My experience with loneliness and the importance of connection!

By Blake Worrall-Thompson

So one of the things that's come up a lot over the last 12 to 18 months talking, with different therapists and psychologists, is their belief that in the next epidemic that is coming our way is around loneliness.

 

Which is really disturbing but also probably not that surprising and obviously at the moment with isolation

 

and everything that's going on its really highlighted the real detrimental effect that isolation and loneliness can have on our mental wellbeing.

 

One of the reasons I am really passionate about this topic is I've experienced both ends of the spectrum. From the fortunate world I find myself in today with really good deep, connections with a lot of people in my world and also having experienced the other side of loneliness and disconnection.

 

What made that other end really challenging was when I was feeling the most disconnected and lonely, it was also a period of time where I was going through the most challenging period of my life.

 

15 months where I was getting hit across the head by life and it was just hit after hit and that was made a lot worse by the fact that I was feeling all alone.

 

From the outside you probably wouldn't pick it.

 

I was in a relationship, good people around me, but just in terms of those connections, they weren't quite the connected feelings that I’m fortunate to have now.

 

So one of the things that we want to start to challenge is the association that loneliness equals alone

 

I've been in a room full of people and felt lonely and been completely alone and felt deeply connected to people in my circle. 

 

The other thing that's really upsetting and heartbreaking, to read about is found in the book “Lost Connections” by Johann Hari. Where they conducted a survey in the US and asked participants who many close friends they had and could confide in. They conducted this study twice. Once in the 70s and 80s and again around 2010. 

 

In the 1970/80’s the most common answer was 4, the most common answer in 2010? 

 

0

 

So that means that the majority of people feel they have 0 close, deep and meaningful relationships where they can confide in that friendship. 

 

We need to really understand what connection is and what it isn’t. Its definitely not liking someone's photo, commenting on someone's photo or to a certain degree even texting! We are humans and we need human interactions! Whether it's picking up the phone, obviously with what they've gone through being in isolation that was the only option but now that we are starting to see restrictions ease up go out and meet for a coffee! Call that friend and go for a walk

and getting those human feels!

 

Connection is a really important  piece for us at momentum and we're hoping that we can have some kind of impact in turning around what appears to be coming … which is an epidemic of people who are lonely.