Don't want to die alone, but don't know how not to

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by odnox, Sep 1, 2010.

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  1. odnox

    odnox Well-Known Member

    I've seen these studies before. Solitary lifestyles mean shorter lives. I know that and I know that my own life is WAY too solitary. And I honestly DO want to change that but I don't know how.

    Loneliness will kill you, scientists caution

    I'm turning 44 in a week. This last year was exactly like the one before it and the one before that and on and on for the last 6-7 years. Since my divorce I guess. I had grand plans a week ago to do something about it THIS year. Get out more, travel, meet people, do something adventurous. But like every other time I've made the decision to change, I find myself so wildly unhappy that I just can't see a way forward. That's maybe why I'm still stuck where I am.

    I've heard lots of advice about joining clubs and so on, and that sounds good but I just haven't been able to make myself make that leap. I work, eat and sit at home waiting to go to work the next day. I gave up my TV because I was spending too much time doing that at the end of the day, but now I'm spending all my time on the computer surfing a handful of sites every few minutes to see if something has changed. Staying up late, forced to get up early by my pup who needs to go outside.

    I eat like crap, because I'm alone and it's easier than cooking. I can't tell you the last time I WENT to the movies, let alone watched one at home. I get along with the people I work with, but I don't have any social life outside of work. I don't drink or smoke, so that's good but really other than working, eating, surfing and sleeping I don't do anything.

    I have an appointment to go see the therapist I saw after my divorce. I liked him and it was a good outlet, so hopefully this time something will change.

    I just literally have no idea how NOT to be that lonely old guy who ends up dying because life just got the better of him. Like my father.

    Anyway, I know everyone is in pain and this is just a lot of nonsense rambling, but if you have any ideas I'd be happy to hear them.

  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    i think trying new things is the only way to meet new people Get out of that comfort zone your in. Try new classes you enjoy new sport new skills but change things up okay so you can meet people with same interest as you. I hope you meet someone soon people meet people later in life now as well and that relationship is more meanful
  3. WildCherry

    WildCherry ADMIN

    Just want you to know that your post isn't nonsense rambling at all.

    Is there anything you think you'd like doing, like a hobby or sport or anything? Maybe try to find something you have an interest in, a passtime that would give you a reason to break out of your comfort zone. Even if it's small at first, just something to help you take steps forward.
  4. Daphna

    Daphna Well-Known Member

    I would suggest soul searching and finding someone along the same belief that you have. Who knows what is waiting for you? Blessings..
  5. odnox

    odnox Well-Known Member

    Thanks violet, Alison and Nicole!

    I guess I'll try again to get out and do more. I know that's the answer it's just very hard some times.

    Thanks again!!
  6. KittyGirl

    KittyGirl Well-Known Member

    Do you like animals!?

    Adopting a rescue animal can make a BIG change in both your own life, and theirs! By giving an animal a second chance, you can also give yourself a reason to keep going and a sense of accomplishment.

    I adopted a cat for my dad; since he prefers them to dogs.
    He was a hermit for a very long time and SO depressed because he was afraid of being alone forever but couldn't bare to talk to people; it scared him too much
    -- but since the little black hairball entered his life he's been much more positive and overall happier that he has someone to keep him company and to take care of. He's been taking much better care of himself as well~ and once he gains more confidence, it will be easier for him to even talk to people and make friends like he used to when he was much younger.

    That's my suggestion, anyways.
    Sometimes trying to find a human partner is a bit too hard on the heart... it's easier to start small and work your way up.
  7. Leelee

    Leelee Member

    I think Kittygirl's suggestion is a really good one. Adopting a dog can be an excellent way of getting out and meeting people, too. I've met a lot of new people by taking my dogs to off-leash dog parks. Since everyone just stands around while their dogs play, it's a really low-pressure way to interact with people, and if you ever feel awkward, you can just fall back on talking about your dogs.
  8. odnox

    odnox Well-Known Member

    Thanks Vanessa and Leelee!

    I do have a pup and she's really what keeps me going. She gets lots of attention when we're on walks and if she would just behave herself around other dogs things would be really great. But we do pack up every few weeks for a drive up to the big park in town which she loves and I do too honestly. I got her from the rescue and I've volunteered a few times to walk dogs who are waiting for a home. I'd take them all if I could.

    I'm feeling a lot better today. I just go through these slumps sometimes. Seems like when I attempt to make positive changes in my life, something happens, often something small, that makes me doubt myself. So, my life doesn't seem to move in any direction. Just very tired of that.

