Do you know why it is not cool to be lonely?
Because that is to fall into the stereotype people have of an elderly – frail, dependent on others, sickly, and cranky.
To be cool is not to fit into the mold society has made for us. It is to use a tablet, not for your arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart problems but to get in touch with your online friends or play online games.
Of course society is not entirely to blame for its condescending attitude towards elders people. We are partly to blame, too!
We are so fond of going back memory lane, to be sentimental and nostalgic of the past. Like a broken record, we often reminisce of the times when we played with our children when they were toddlers, of our first date, our first job, when we got married, and many other things that would just lead us down to depression avenue.
The past is past, and to dwell over them is to stay standstill, to remain static when, at this time of our lives, we should be doing things we always wanted but never had the time, go places we dreamed of but remained a dream until now, or meet people, our soul mate maybe, now that we are free to do so.
If we are not overly sentimental, we are so cranky that our children may sometimes admonish our grandchildren not to make so much noise or else that “grumpy old man next room,” will summon the gremlins and witches and whisk them to a far, far , away land, never to be found again.
One Sunday afternoon I was alone at home, as I always am, watching the HBO channel.
I was becoming listless when feelings of loneliness started creeping in. Suddenly, I got a call from my daughter asking me how I was doing. I told her that I was OK.
Then the dam broke. I began to cry and told her that I was feeling miserably lonely and that I do not think I can take it anymore.
Embarrassing it may seem, that episode taught me a very valuable lesson – never to watch emotionally-charged movies while I am alone at home. It is a warning, almost like “do not play with matches,” that has been etched into my frail consciousness.
If you must watch TV alone at home, I suggest you use your remote control to find comedies, or cartoons, or “How To,” programs. Keep away from programs that make your heart beat a little faster, your adrenal glands work a little harder.
Better still do not watch TV at all when you are alone. Go out, take a walk around your lawn, pull out some weeds from your garden, go to the basement and see if there are things you can do to keep boredom away; or down a few beers with a neighbor. Do anything that veers your thoughts away from you to someone or something else.
Loneliness Is Bad Company
Loneliness is an unwanted emotion caused by an anxious feeling of not being connected with others or missing communality with a group.
Particularly unacceptable are olderlies who are widowed or divorced, those with medical problems, physically disabled, and those who failed to achieve their life's goals.
As an emotion, it is subjective. You can feel lonely in a group or even even when alone (one survey shows that people who live alone do not have bouts of loneliness or never feel lonely at all).
And it is bad company because if it becomes chronic, it can easily cause stress which can lead to depression and melancholia. It can increase your risk for heart diseases and Alzheimer's. Before all these will come upon you, you will keep to yourself, keep away from the world, sap your energy and enthusiasm to live.
I would be saying to say that I do not have bouts of loneliness. I do, more often than I care to admit. It even drops in on me even if I am in a crowded coffee shop. But I Just have to shove it besides because having an anxiety attack, which usually follows closely behind, is one scary feeling.
So far I have been successful at it. I have a support group in my tennis buddies and I keep busy writing. When things get out of hand, I talk with my daughter.
She is always there when I need her.
Like that HBO episode I mentioned above. When, between sobs, I told her that I was feeling very lonely, she immediately said the magic words, “OK, let's go out and have dinner.”
An elderly life is fickle and uncertain. Each day is a blessing not to be squandered on worry or feeling lonely, or being idle. Each day is a chance to make a difference, if not in others' lives, in our.
Each day must be lived so that, we should not see another sunrise, people would say, “He looks so happy!”
And that is cool, is not it?