I wanted to start this thread because even though most of the time I get on with life and cope ok sometimes I feel really alone, even when I am surrounded by people. Has anyone else had this feeling. I was at a friends ‘cheese and wine’ night last night and I pretty much knew everybody there (there was around 60 people). Yet I’ve never felt so awkward and like I didn’t fit in. Everyone said hello but no one struck up a conversation with me. I am usually very sociable and can talk for England but I wasn’t feeling great and had had a bad head all day so wasn’t up to my usual talkative self. However if people had made the effort I would have warmed up. I can’t help thinking that I just don’t fit in anymore and I’m feeling upset, angry and emotional. I’m not expecting them to talk about my Leukaemia at all I just want to be included and it seems if I don’t make the effort then I might as well never see them again. I am still the same person in many ways.
@AnnaMam, I thought it was just me and my hearing impairment that was making me feel on the fringes of things. I didn’t attend a college reunion (50 year anniversary) even though I would love to see the college again, because I know I struggle in large gatherings. Even in my special group of friends I feel on the periphary as they are still working (in school) and they are often talking about things going on there. I can’t follow a conversation where several people are involved as lip reading is exhausting, and with fatigue on top…
Saying that, usually one or another of my friends usually starts a conversation with me. It also occurred to me that an opening line is usually “How are you?” and people often don’t want to know even though they have asked. Perhaps next time target someone and ask them if they have taken up any new activities lately, seen X lately, been to any gigs/concerts lately, then they know that you are not wanting to talk about your health (even if maybe you do want to say you are struggling at the moment) and you can have a rant on here. Big Hugs Anna
Hi Anna and Louise, yes, I really know that feeling of being alone in large social gatherings of people, many of whom I know. I thought it was just me feeling like that. It was really bad for a long while after I was diagnosed, especially when I felt in a bubble and I felt everyone was looking at me as ‘Erica with leukaemia’. I will talk to everyone at the bus stop or in the queue at Sainsburys, but really I hate being in those large social gatherings where everyone else seems to be chatting away. I realise it is more about me looking at their behaviours and not my own. I like your thoughts, Louise, of asking those open questions of others and then I know conversation will flow. I still prefer just being me with one or two friends though !!
@AnnaMam @Erica It was interesting being away on holiday last week. We were in a tour group of 30 on the Isle of Man, and I didn’t have that feeling of isolation once. We got to speak to quite a few different people in our group. There were times when I couldn’t follow the conversation, but I stayed chilled about it. A couple of times my history cropped up (Telling our tour manager why I struggled getting up the stairs from Deck 3 to Deck 7 on the ferry) but in the main I was just me. I think that is why you can strike up a conversation with a complete stranger so much easier Erica
Thank you and I agree and usually do exactly as you say, but I was in need of some support because I wasn’t feeling my best so now I’m feeling like its only me who makes things work. Hugs to you
Yes Erica, but it struck me that if we don’t make the effort with those open questions what would happen? Then I started to question things. I am always a great conversationalist but sometimes it would be nice for it to be the other way around, its so draining to always be the one making all the effort. I too talk to anyone and my job means I am used to making conversation but should this be the case with friends? Or do I just not fit in anymore? At least we are not along in this are we ladies!
Well Louise its funny you’ve mentioned this as we went for some drinks with different friends last night and actually it was absolutely fine and I have a lovely time. They do know about my Leukaemia but it never got in the way of anything, we never spoke about it and thats fine! It was so refreshing!
Hi Anna, I hope you are feeling better today and not so lonely.
I sometimes feel that people say, ‘You’re looking well’ to get away with taking the conversation any further.
Maybe because you weren’t feeling the best, you may have felt that people were distancing themselves; I sometimes make a beeline for one person and in your case, ask what they thought of the wine/cheese. Just a thought - probably doesn’t make you feel any better but I hope it does.
Sending a hug. Xxx
Thank you, its lovely to know that here I have people who understand and I can ‘talk through’ my feelings. I do agree with everything you say, its just sometimes its tiring being the one who has to initiate things… You are right I wasn’t feeling my best so probably being over sensitive and my head does get in a mess sometimes with over thinking! Thanks for taking the time to send this message
I can relate to that making a beeline for someone. Small talk can be strange and sometimes I have conversation starters in my head before I speak to someone. Sometimes I get so nervous and anxious that I cannot even get the words out or forget the topic we were talking about. Also do you have any advice for people who feel alone sometimes?