Monday, January 21, 2013

The Loneliest Person in the Room

by Kate Collins

According to an article I read on Yahoo News, loneliness causes health problems of all sorts, from heart disease to high blood pressure to depression, all the way down to changes at the cellular level.  People are designed to be in communities, to socialize.  Loneliness is a signal a mind sends to tell us that we need to be with others.

Not good news for those of us who live alone.

But the article also points out that it's not necessarily those who live alone who are lonely. One can be lonely in a crowd. Ask a young college student who is away from home and friends for the first time. Ask a newly bereaved widow or widower at a funeral.

Ask many people caught in bad marriages. I was one of those a long time ago. I ached with loneliness while in the same room as my then husband. I know many of you reading this have felt this way. It wasn't until I met my Greek that I learned what a true partner and soulmate could be. I wasn't lonely when he was around.

I've recently had to make the tough decision to part ways with an acquaintance. After my husband passed on, this woman came into my life as a new friend and served as a welcome distraction from my deep grief. She had so many issues, I found myself trying to help her, which took me out of my own misery. I would discover over a year later, sadly, that she didn't really want to be helped. She wanted to be pitied and babied and given things. It got to a point where I dreaded her phone calls or visits. She was a distraction all right. Too much so. I decided that being alone and lonely was better than being in her company.

Have you ever felt lonely in a crowd? Have you ever felt lonely with another person in the same room? What was your solution?