Lately I’ve been feeling very alone. When I have mentioned this to people one of the first things they ask is, “don’t you have any friends?” The answer is yes I do have friends, yet I still feel lonely.
I probably only have 4 or 5 close friends. I don’t know if this is a “normal” amount? I do know that I’d rather choose “quality” over “quantity” any day.
From those friendships, only 2 of them live close-by (within 10miles), the rest are spread across the country.
I’ve moved quite a bit in my life (due to my dad’s job, moving for university, moving for work etc), so whilst I only live 5 miles from where I was born, it’s not like I have a “core” group of friends from school or anything.
I’ve never really *needed* my friends to be on the phone every day, or pop round for coffee every week. In fact, my definition of a friend has always been that you can not see them for a month….a year even….and they’ll still be there if you need them. For example my old university room-mate is someone I would consider to be one of my closest friends. We may not see each other often, and our conversations are no-where near as regular as either of us would probably like (due to distance, family and work commitments). But whether I spoke to her 6 hours ago, 6 weeks ago or 6 months ago, once we start talking you can’t stop us. We can talk for hours.
However, in the last 6 months, things have been different. I split from my husband. He was my best friend! We’d been married 8.5 years, together for nearly 15 years. I’ve never been single in my entire adult life. (When my husband and I met I was still with my previous partner who I’d been with for 3years.)
My husband had been the person I spoke to when I was happy and sad, the person I trusted the most, the person I told my deepest, darkest secrets to, the person I had most in common with, the person I wanted to socialise with….everything! And yes, I had other friends, but perhaps until he left I didn’t *need* them so much?
Don’t get me wrong, my friends have been there for me since he left (most of them anyway), and I know they are making a much more conscious effort to keep in touch, especially as they know that I’m currently struggling with depression, so they invite me for coffee or to stay at their houses. I hear from them by phone and by text more often. And it’s not like I can’t do things alone…I go to the cinema, the theatre, choir events, eat alone. I’ve even been on holiday alone-I’m actually quite independent. And I know I have my twitter friends too….
But somehow….when the day is coming to an end and I’m in the house by myself….I’m lonely! And I don’t know how to stop it?!?