I’m so lost and mixed up

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I am a 50 yr old women. I have no close friends. I lost my mom to cancer and currently live with my elderly father. I am so lonely and have no one to talk to. I work odd hrs…..so I have no social life. I do have my beloved animals, they’ve helped me tremendously….but I still feel that there is something missing in my life. At work I deal with backstabbers, which has made me even more isolated when it comes to meeting people. I did have a boyfriend, met him online the same time my mother was diagnosed with cancer…I thought that he was “THE ONE”. He stuck with me to the bitter end. There’s a lot more in this, but I’ll cut the chase and tell you he used me, and abused my little dog. So I left in a hurry, back to my dad’s.

I’m so scared…I’m scared of never being loved, of dying alone. I have no children, no relatives and I’m in a very isolated area. When I’m not working, I’m working at home. Like I stated, there’s no social life at all. All’s I know is how to work and care for others. I literally have no strength left to care for myself. I want to die….I miss my mother sooooo much, she was the one person who loved and actually understood me, now she’s gone. I wish there was a person out there that understood. Why am I still living, there’s nothing for me here on earth.

Thanks for listening,
lonesomedove

A: As long as you think there’s nothing here on earth for you, it will be true. The only person who can change the situation is you. Ask yourself: Is this the life your mom would have wanted for you? I doubt it very much. Perhaps thinking about her will help you find the strength within to make some important changes.

You live is one of the most beautiful – and isolated – parts of America. You probably know just about everyone in your town who is a peer. Fortunately, the county seat is an easy drive away. And making that drive is just what this doctor is ordering. You’re not going to meet new people by sitting at home feeling sad.

A new place can mean new beginnings. You love animals. There are several animal shelters, clinics, and pet supply stores in that nearby city. Consider volunteering or taking a part-time job at one of them. Or – expand your universe. Get involved in a political campaign, an organization whose mission you support, or a house of worship. Any place that requires you to be even a little active could change your life for the better.

You say you work “odd hours”? If that means you work at night, there is still daytime to explore opportunities. Working all the time? Do you really need to or are you using work as a way to avoid taking charge of your life? If you want a social life, you need to reprioritize how you spend your time and extend yourself to other people.

Yes, I know you’re out of practice. I know you are feeling “burned” by the guy who disappointed you so much. I know it’s hard to break out of a habit of isolating and feeling stuck. But I think you are getting ready. Writing to us here at PC was an important first step. Now take the next one. Decide on one place you will go this week where you will possibly meet someone new. And please remember, wherever you go there are probably other people who are even more rusty at the social thing than you are. One way to stop being self conscious is to reach out a helping hand to someone else. Being generous is often repaid many times over.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Oct 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). I’m so lost and mixed up. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 30, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/10/21/im-so-lost-and-mixed-up/