By Ted Walner
Seek Out Some People to Be With
Coming from a family of five children, I always had people around me growing up. Even if we didn’t talk to one another, there was the security of knowing someone was always around. Life is much different in the big city. Now, I live in a studio apartment in Manhattan. I can always call someone, but it is much different than having people around you when you need them. It doesn’t bother me that much during the weekdays because I spend my time with nice people at work and then usually enjoy my “down” time. But it does hit me on weekends when I spend time on my own. Sometimes solitude sets in. I enjoy being by myself, but sometimes I feel lonely and can’t wait to be with someone. This article is going to deal with how I fill those gaps so I don’t feel so lonely. I will provide suggestions on how I do it and hopefully this will help others who experience feelings of loneliness.
A dear friend bought me a book on a set of DVDs for the holidays that I was interested in. It is amazing how this system counteracts the feelings of loneliness. You have a person narrating the book, which makes you feel like someone is talking to you. You can concentrate on this topic of interest, which stimulates you. It is much easier than the eye-strain of reading. You also learn something new.
On the weekends, I listen to the DVDs and it helps me to focus on something I find interesting. You almost feel as if you have someone in the room with you and it really helps with the feelings of loneliness. You can purchase a variety of topics on Amazon.com and they aren’t very expensive. If you’re interested in reading Hemmingway, Herman Hesse or any author, you can get these books narrated to you on a DVD. It’s a fun way to learn and has a lot of benefits.
You can make friends as well as find romance on dating websites. You have to be careful because there are some fraudulent people trying to get your money, but most of the people are simply interested in socializing. You should meet in a public place until you feel comfortable with that person. I advise that you get to know the person through texts, emails and phone calls before you meet. Once you feel comfortable, take it one step further and meet in a public place.
Not every person you meet is going to become a romantic interest. Sometimes, you make friends with people of similar interests as well. I have made three friends in the past few years on the Internet. It is possible. Not all sites charge a fee. Okcupid.com, nolongerlonely.com, mingle2.com, and pof.com all have a lot of free activities. You can pay, but you can also do a lot for free.
Nolongerlonely.com is a site for people with mental illness. I have made a friend on this site. These sites do help you find a mate and make friends although you should always be cautious. This is a definite antidote to loneliness.
There are many clubhouses one can go to. Fountain House offers a work-oriented program and you are bound to make friends with the wonderful people and staff there. They have different units, such as the Culinary Unit, the Employment Unit, the Communications Unit, and the Wellness Unit. One can decide what area they would like to join.
Baltic Street AEH, Inc. has the Resource and Wellness Center where you can socialize and get involved in group activities such as the expressive arts groups, meditation, arts and crafts, wellness and self-esteem-building groups.
Rainbow Heights is a clubhouse for the LGBTQ community that deals with mental health issues. They have film night on Thursday evenings where you can watch a current film together. These organizations also have interesting discussion groups.
At Fountain House, there is a women’s group and a LGBTQ talk group. You can discuss topics of interest in these groups and it’s a great way to socialize.
Groups provide a social outlet, a place to express yourself, and a way of meeting people. I encourage you to give them a try to combat the sadness of loneliness. They do help.
There are many things you can do in the big city to socialize on a budget. A lot of the museums have a free day. Going out to lunch is usually less expensive than dinner. You may borrow movies on DVD from the library and watch them with a friend.
I hope I have helped by offering some good suggestions to change loneliness into productive times with people. I still battle with it at times, but the activities mentioned have surely helped me. Hopefully, they will help you too.