MENTAL HEALTH AND AGEING
This could be a difficult, spiky subject to tackle but it's not. Not for me, at any rate. I have no problem discussing mental health. And, by the way, neither should any of you.
I have spoken about the subject, with regard to myself, several times on different social media platforms.
The thing is this - it is not enough to simply nod and look empathetic when a person discusses their depression, loneliness or anxieties. Because, I'm guessing, that is what we're talking about here.
Nodding and planting a like on Facebook or twitter et al is not enough. Follow it through with action. Follow it through with an invite to a coffee or a 'do join us for a sherry' at Christmas. (Geographical distance allowing, of course).
Justmeandlilley working away at the desk. At least one of us is...
Because - those of you lucky enough to have family of any kind - throw out an invite because that is what my family and I/we used to do. So many Christmas' were spent with a stranger joining us from my dad's building site. I didn't mind if it was a hunky young man to be honest. My mum, with her endless supply of lonely older friends at festive times. Me - asking friends who would be alone at Christmas to join us for the day. Only a few kind folk invited me back (when I became an aloner, myself).
I do not understand it. It's for one day. An acquaintance of mine, who has disappeared to the grandkids never to be seen again, used to ask any solitary neighbours round for an hour or so of 'sherry time' at Christmas. What a good idea that is. Sometimes that's all we want. An hour or so of company on a day like Christmas Day. So, it doesn't have to be for the whole of the family festivities, just an hour or so. Please, families, bear this in mind.
Living totally alone with no family to call on is painful. It can be lonely, frustrating, frightening. It can be shaming too. You feel embarrassed.
For me, whose 20s - 60s years were spent batting people off. Using my late partner as a social secretary to give me breathing space from the endless social scene. And now to this - emptiness.
You shouldn't want what you wish for, eh? Wishing for some peace to wishing for somebody to stir that peace, again.
Is that why I feel so ashamed of the fact I have no one? Me, the great socialiser and successful businesswoman to me - alone and childless.
I tweeted the other Sunday (that's Twitter to the uninitiated). My tweet said I felt lonely, so justmeandlilley had gone for a walk in nature and it had soothed the soul. A rather lovely photo of the local water mill accompanied this prose. The word 'lonely' hit the mark for many other tweeters, that day.
It's trendy, isn't it? It's mental 'ealth innit?
But I tell you this - the response from fellow tweeters was heartening and warming. One or two privately messaged me to check I was OK. Which is more than my community did.
What about your communities? I'm going to hazard a guess here and say that places like the Yorkshire Dales and surrounding areas, large parts of the Home Counties and farming villages where the same families have lived for generations. They probably still have a proper community feel, and they act on it. In more transient areas like mine, it is so much more exclusive.
It needs to be inclusive. My new meme. My saying…
Be inclusive not exclusive.
This is part of South Ormesby Estate walk, Lincolnshire Wolds. One of Justmeandlilley's favourites. You can just see the famous herd of Lincoln Red cattle in front of the Estate Manor House. So peaceful and calming to walk in green spaces.