are up for the responsibility, pets can offer an unconditional love that will help immensely in warding off loneliness. Having a pet and looking after it is a relationship of two parts where you both give something and you both receive something. Join a club or take a class It may seem daunting, but this is another great way to meet new people. Fitness clubs offer a wide variety of classes from kickboxing to weight training. Whether it is yoga, cooking, art or writing — many classes are available to help you relive your interests. You can even find special interest classes specifically for people in addiction recovery! Practice meditation Meditation allows you to recognise your feelings as temporary thoughts which, in turn, reduces their power and effect over how they make you feel. Meditation takes repeated practice, but the positive benefits are worth the time for most people recovering from drug addiction and can help you connect with your inner self. Learn to love yourself One important and effective way to combat loneliness is to learn to become your own best friend. Increasing your self-esteem and self-confidence will help you become more comfortable being alone and will attract more positive people into your support network. And because often we feel separate from others because deep down we do not feel worthy of connection, this deep and underlying cause for loneliness can be overcome through working on building confidence and self-esteem.
  8. Maddox

    The Chefs Union

    Unichef was founded because no one listened or cared about your issues and problems. Now you have Unichef, a union for U, run by Chefs like U. Unichef does what U want it to do and we’re there for U when you need us most. U are the most important thing in this union and its U that we dedicate this site too. Look at our logo, it's the U (that's YOU) that goes before everything else. Unichef is not like any other union, We innovate and motivate, and we are dedicated to changing people's views of how a union should work, think and behave. We don't do what other unions do and we educate wherever possible both Chefs and Employers into a more modern and purposeful way of working. We are a concerted lobby for our industry working with Employers, Chefs and other Unions to improve the work-life balance for all chefs in the UK. We're not afraid to tackle any subject or anybody, we have NO vested interests and we have no fear of getting the sack. We are 100% non-political and are not affiliated to any other organisation. Everyone is treated in the same way regardless of their status, experience, creed or gender. EVERYONE'S opinion is important to us and together we can change the hearts and minds of our industry. Funded by gifts, advertising and sponsorship we bare no allegiances or loyalties to anyone accept our members.
  9. Maddox

    Humanastory

    Humanastory was built out of the need for human companionship, a togetherness that only comes from people helping people. We wanted to be able to tell our stories and share our experiences with everyone who needed them. By us telling our stories we are able to share that moment that forever changed who we are. But the idea is to not just tell our story, but share the journey in how we overcame that moment in our lives, allowing others to read and see the story and connect to the one sharing it. Most people want to tell the horrid things, but fail to share the accomplishments. At Humanastory we are not those people; we are the strong, the winners, and the achievers. We believe that sharing our experience will help someone out there in the same situation, and allow them to connect with others that have already conquered their struggle. We give the resource within our stories to help those who otherwise would fall - the help to stand up and face what is in front of them without fear or doubt. We believe everyone has the ability to succeed in life. If you are alive on this little rock hurling through that endless void we call space, you are a Humanastorian! How much of one, is up to you.
  10. Earlier
  11. We want every member to have a positive and enjoyable experience when using this site. Aside from the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy that you have agreed to when joining, we have a number of additional guidelines which we would expect you to respect. It's understandable that sometimes discussions can become heated when opinions differ, but remember an 'opinion' is just that, so whilst your opinion may or not be correct please show respect for other people's opinions. If you cannot agree, then simply agree to disagree and move on; there is nothing to gain from protracted discussions with no prospect of a positive outcome. Treat others as you would like to be treated by others. We do not allow nor condone the posting of any of the following: Nudity, pornographic images, videos or links to websites containing such material No links to Warez or illegal activity sites No memes of any kind that are politically motivated or contain profanities or any of the above We have profanity filters in place to star (****) out the worst of offensive language, do not attempt to circumvent them Other than that please feel free to contribute to the Circles and Community Forums, but remember that this is a public facing site and we prefer to present a positive view of what we are attempting to achieve - combating loneliness. If you have any suggestions that could make this site more interesting and enjoyable please feel free to make your suggestions in the Newsdesk and Suggestions forum. Thank you in advance for your understanding and observation of our Terms and Guidelines.
  12. What are we offering you? This site has many features that are geared to helping you to combat your loneliness. Circles: These are dedicated areas that allow you to connect with people facing the same or similar issues as yourself. You will have your own discussion platform, your own blog, your own events calendar and a unique questions and answers category. All of these allow you to express your feelings, issues and hopefully give you an outlet to express yourself as an individual. Community: This offers you a selection of forums in which you can have some fun, debate worldly issues that are important to and to find out more about this site and what it offers and, more importantly, how to use and get the best from all of the features listed here. Reviews: A different area that allows you to review a multitude of different services and commodities to impress on others what offers good value and what to avoid. Articles: Articles that offer some insight into loneliness and its effects on people, there are also help guide articles to alert you to different ways to combat loneliness Help & Links Directory: If you need urgent help or general advice on how to deal with loneliness you will find telephone numbers, websites and organisations that can offer you assistance. There is also a selection of sites that we recommend that can also help you combat loneliness. Blogs: Start your own Blog and give everyone the opportunity to share your insights and daily issues. Tell stories of your life that others may find interesting and possibly show them ways to deal with their daily issues. Activity: This shows you all the activity on the site - you can tailor this to meet your own needs and filter out anything that does not interest you and filter in those things that do interest you; it's your site your way. Calendar: Add events to the calendar and if anyone is in your locale, they may be interested in attending too. A great way to strike up new potential real world friendships. These are literally the tip of the iceberg - there is so much more on offer and you can read about other features that have been added for your enjoyment in other guides in this section. Enjoy, and if you have any questions please feel free to ask.
  13. Why would you want to register at a site you have never heard of until today? With social media, it only takes a few clicks to discover more. It's easy to look at your political leanings, which area you live in, what your favourite films are and so on. All that information comes with you when you join a community on Social Media sites like Facebook, whether you like it or not. Within this site, you can create your own personality unique to you. You don't need to reveal your real name, or photo or any other private data to anyone; your identity on here is completely anonymous unless you choose otherwise. We put privacy back in the hands of our members. That is probably one of the most significant reasons for registering along with the fact that you can take the first steps to ending your loneliness - this is the purpose of this site and the reason for its existence. Registering only takes a few moments and once registered you can take advantage of all the amazing features of the site. You can complete as much or as little of your own personal profile and control whatever you want from your personal account. The Articles, Circles and Help Directory all add value to your membership allowing you to express your feelings and connect with others who are experiencing the same issues as yourself. By working together and creating a unique online community we can combat the effects of loneliness in a way that has previously not been possible. Register now and take that first step.
  14. Maddox

