A recent comment from Anna has prompted me to write this post, and hopefully I can shed some light on the relationship between feeling lonely and depressed living as a single person, and whether the amount of money you have can make a difference.
Let's take the lonely and depressed bit first. I have been living on my own ever since I left home when I was 18, so you could say I have had plenty of practice. Although I appear to be sorted now, I have gone through some lonely and depressing times, some of these have been triggered by my Body Dismorphic Disorder (BDD lots of interesting stuff if you google it). Having low self esteem has been very difficult to deal with at times, but on the whole I have usually managed to pull myself out of it.
My singleness comes from the fact that I have an independant streak, and coupled with a very demanding job, I have never had the opportunity to meet the right person who I want to spend the rest of my life with.
I am not lonely or depressed, I feel very lucky for the life I have now, and the confidence I have which has grown with age and experience. About fourteen years ago I had a boyfriend, he promised me everything, how we would be together for the rest of our lives, how he loved me more than anything. I believed him, but there was a price to pay and it took me a while to spot the flaws in our relationship. Basically I did all the giving and he did all the taking. He wanted to control everything I said and everything I did. Everybody noticed the changes in me, I was turning into the person he wanted me to be and I lost my identity. The questions and the accusations were terrible, I know now that he was an evil man. Thank goodness I eventually saw sense and got out, but it wasn't easy, my confidence was rock bottom because he had such a hold over me.
Eventually I managed to turn things around, you don't just stop living when a relationship breaks up, you have the rest of your life in front of you. I made myself get back out there, pick up the pieces and start afresh. I didn't know many people because I had moved to a new area, to be with him, I needed to meet people. What I did was to start an introduction agency/singles club. I made up a programme of events, social nights out, and advertised it every week in the free paper. It grew and grew, I made lots of friends, and in three years we had three weddings, people found partners and friends, and I found a new boyfriend.
What I am trying to say is, that if you wait around for something to happen you will wait for ever. When time is lost you can never get it back. The new boyfriend by the way, finished with me after about two years. He couldn't cope with the age gap, I was 14 years older than him. But that was his choice, I respected him for being honest, and I got on with the rest of my life.
One thing I don't do is pine for something I haven't got, there is no point. I have been given a life and my only responsibility is to me, to make the best of it. No one else is responsible for making me happy, it is entirely in my own hands. This is why I go out on my own.
I realise that everyone is not like me. When I ran the singles club I sometimes had to go out into the car park of the pub we were meeting at, and speak to someone in their car because they were too shy to come in on their own. I was the meeter and greeter. Once they got inside and met a few people they relaxed a bit more, and after a few visits the change in them was amazing. It was taking that first step which was the hardest.
Anna, you say that people don't want to know you, now you have no money. I am not sure how they would know you have no money, unless you tell them. There is no need for anyone to know what you have or have not got. I am happy telling people that I don't have very much spare cash, because I am proud of my simple penny pinching lifestyle. If people judge me on my material posessions and don't look at me the person, then I don't care if they don't want to know me. I have rich and poor friends, they are all the same to me.
I am sure the cost of living is quite high in London, but you can still go out even though you don't have much money. The library is free, cycling is free, some museums and art galleries are free, some colleges offer free courses, walking is free, and donating blood is free. Dog walking is one of the best free activities that gets you talking to people, and it doesn't have to be your own dog either. London can be a lonely place to live, but if you make that effort and be the first one to speak, you might be surprised. Even if you go to the local shop for a paper and say 'Good Morning' to someone, it's a start, you never know where it might lead.
Anna, I hope you don't find my post dictating or patronising, I don't mean to be. It's just that I am a firm believer that our destiny is largely in our own hands, the only exception being that if we are unfortunate enough to suffer from unavoidable ill health. Please please please look after yourself, and that goes for anyone else reading this.
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