The ways I eased my loneliness
As I mentioned at the outset of the Introduction to my blog, I recently went through a separation and divorce, which I will discuss in future posts, but this article is specifically centred on the different ways that someone can alleviate loneliness.
My decisions regarding my personal life and past relationships were the best I ever made; unfortunately, it didn’t prepare me for the fact that being a mother alone with two children can be quite lonely at times. Days can seem to run into each other and before you even begin to notice, you realise you have gone quite a long time without having any adult conversation.
When my children were very young, I used to take them to the local playgroup where I met other mums in the same boat; it was lovely to sit and have a chat over coffee and socialise, something that can be neglected when you are a stay-at-home mum.
I was fortunate enough to be able to look after my children at home before they started full-time school, however, once they were gone for the whole day I became quite lonely and looked at ways to alleviate this. I enquired at a local pre-school and did a few hours voluntary work once a week. This helped me greatly, as I had lost confidence whilst being at home; it was lovely to meet fellow parents and children and it was truly an enjoyable time. I also gained some valuable work skills that were very beneficial to me in the future. More about that in another post!
My two children are now teenagers, and my circumstances have now changed once again, to the point that after my separation I once again started to feel the pain of loneliness. My children are becoming more independent and need me less, so I felt it was absolutely necessary do something constructive and to put myself first occasionally (and not to feel guilty for it!)
My good friend was in the same position, and even though she was working part-time, she gave some of her time to help out at the local charity shop once a week. She loved it as it gave her confidence to get back into the work-place, and she was gaining new skills at the same time.
My situation was a little different. I work, but I really needed to do something that gave me pleasure and provided me with a sense of purpose. Don’t get me wrong, my children always come first in my life and are my main purpose for everything I do, but I needed to do something for me.
I loved art and drawing at school and this was a definite route I wanted to pursue again. I knew I also needed to socialise as my loneliness was becoming exhausting. I joined a local painting class at a college for adults near to my home and it was wonderful. I learned so many techniques about using the medium of watercolours and choosing art materials; and I also made some lovely friends. After a while, I began a language course also, which was great fun. I made some lovely friends there also, and I really looked forward to my lesson once a week.
If you are on some sort of help financially, many of the colleges provide concessions on the costs to make it easier to apply for the courses if you decide to go for it!
There are obviously a lot more ways to combat loneliness. I personally found it beneficial to pop into my local library to see what was on offer in the city where I live. I’m sure there’ll be something that will interest you.