    Thanks again everyone! I know when I come here someone understands.
  9. Terry

    Terry Antiquities Friend Staff Alumni

    Oh Lord this is not nonsense :hug:
    Know exactly how you feel and fear that is my destiny.
  10. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear about your situation odnox, I hope things change for you. If it helps, I've never socialized much, so I can relate.

    Regarding the article, I read it, and am failing to understand how living a solitary lifestyle can shorten your life. Do they mean that those who live by themselves take less care of themselves, or that somehow a lack of social situations physically damages the person? I live by myself, so this new study makes me worry a bit.

    -----Quote may trigger-----

    "Living a solitary life put subjects into a higher level of risk, equal to those who smoke 15 cigarettes a day, or those who are alcoholic, the researchers reported. It is also twice as harmful to a person’s health as obesity, and more damaging than a complete lack of exercise."

    This is what confuses me. They are saying that the act of a solitairy life is bad for your health, but they don't say it's because of a lack of self care. I don't see how that can be possible, and if correct, how they have only discovered this now. I understand that general socializing is important, but I didn't think that a lack of it actually damages your physical health, or puts you at risk. And that it's equal to/worse than smoking, obesity, or not exercising at all? Again, how could we not know this already? I'm skeptical about it (their conclusion). Is there something that they are saying that I'm not understanding?

    Sorry if this question derails the thread, I didn't want to start a new one. Feel free to ignore it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2010
  11. odnox

    odnox Well-Known Member

    No worries Toby, we can derail for a bit.

    Every study or report I see on happiness mentions that social connections are important for happiness. Most don't say why, just that they seem to see in their studies that people with more social contacts are happier.

    My guess would be that you would have outlets for discussing problems or that people would check up on you. That if you had a significant other, then they might prod you into going to the doctor for problems that you might just ignore on your own. If you had someone to share a meal with you'd probably eat a little better. I know I eat a lot of crap because it's just easier. That rather than sit on your ass in front of the TV or on the interwebs they might force you to go... out! I know I feel better being at work. I wouldn't say the people I work with are friends but I do like being around them.

    During the current economy I know my life would have a lot less stress if I knew I had someone who could help out if I were to lose my job. That's why I focus so hard on working harder and longer hours. Just so I can keep my job because I've got no one to lean on otherwise.

    I read another article that seems to conclude that having a social life gives you more reason to live. Because being with others can have you laughing and singing and doing things that society tends to deem needs two people.

    I remember after I got out of the Army and was getting ready to go to college, I had a discussion with my brother and mom. I said, "this might not make any sense, but I'm looking forward to going to college so I can be around people to do nothing with." Just the act of being around people, even if we weren't really doing anything would be enough. And at the time it was. What I need are people to do nothing with. Though going to a museum or a movie would be cool.

    Anyway, I don't think they'll ever discover why social contacts make for a longer life. But most studies seem to indicate that it's true. What I'm struggling with is HOW.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2010
  12. LetItGo

    LetItGo Staff Alumni

    Youre not the only one Terry. I was alone for a LONG time before my recent relationship, fear I will easily full back into that rut.

    Ive heard its particularly bad for men, because we dont eat well or visit the doctors etc off our own bat.

    We all know the solution is to get out there, but its really difficult coming from a place thats so low. I think the OP has the right idea by seeking out the help of a therapist, particularly one you got along with. You need someone to help you think you have a future, before you can actually make one.

    I know this advice has been brought up before, but getting an early start to the day, and a nice morning walk can really set the day up. I use to do this and found it helpful. I dont anymore and suffer for it. But ya, go see that therapist.
  13. odnox

    odnox Well-Known Member

    My pup insists on an early start! :) She's getting older and her bladder doesn't hold out like it used to. I do agree the early start helps, if I could just go to bed earlier.

    I've decided to dust of my old 101 in 1001 list. 101 things to do in 1001 days. Some of it I did actually get done, but I got unhelpful feedback from friends and family so I gave up on it. This time I won't share what's on it and just do it.

    I will say that a few things I had been thinking about doing are going to the symphony and opera. Maybe even the ballet, though I'm not as geeked about the ballet. Well in looking around it looks like the cost isn't too bad and the ballet is having their opening on my birthday. Not sure about going, but then not being sure about things is why I am where I am. Maybe I'll just take the leap... good pun there.

    Also wanted to add that I've just been to the dentist and will be going to the doctor soon. That's so unlike me.
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