    Coping with Bereavement

    It’s one of those sad issues that we all must face at some point in our lives. Leaving this earthly domain is one of the few certainties in life. It is a terrible time when emotions come to the fore and take over our lives, often to the point where we simply do not feel as though we want to move forward. When we grieve, we are grieving for ourselves – it’s we that are feeling the pain, the loss, the emptiness that has been left behind. Experts generally accept there are four stages of bereavement: accepting that your loss is real experiencing the pain of grief adjusting to life without the person who has passed away putting your emotional energy into something new and moving on You will perhaps go through all these stages, but you won't automatically move from one stage to the next. Your grief might feel messy and out of control, but these feelings should normally, in due course, become less intense. You may need expert help if you: You feel you do not want to get out of bed You neglect yourself or other members of your family You are not eating properly You feel you that you simply cannot go on without the person you have lost Emotions are so strong they are affecting the rest of your life You cannot face going to work or you are taking your anger out on someone else These feelings are natural and completely normal providing they don't last for any extended length of time. Someone who YOU depended on and have lost can be overwhelming. It can be a parent or partner - who will you turn to now for help? Who will help you fill your days? Who will look after you? Losing someone close is distressing and the pain felt can be crushing and intense. Sometimes it can often be more difficult when you have been a full-time carer to the one you have lost. Your days will have been filled with looking after that person, making sure that they were clean, dressed, fed and entertained. You will have probably looked after all their interests including their finances. Anyone who has been in this position will feel a vacuum when they lose that person – what on earth do you do to fill in all this time you now have on your hands? If you are finding it difficult to move forward, then you may need bereavement counselling. Don’t be put off in seeking this help, it is more helpful than you may believe. I sought counselling when my Mother passed away, but not until several months later; I wish I had done so sooner as it would have help me come to terms with my loss a lot quicker. Counselling was not what I thought it would be. The counsellor is there to listen to you, to offer you ways of looking at things that you may never have thought of. Your GP or a bereavement counsellor can help if you feel you're not coping. Some people can also get support from: A Religious Minister Local Council Funeral Director A Local Hospice A good first place to start is asking your doctor if they have a bereavement counsellor in their practice or if they can point you in the right direction towards a bereavement counselling group in your area. If you feel awkward about speaking to your doctor have a look at this website as a starting point: Cruse Bereavement Care | WWW.CRUSE.ORG.UK It’s OK to cry, never be afraid to cry; it is nature's release for overpowering emotions. I often refer to an old Native American Indian proverb “The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes could shed no tears” so think of your tears as the rainbow for your soul that you are sharing with your lost loved one. Do try to fill your days with things that make you happy and that are of interest to you. Do things that you perhaps felt unable to do whilst the person you have lost was here. It can be a very lonely place when you are grieving, so do your best to surround yourself with other people you love, friends and family. Always remember that the person you lost would not be happy if they knew you were drowning in grief, so you owe it to their memory and to yourself to move on and make the best of your life. Some people start fundraising to help others who may be suffering from an illness that took your loved one from you. Other people volunteer to help with organisations that may have helped your loved one. There are many ways to dedicate yourself to helping others - helping others can often be viewed as helping yourself and can be a great healing element. A good point to remember if you are attempting to console someone who is trying to cope with a bereavement, never say to them “I know how you feel” – you cannot possibly know how they feel. You may ‘understand’ how they feel if you have gone through bereavements yourself, but we all take this massive hit in different ways and you cannot possibly ‘know’ how that person feels. What you can do is always be there when needed and never criticise or tell them to “Pull yourself together”. Everyone is different, and everyone needs to be handled differently; you can help just by being there when they need you and not being there when they tell you they wish to be alone (for a time). Later, when you have accepted your loss and can think more clearly, it can be a good idea to have a memorial service for your loved one. It’s a means of expressing what you felt, and continue to feel, about the one you have lost. I did this for my mother and it was a fantastic event – people were telephoning me the next day asking if I was going to have another one; that was a wonderful experience and it allowed me to say a final goodbye with dignity and respect and love. Obviously, this is something for the individual to ponder on as it may not be for everyone, but it can be a wonderful release. If you have just lost someone and would like to unload, you can use the forums on this site to express your feelings. It’s totally anonymous and you will not be judged in any way by other members. If this is your first loss you may feel better by talking to strangers anonymously than talking to others who are close to you – by doing this, it may help you to ‘open up’ to those who ‘are’ close to you. There is no shame in grief – it simply illustrates that you are human and that you have a heart that feels as much hurt as anyone else. I hope that you find comfort in knowing that this is something that everyone will experience at some point in their lives and that you are not and never will be alone.
  15. Maddox

