I'm going to try and get involved here .

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2009
I'm going to try and get involved here .
13
Thu, 02-18-2010 - 2:08am

Hello -

I am really isolated in my life and have no friends. I need to interact with people. I am just wondering if I can write here and if people will respond to me and ask me questions and give me feedback and advice. I am going to try and log in at least daily. I think it will help me, and I really need to do something.

Thanks!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Thu, 02-18-2010 - 5:28pm
how are you isolated?
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2009
Fri, 02-19-2010 - 12:41am
I am isolated because I work from home, I am a single mom who has never really found a place that I feel I fit in. I also feel more educated than most people in my area, and I have a hard time connecting with people whom I don't feel really have an enlightened outlook (not that I do all the time, but I do try). I also recently left the religion that really was the basis for my reason for living for most of my life. So I find myself really unable to connect with anyone. I just go from day to day doing my work and trying to be a good mother. It's not that I need a lot of friends. I just wish I had some people that I could really open up with and just be myself with. It sounds like a lot of people here feel that way. It's not an easy thing to overcome. You can't just go out and meet people and all of the sudden have meaningful relationships. This has been a problem for me ever since college, really, I felt like all of my friends got married (and this really is a fact) and I never did. Then I got pregnant twice so I live in eternal shame of having really messed up. I just really feel strongly that the most important thing we can do in life is create a happy family where children can grow up happily and then make positive contributions to society, and I messed that up. I realize that no matter how hard I try to be a good mom, I can never make up for my son growing up without a mom and a dad who love each other and having a dad around telling him that he is loved. And then I fear my son is going to grow up with the same problems I have (insecurity, loneliness) and it makes me want to just give up. So I guess it's kind of a combination of not really having anyone I can be myself with and having very deep regrets about my past which I am reminded of every day in raising my children. I do think I have a lot of great qualities as a person, but I feel like they evaporate away as I sit in my home alone day after day, night after night, on and on. I do have happy, joyful times each day, but it is mostly so sad and lonely. And just a note: I do not want to take medication and there is no quality counseling available where I live (I've looked into it).
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2009
Fri, 02-19-2010 - 10:58am
Hi there. What state are you in? I'm in CT for now and I am desperately trying to find new ffriends on the East Coast. I figure, why bother with Craigslist looking for friends when this board could serve teh same purpose. Btw, I appreciate your response to my earlier post. Keep posting. We're all in the same boat here.
Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Fri, 02-19-2010 - 11:49am

I also work from home & started to do so when I moved to a completely new state, knowing nobody, and also do not attend any type of religion - especially the one I was raised in.

It can be isolating & if you're not careful - debilitating.

From my experience I realize isolation is a two-way street. Sometimes we need to feel this isolation for an excuse for our own misery. Sometimes we set up standards too high so nobody can penetrate.

I have also found if I am unable to forgive myself I remain stuck. To learn to accept things as they are - and not how they got there - then things can start moving forward.

What do you like to do? For example, I like to go hiking. My H hates to go & so over the years I've gone less & less to the point where my kids do not even know what hiking is. So I've decided this spring I'm going to join a hiking group. Leave my family behind & go hiking!

There is a website called meetup.org. There are all sorts of groups on there & I've even been able to find hiking groups here.

Now you specifically asked for advice, so I'll suggest some ideas:

1. First realize you'll never make an instant friend. It takes time to get to know people. And it also takes practice. So go out at first to make acquaintances - NOT friends. One thing I've noticed is how much worse I get over the summer and that is because I'm not getting the 3-5 minutes of human contact when I take my child to playschool 2-3 days a week! So even though I had not actually made friends, just small talk helps incredibly.

