alone

Therapists say clients in their late-20s and 30s often worry they'll be alone forever.
I know when I am in a large crowd of people entirely 'on my own' I feel nervous; I have an irrational fear that nobody will even notice that I am there. I look at the little groups of people who do know each other within that large crowd enjoying themselves and the company of each other and that somehow increases my nervousness and the fear.
I found myself at a bit of a loose end on Sunday; I thought I should do something completely different (usually Sunday afternoon is spent in the pub). I would learn how to survive a Sunday on my own, not just survive but enjoy, without the pub.
When, on the last day of 2016, you realise that the biggest decision you have to make each day is whether to use the curling
giving back.jpg Although Christmas is predominantly a time of sadness for me, because it is for so many of our clients, it is still a time of hope. I believe that all our clients can survive, and indeed they all have so far. At our Suicide Crisis Centre, we care for them and do all we can to support them through this particularly dark time. It's a privilege to be able to do so.
It was the iconic Marilyn Monroe who said "I restore myself when I'm alone". Despite living until she was just 36 this message has been an echo to me throughout my life. And now, a happy, healthy 76-year-old woman I can share that, until recently, I'd never fully understood the meaning of the phrase.
I don't believe that putting the needs of others first is very healthy. It is vital that you put your own needs first. It isn't selfish to do that, because if you don't put your own needs first and look after yourself, how on earth will be you be able to look after someone else?
One day, I realised this was stupid. I was missing out on activities and adventures that I really wanted to do, just because I'd be doing them alone. I decided this was going to change. A lot of this began when I was living in France, for my university year abroad.
If the loneliness stems from being over plugged-in to the digital world - then how about reducing the time you spend online. Put those digital devices aside. Come on. Not forever. Simply, unplug now and then.
For decades I didn't feel like I belonged anywhere. As far back as I can remember, it was difficult to "fit in". My mother was always saying "Why can't you be more like this person or that person?" I wondered that, too. I tried as hard as I could but somehow, it just didn't quite work. I didn't think like other people. And I was often misunderstood.
I recall the day my former husband moved out of our home. Over 3 months ago now. I spent a large portion of the day in tears. I was beside myself. That's a funny term. Being beside ourself. I guess because sadness is not our true state.
I haven't really ever understood the concept of Valentines Day. When I was 14 I had a big crush on a bloke my age, and basically I made it so blatant that I fancied him for so long he practically went into hiding.
This time of year is always strangely exciting for me because every other year I am with my girls while the next they spend it with their fathers (yes, I have been married and divorced twice).
We live in a world where we are constantly busy busy. Even by ourselves we can fill our time now to the brim with all the new digital applications. Agendas are overloaded, everyone is multi-tasking and even sleep is restless with BlackBerrys by the bed.