    Welcome

    Saying 'hi' and welcome to: Brian Klein and Brian McElderry - here's to some positive uses that you may gain from using this site. Maddox
  16. This is a welcome topic to say 'hi' to those that join this Circle and hopefully you will find some positive uses of the site.
  17. Maddox

    Welcome

    Welcome to Harry Sheerin - I sincerely hope that you will find some positive uses from the site; very happy to have you aboard. Maddox
  18. Maddox

    Welcome

    This topic is just a welcome to all who join this Circle. Feel free to start your own topics on any issues that you are facing that others may be experiencing too and may be able to offer help or support.
  19. When you have issues with low self-esteem there is nothing worse than someone telling you to 'pull yourself together' or 'buck up'. It's not always as easy to do as it is to say. Unless you have suffered a bout of low self-esteem then no one can truly say they know what you are going through. This can lead to terrible bouts of loneliness that can only deepen and enforce a feeling of low self-esteem. Everyone has something to offer to society, everyone has different experiences and knowledge to pass on - no one is worthless. Within this circle you can explore what others who are suffering low-esteem do to alleviate this terrible burden that you have been lumbered with. Opening up to others is the first step in realising your own worth, you do have something to offer but you may not have found it within yourself. You owe it to yourself to explore your issues with others, both you and they can only benefit from this exploration.
  20. I find some of the hardest things about being depressed is insomnia. I have worked tirelessly on a Playlist to help people sleep well. I want to share it with you.
  21. Brian Klein

    Last Words

    Before I respond, and I will respond, can you do me a solid and respond that message https://community.humanastory.com/topic/678-changing-perceptions/ For me as well, I am trying to get my community started, its slow going and would really help me if some activity other than myself was there lol. Now... My response. I find this is my greatest struggle, it is so hard from time to time; I find relating to others rather difficult at times as well. Mainly because I just know that most people do not really understand my plight. You know reading this makes me see, why I take care of my mother, it reminds me that I am doing the right thing, I find all to often people are simply dumping the elderly off at nursing homes and washing their hands of their parents or relatives. I personally think that it is a sh*tty way to spend your last days. Your mother really meant what she said because you were there for her. Rare quality these days. Amen to that! It really does take going through a situation before one can truly apreciate the plight. I find 85% of the people on the planet don't even know what it feels like to live in hardship - All to often I see people on their 'moral high ground' not completely comprehending the situation they are trying to understand, that drives me batty. I don't think it ever gets any easier, I don't know what I would do in those situations, I got my wife and my mother, I don't really know anyone else. One thing that the years of being hospitalized did to me, was ruin my social skills in high school or school period. I wasn't able to develop as well as I would like as a result. I wish you were so much closer, @Maddox we would be sharing dinners and drinking tea together (I dont care how 'Gay' it sounds) I feel we'd have an awesome friendship. But much like true Brian Fashion, the friend I make is 15,000 miles away. Well, I am pleased with what I get, @Maddox you are an awesome gentleman, I'd love to hear your story on your mom and how you handled that at some point.
  22. Brian Klein

    Something Learned.