2. I don't know how old your son is. If he's small then sign him up for classes at your parks & recreation. This gets both of you out. If he's really small they are probably parent participation required, so it could be a bonding time as well. If he's older then start finding ways you can volunteer at his school. I created my son's school website, so I need to be in communication with the PTO, even though I don't maintain it, I need to hel the new secretary learn how to maintain it. It doesn't take up a lot of my time, but helps me stay connected. Now I'm also volunteering at his chess club & I basically meet & greet everyone as they come in (make sure kids sign in & out). THIS IS ROUGH WITH SOCIAL ANXIETY!!! But I do it. It gets my face seen & makes me more approachable when parents see me outside of the club.

>>> i.e. use your son for human contact :)

3. Get out & exercise! Make sure you get outside every day. If it's too cold go to the mall to window shop, go grocery shopping, etc. On the warmer days go for a 30 minute walk. Go to a coffee house & sit down to a cup of something, even if it's not coffee. Even though you're not sitting with anyone, just being around ppl will help & it's a type of place where lots of people sit by themselves.

4. You state you want to be medicated, but counseling sucks. Well to get the best use of medication is through a doc who knows about the meds & this is NOT your general doctor! OMG my life would probably be so much better if my H had not used a general doctor. These drugs are over px'd which seems to make it so they are not taken seriously enough. These drugs affect your brain - take it seriously. Now, unfortunately, there is a process to get seen by a psychiatrist - at least where I live & our insurance, you need to be recommended by a counselor. So even though you state counselors are not that great in your area, use them to your advantage anyway. My H hates therapy. He went through the process of a counselor though specifically so he could get on medication. Now that he's being seen by a psychiatrist he stopped seeing the therapist. Psychiatry does not use talk therapy in the least any more. They look at symptoms & medicate. They know what signs to look for if things are going wrong. They know how to tweak. At first you see him/her a lot until you get established on something that works.

.... but if this all just sounds like too much & you believe you need to be medicated, then by all means see your general doc. Just make sure you follow the px correctly & get follow up appointments.

-----

i.e. it is my belief isolation is created by the individual. It is not something that happens over night. Probably something that started while young. Therefore it is not something that will be fixed over night. It takes a lot of hard work, but worth it - especially if children are involved.

I do not know how to make friends. I'll admit that. I also know until I get my self-esteem up I'll never be able to. I'm too self-critical right now. After going out with somebody I will spend the next 3-4 nights awake going through the entire event & cutting myself down for every perceived mistake I made.

Peace




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2009
Tue, 02-23-2010 - 2:13am
Thanks for your comments. They were reaelly helpful. You're right - none of this will change quickly. I need to be patient. I think I've also realized that in many ways I LIKE my isolation. I have a lot of freedom! Also, I said I DIDN'T want to take drugs :-) for all the reasons you so clearly set out. I don't think the side effects are worth it.
Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Tue, 02-23-2010 - 1:49pm

so sorry, misunderstood about the meds.

I am always sooooo tired. I suffer from insomnia & have for years. Well, there are tricks that will get me to sleep faster - like listening to meditation audios. But do I do it? Nah? Why? Because I think I like the night, it belongs to me. There are no kids asking for milk, there is no H ranting about politics, the dog is tucked away with the kids & not asking for me to throw the ball, I don't have my work contact asking me to do what you'll find on 25K websites & make it happen in less than 2 hours. I am finally free. So I suffer from the exhaustion & everything that comes with it, so I can have that time to myself completely devoid of responsibility.

Yes, if you think hard enough, it's possible you'll find the reasons why you like to be isolated.

Peace




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2007
Sat, 02-27-2010 - 8:13pm
Just curious.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2010
Mon, 03-01-2010 - 12:12am

Hi looking4truth,


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2009
Tue, 03-02-2010 - 11:35pm
I hope I don't offend you with some of my judgmental attitudes towards counseling and medications! My reference to "quality counseling" was really just a paraphrase of what my doctor told me. He said it sounded like I could benefit from counseling but that honestly there was no one in the area that he could refer me to. He is a very unassuming, honest, smart guy, so I trusted him on that. I will write more in a minute. I have to share the computer with a pesky 12 year old (at least he is doing his homework!)
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2007
Wed, 03-03-2010 - 9:57am

No, I'm certainly not offended.

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