POST 11. Now That I Live Alone

Now That I Live Alone

Most of us, regardless of age, have experienced social isolation. COVID forced us to recognize how lonely life can be when we are isolated from our peers and friends.  


Lou and I spent three months apart during COVID when Lou was hospitalized and placed in a convalescent facility, back to the hospital, then back to the convalescent facility. 

For me, I was in the comfort of my home, and though I missed Lou terribly and worried about him incessantly, I was basically OK.  


Lou, on the other hand, felt desperate and horribly depressed, not just because of the seriousness of his illness, but mostly because he needed desperately to see me routinely.  But this was the time at the beginning of COVID when hospitals did not permit visitation, nor did the convalescent home.  


Lou was alone as though he were on a distant planet, totally alienated from all things familiar.  


At least he had his iPad which he used to play games or to search the Internet within the limitations of hospital Wi-Fi.  I tried to explain to him over the phone how to use FaceTime, but it was just too complicated for him.  One of the nurses was kind enough to demonstrate the use of FaceTime.  For Lou and for me, FaceTime was a lifesaver.  We were able to communicate again, and that was what Lou needed for his recovery.  


I tell this story to i Illustrate the harm that is done due to loneliness and social isolation.  We are only now beginning to understand the ramifications of COVID when it comes to the elderly and children especially.  


People need people!


Now that I live alone for the first time in my life, I've begun to understand the effects of social isolation and loneliness.  I've had conversations with friends and physicians about this.  I have no children or grandchildren to love and nurture. 


At age 78,I feel like an astronaut in space with a severed umbilical cord… no connection to the past and no connection to the future.  Just floating in space, looking for Lou’s star in Orion’s belt.    


Social isolation and loneliness can have profound effects when dealing with the loss of your life partner.  Obviously, depression can be serious and deleterious to your physical well-being, especially as we grow older.  


For me, sleep has become an enormous problem.  Also, I don't eat well.  Sometimes I overeat and sometimes I don't eat at all.  I certainly don't follow a normal schedule; consequently, I have belly issues now that I never had before, another condition that is bad for your health.

For a few months, I spent hours in front of the TV, thinking of all the things I'd like to do, but didm’t . It would  have been easy to become a hermit and to deny myself pleasure. 


Have you ever felt this way?


To combat the ill effects of social isolation, I've made it a point to stay in touch with my friends. I'm one who prefers to text rather than talk on the phone, but a lot of my friends prefer to talk on the phone.  I'm learning to compromise on this issue.  One thing is for sure… I love to go to lunch with my friends, or to a movie or on an outing.


I've come to realize how important it is to remain connected and to seek out new connections.  There are lots of things we can do when we are alone so that we don't become lonely. 


I have friends who are very spiritual and have become involved in their churches and in church activities.  

One of my friends makes visits routinely to shut-ins.  Another writes notes to elderly in convalescent homes (Letters Against Isolation).  I have a neighbor who started a movie club.  


Find what it is that you like to do or that you've always wished you could do.  

I love to travel a few times a year, despite my physical limitations.  I plan to join a writing class at the local community college. 

Writing this blog gives me an opportunity to express what's in my heart and share it with others. And I love to entertain my friends and neighbors, whether small intimate dinners or larger parties. I  started to draw again so I'm now taking an art class every week.

The point is to keep busy and do the things that give you pleasure. 

Join a Garden Club, go to the gym or to the YMCA, seek out a nearby Senior Center, start using the library again. Do you like photography… join a club.  And if there isn’t a club, don’t be afraid to start one! If you like museums or historical buildings, volunteer as a docent.  


Your options are endless. 


You don't have to disappear into your couch.  


You don't have to be lonely.       


You don't have to be isolated. 


The choice is yours.  


Take baby steps into a lifestyle where you are not responsible for anyone but yourself.  Learn to be good to yourself. 


Embrace your new world!



Thanks for following my blog. I hope it interests you! © 2023 by Elaine Troisi is licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


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