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  • Betty Girardeau

Being Alone


I generally don't mind being alone. In fact, in many ways I have spent much of my life in pursuits where the time spent is more solitary than social. I have learned how to fill my days creatively and often with the sound of music as a background to it all. With two cats that often demand attention I certainly don't ever have a sense that I am in an empty house either. But I am definitely not immune to feeling lonely at times, especially after having the luxury of several days being with family, as I have enjoyed a couple of times in the last two months. Several people that I know who live alone have also mentioned recently having transient times when they have felt "down," recognizing even more strongly that things have changed in their lives and that they are alone. Covid-19 has only exacerbated such feelings for many, too, which is the depression side of loneliness. While there is an antidote for it, which is to get busy and do something, there is also a bit of inertia that is part of it, too. One of my friends mentioned that she had experienced a day when such feelings prevented her from even getting dressed one day, something that she had never experienced before. We have just completed the holidays, which have long been recognized as a season associated with feelings of loneliness and depression for many. Studies of the SARS pandemic, which was far less widespread, deadly, and long-lasting than our current Covid-19 one, show that individuals who were quarantined during that outbreak had higher levels of anxiety and depression. So here we are, post holidays and now in the eleventh month of this quarantine which has restricted our social interactions. While vaccines have brought light to the end of the tunnel, it could be months before we actually get down that tunnel and into the light. No wonder that we may feel more lonely being alone than perhaps any other time in our lives. I started creating these daily blogs shortly after things got shut down last March, recognizing my own need to find a way to combat feelings of isolation and to maybe help my friends and others to feel a bit less isolated, too. I look forward to writing and creating them every day, often starting to plan for the next one shortly after posting the last one. One of my old friends who just recently found my blog posts told me that, "Somehow I feel like we're just sitting and talking up close and personal when you write those blogs.....nice." I'm glad she feels that way, and I hope the rest of you do, too, because creating them first thing every day has certainly made me feel less alone and gives me an incentive to get through another day and look forward to the next one after that as well.

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