Being Alone



Being alone – most of us have experienced it at one time in our lives or another. I remember the first time I fell in love and had a lengthy relationship. We were together all the time and when we broke up it felt like a part of me had been sliced and removed blender style. It felt like time had frozen and I was stuck on a highway in a blizzard ALONE. That was an awful feeling.

Unfortunately many people are alone on a full time basis. It’s how they spend their lives and I’m sure it’s not by choice but by circumstance.

Circumstance can change any of our lives in an instant.

Where can you find people who are alone?

Try a bench in any park. Try a table in a café. Try a bar in the middle of the day.

I see them. I feel for them and I wonder, how did they end up alone? Can you imagine spending you entire day not having anyone to speak to? Can you imagine never being touched, hugged or kissed?

There should be a café designed just for people who are alone and then they could meet other people who are alone and perhaps not be alone any longer.

Someone has to end “alone”.

I think it would be one of the most purposeful and popular cafes in the city. It’s not for students who take up two tables with their laptops and backpacks, place their feet up on a chair and fail to give up any of their space no matter how many people are walking around holding their coffee and bagel looking for somewhere to sit. It’s not for meetings between colleagues or sales people and their clients; it’s for people in need of human interaction. Isn’t that important? Isn’t that an integral need?

Then why isn’t anyone doing anything about it? With all the causes for diseases, hunger, shelter – where is the walk, run, rubber bracelet to wipe out “alone?”

I reach out to people who are alone every time I facilitate a Support Group. The “alone” is palpable. It’s impossible to end the sessions without going into overtime and I don’t have the heart to do it so I wait until one of the supervisors comes and does it for me.

The people in these groups are often on the extreme end of being alone because they suffer from mental illness and many have been cast away by friends, colleagues and family who do not and will not understand the dreadful pain and daily challenges they face. Most have little funds because they are not able to work. Most live alone in a modest basement apartment or halfway house.

Most either stay inside waiting for the day to pass while others find the strength and courage to go for a walk. Their self esteem and self image is mangled like a car that has been in a wreck except there is no ambulance on the way and no one bothers to stop and look.

I think that those of us who have life partners, family, friends, support systems have to realize how fortunate we are and have to reach out to those who don’t have all of this richness in their lives and somehow include them in the warmth and comfort of it all.

Sometimes lonely people get lost in the shuffle. We may assume that our co-workers or acquaintances have someone to come home to or speak with on the phone or on-line. We don’t think of them eating alone and turning the lights out to go to sleep without being able to say “Goodnight.”

Somehow in the dice throw that is life, they become lost and often they wait far too long for someone to come and find them.