    Yep, and that's 'What Brian Thinks' :)
  23. Brian Klein

    Something Learned.

    I must say, that is how I feel. I know I did my job, did what was required. I felt that way too. I deleted everyone from my list, I have 4 on mine currently (asking myself, why I even have cell to be honest.) Yes, tis how I feel completely. Now get out of my head, you! I couldn't agree more! @Maddox, I will say, I don't get depressed often even with what you saw there; I remind myself consistently 'Not one person is always busy, it all depends on how high you rank on their priority list' Yes, remind me I wanted to share something with you when I get a chance.
  24. Maddox

    Something Learned.

    That is such a sad story Brian, but I can empathise with you as I have experienced similar issues with members of my own family. But right now they are the ones who are suffering, not me. It's difficult to assess what values people hold in regards to friendship; I have a list of 62 people on my mobile but the only time the phone rings from one of them is when they want or need something from me - never do they just phone to say 'hi, how are you are?' but to me that is their loss. There are no experts (some self-professed ones no doubt) on depression, it can come from nowhere, or it can come from somewhere and everyone's experience of it is personal to them. But once you get to the root cause, then you can treat it; treating the symptoms is useless, the root cause needs to be found and the only person that can find it is the one suffering. Counselling can help get to the root, but that depends on the counsellor; as in all things, there are good ones and bad. The most important thing is that you have someone you can trust, someone you can turn to who will listen and not judge or condemn. That person is a rarity in this world, but if you are lucky enough to find such as person (as in your wife, Brian) then you can be sure to climb out of whatever depression ails you. A very honest and open viewpoint Brian, very much appreciated.
  25. Maddox

    Last Words

    What an incredible story told from the heart. People can be incredibly mean, sometimes without knowing it; when my own mother died and I was grieving people who I called friends would often comment 'oh are not over that yet?' As you mentioned about having cancer, no one can understand what that disease can do to a person both physically and mentally - as well as affecting their family too. Grieving is a two-part process - dealing with the loss of a loved one and remembering what that loved one did for you and how they communicated to you what you did for them. I remember the last few days of my mother's life - she uttered words that had never passed her lips before, not because the thought was never there, but because of the way people were a generation away from where I was - those words were 'I love you'. It's amazing how those three words can impact on a person; the second part of grieving comes into play here for me, remembering the look on my mother's face when she said those three little words. To be honest, the words need never have been said because I could see that love in the look in her eyes. It's true what you said Brian, about life not being fair and no one saying that it was. Fair only comes into play when something becomes unfair. But this also reminds me too of how fragile life is - many feel that they are invulnerable and nothing can stop them in their tracks, until it actually happens. One of the worst phrases that can be uttered from someone's mouth when talking to someone that has fallen due to illness or accident is 'I understand how you feel'. They can't, not even if something the same has befallen them - no one knows how a person feels other than that person themselves and we all feel and react differently to situations that face us. My mother passed 6 years ago and there are times when I still grieve, something ignites a memory that can either make me smile or draw a tear and how I feel at those times is very personal, so much so that no one other than myself can understand those feelings. We can empathise with people and we can sympathise, but no one knows how another person feels inside. You were blessed with having such a profound contact with your gentleman friend and it's a wonderful gift that he left you with by saying those few words that came not from his voice, but from his heart to yours. It's a rare gift that will stay with you eternally. I would say to everyone reading this, grieving is part of life - you grieve for the pain and emptiness that someone leaves you with. It's natural and it's normal and it's very important that you go through this stage in your life; it may happen many times and each time will be different, but the feelings will be the same. Allow yourself time to grieve - there are no time limits imposed, it takes as long as it takes. Remember also, your loved one would not want you to grieve forever and they would be sad to know that you have allowed your grief to take over your life. As Brian mentioned, life is fragile, it is also for living and you have a life to live.
  26. Brian Klein

    Last Words

    I am reminded of how fragile life is.
  27. I am no expert on depression, but I do have my down periods; I wanted to kick this off, by sharing some of mine. In hopes it will help someone see they are not alone.
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