Wednesday, October 24, 2012

So how do you deal with loneliness?

For the past several months I have been battling an ever increasing sense of loneliness.  It has been a constant companion since I moved back to Florida.  I think one of the things that I miss most about my life in Atlanta is all the people I used to surround myself with.  Now, I am not necessarily talking about all the drama that they brought into my life, or the conflicts that arose because they were constantly around.  I am just talking about people in general. I have come to realize that I am a very social person. I don't like to be alone and I find it hard to entertain myself.  Hence, the appeal of the Meth world, because when you are high you hardly ever want to be alone.  As one of my friends used to say the more the merrier.  However, those weren't quality relationships, and often lead to conflict with the person I was dating or seeing at the time.  Having a house or apartment full of people 24/7 is not really conducive to creating a lasting relationship, I can tell you on that one.  Because the long and the short of it everyone's problems became mine and my partners all the time.  As my Ex Sterling can tell you I was busy being everyone's mother and he was busy being everyone's father. There just wasn't any time left for us.  Inevitably this caused a lot of friction in our relationship and bad choices along with some other things led us down a path that just tore us apart.  Sterling once said to me that it wasn't me it was all the "extra" that came along with me.  It took me several years and getting out of that circle of people to realize exactly what he meant.

But each of us handles loneliness differently, we each process and deal with being alone in our own personal way.  Today, I write a great deal, I play on Facebook and MeetMe, and I have even gotten on Google+.  That still wasn't enough for me, I still felt this impending doom and loneliness creeping in upon me. So I looked around and started looking for other outlets for me to pursue.  I came across the Partnership for Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Planning Group and the Positive Champions Speakers Bureau.  I started volunteering my time and energy to those organizations and that seemed to help.  Unfortunately, a series of problems have come up with my health and I have been unable to attend some of the recent meetings, but I plan on getting back involved as soon as I physically can.  Another way that I deal with my situation and loneliness is I spend a considerable amount of time on the phones with some of my friends.  I have a some very good friends in Ft. Lauderdale, and Tampa, L.A., Seattle, Macon, Atlanta, and North and South Carolina.  Before I moved out of my father's place, he would say he didn't know how I could talk on the phone so long without the battery dying all the time.  He said it seemed like I was on the phone 24/7, and sometimes I would be.

But how do you cope with loneliness? What kind of activities do you do to take your mind off of boredom?  How do you keep from fretting over things that you can't control when you are all alone?  My way is not necessarily the easiest way, but it most certainly isn't the hardest way either.  I do a lot of praying and meditating, and watching movies.  I do have a tendency to get bored easily, and I have to create things for myself to do.  If I had all the stuff that is up at my mother's in storage, I would never be bored. All my craft and art supplies are up there. I could be sitting here making jewelry or doing cross-stitch or something to take my mind off the boredom, worries and quiet times.  I also have all sorts of computer books and stuff up there, I could be brushing up on my skill set, and trying to get back to work in the IT field.  I interview still but it seems that my skill set is outdated and I will either have to go through some type of retraining or re-teach myself everything I have forgotten.

I sort of envy people that can entertain themselves, that enjoy being alone and don't get bored easily.  I wish I had that quality within me.  Because honestly there are some days where I just feel so restless and I have no idea what to do with myself.  There once was a time when I buried myself in books or in video games, but now I have a more social focus and I like to be around people and experience social interactions.  I know with today's technology our friends are even closer now than ever, and we can just log on to things like Facebook, SchoolFeed or other social networking sites and we can instantly connect with them.  However, I honestly don't feel that this type of interaction can actually replace for me the need for human interaction.  I like to talk to people, hear their voice, look at them as they are telling me their problems, concerns and crisis's  Though it is fun to connect with people I haven't seen or talked to in years and Facebook has made that possible for me.  I have reconnected with a lot of my high school friends and Navy pals, I have even begun talking to them on the phone and so forth.  It really has been a cool experience to find out what has been happening with them and their lives since we parted.  I can say that it has made it well worth it.  There are some people that I knew in the Navy that I never thought I would ever see or hear from again, and because of Facebook we have reconnected all these years later.  It is fantastic.

I guess in the long run, the way I deal with loneliness is not to deal with it. To pick up the phone or log into Facebook, or send an email to someone is my way of coping.  Plus, I have you my readers that I write to daily and talk to you about everything.  I have found a way to be completely open to the world and keep no more secrets.  I must say that is a blessing within itself.

Further, with the amount of emails and comments that I have been getting about my blog, I am so very happy that the lessons I have learned in my life are able to help others who are going through similar situations.  I am honestly thankful that you are all here and are so supportive of my writing and what I have to say.

Bottom line is this, I don't believe that there is ever going to be a total substitute for human interaction, we have to get out there and meet other people.  There is only so much living we can do at present in Cyberspace.  Though as VR becomes more available and real, I think more and more people will be living a life within the "Matrix" and meeting people that way.  But for now, I encourage you to go out and do it the old fashion way.  Talk to real live humans, get to know them, interact with them.  Don't hide behind your loneliness and boredom, like I told you the other day "Life doesn't come with a remote control, if it isn't how you like it, get up and change it yourself". You can do it, all it takes is a little effort and a leap of faith.  My best friend said on Facebook today "Anything worthwhile isn't going to be painless, no pain, no gain."  Take a step out of the cyber world and live in the real one for a minute and see if you can't experience the same things in both lands.  It really is a wondrous place this world we live in. You just need to go out there and experience it first hand.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B