I seem to always begin these posts with “it’s been a while” and once again, it has. Life gets in the way and all that. But I’ve forced myself to sit down and take stock this evening as the last few weeks have been somewhat surreal.
Firstly as a media volunteer for Mind, I was asked by Refinery 29 if I fancied having a chat about being young and lonely (mainly because I had just turned 33 and anyone calling me “young” was very much welcome). Recent statistics and studies around loneliness have discovered that those who identify as lonely are twice more likely to have problems with their mental health. This comes as no surprise as someone who has wrestled with loneliness most of their life.
I didn’t think twice about doing the interview, not because I wanted the world to know I was lonely and feel sorry for me, but because it’s such a taboo subject and one which rarely gets any column inches. As with most of the interviews I give, I didn’t really think it would garner much attention, but nonetheless I chatted with the journalist and felt happy to have helped.
But as soon as it was published the following day, I started receiving messages – on Twitter, Instagram and via this blog with people thanking me for being honest and resonating with my story. I felt so proud and it’s continued ever since. I’m still getting emails and it’s making my heart swell. It’s so hard to talk about being lonely and the fact people have felt compelled to get in touch is just wonderful. The downside of course being just how widespread the issue is, especially in London. Truth be told, I’ve found the attention quite overwhelming and as yet I haven’t managed to get back in touch with everyone, but I will, I promise. I started out thinking I would meet with everyone individually, but as someone who gets bouts of social anxiety and with the numbers rising, I think setting up some sort of group is going to be the best way forward. So if you have been in touch, look out for an email this week, and if you’re reading this thinking you’d like to join us (nothing formal with absolute zero pressure, just hanging out with some like-minded lonely people), please do get in touch.
Off the back of the blog, I was very kindly asked by Mind to join them for a panel event at County Hall to chat about the loneliness epidemic. This was a real honour and not something I could ever have imagined being invited to speak at before. With BBC Breakfast’s Naga Munchetty keeping us in check, I was joined by Tracey Crouch MP who has been appointed Britain’s Minister for Loneliness, Claudia Hammond from BBC Radio 4’s ‘All in the Mind’ and award winning filmmaker Sue Bourne who made ‘The Age of Loneliness’. It was a lively debate with all of us bringing our own expertise to the table – something I was really anxious about was being the token “person with mental health issues” but I was treated with such humility and respect and Naga ensured I got my voice heard just as much as the others. The feedback was great and so many people came and chatted afterwards and said they ‘got it’, which is more than I could have ever asked for. My first panel…..done!
And off the back of the panel, I’ve been approached by more organisations to share my experiences and most excitingly, an author who is currently writing a book on loneliness. He’s asked me to submit an open letter to someone struggling with loneliness which is going to be published next year alongside others. As someone who loves writing, this is something of a dream in the making, I’ve always wanted to see my words in a book and if they can be words that could potentially help someone then all the better.
Oh and one last thing, I’m going to be on the ITV Lunchtime News tomorrow (providing I don’t get bumped by more pressing news like the last two times!), I’m in a bit of an anxious state, mainly because I don’t know what to wear, but very much looking forward to shining some more light on another very important subject; antidepressants. Wish me luck!!
7 responses to “I Get Lonely Too….”
As you know I have struggled with mental health issues. I also consider myself to be lonely, as I’m approaching 30 and single and living with my parents still. My life hasn’t really progressed the way I wanted it to.
I read your blogs every time you upload a new one as you are so honest and I can relate to what you are going through. Congrats on all those offers. Exciting! If you can I’d like to be included in that group you are going to create as I think it’ll be beneficial for me.
Your doing amazingly well to tackle mental health issues in a public way. Very brave. You should be proud.
I’m currently waiting to hear if a sitcom I sent to a competition with the BBC will be picked up and in the mean time I’m developing a stand up show about my years struggling with mental health issues. I’m going to call it… Am I mad?
I went to the Machynlleth Comedy Festival and met Henry Widdecombe three, brother of Josh Widdecombe, who told me he read my script and said it was the best he read. Gave me a huge boost. Having been unstable for so long it was a mighty relief hearing that I nearly cried.
I look forward to more of your work and being in the group.
Send my love to your family.
Hi Sion, it’s great to hear that you’ve been feeling much better since you’ve been given that boost of confidence. However, without being negative at all about it, it can lead to mental damage. The lack of self-confidence has nothing to do with the outside world, and it is all in your perception of what we call reality. In essence, if you are happy with your work, nothing else matters because it will make you feel fulfilled even if no one really likes it. In the end, you’re not doing anything for anyone else. It’s your desire to make people laugh that is actually in your way. Let go of the desire to control the result and do what you feel is meant for you, and that’s when it will happen. Again, I’m not talking here about not wanting to do something, but the opposite. Do what you feel you need to do, only without the need to control the results, because it’s the experience that matters and not the results. Be blessed and I was clear enough that you don’t misinterpret my message, and feel free to share your thoughts. Much love, Tudor
I’ve just read an article on the BBC about loneliness that you were in, and clicked the link to your blog. It is such a relief to know others out there feel the same way I do.
I’ve just turned 39. Have no one to really talk to (my friends have families and live miles away and we only rarely get in touch) I don’t like going out and eating alone because everyone else is with someone be it a friend or a partner, so I never go out to eat. I do everything by myself.
A few years ago when living in Oxford I did join a Meetup group, but nothing came of it.
I’ve just begun a Masters degree, and am living on campus. I’m hoping to make friends whilst here but I’m trying not to make it a big thing.
Good luck with everything and hope it all works out.
Hi – I found this via a BBC article.
To help me deal with feeling lonely in London I started a weekly meetup – It is very casual, and as with everything – it may not be for everyone but anyone is free to come join us and see if you enjoy it.
Tonights event is posted here: https://www.reddit.com/r/LondonSocialClub/comments/9jv1wd/011018_hammersmith_hang_out/ You should be able to find future ones posted weekly on that subreddit.
The subreddit has many other events for people looking to meet others in London too.
Thanks for writing this. I have just moved to London for a new job which I really love but I’m suffering from feeling lonely, especially at weekends. Im Going to follow you on Twitter and keep an ear out for the group you’re planning on making. Much love. Kurt
I was grateful to read about your take on loneliness. I related completely. I’m jealous of your ability to write and use that as a way to help people. I’m 38 and I live in Canada. My mental health has been causing me to become more and more reclusive. Friends and family alike – there is no deep connection.
I found this after googling “I feel so lonely” … not sure what I’d find that is helpful but this was … nice? Thanks for posting this. I’m glad you’ve found a way to use your struggle for your success.
Hi I just read your blog in New magazine and wondered if you have ever tried the app#meetup which is aimed at meeting friends in the same city as you..?? .I would highly recommend it..I too went through a period of loneliness when all my friend started getting married having babies etc but having now found this site I have an abundance of fab friends both men and women who have changed my life for the better so much so I now run my own social site in Leeds..they are many groups even groups for ppl who have mental health issues or social anxiety ..there really is no reason nowadays to be lonely:)..