Reflections on a loneliness discussion

The following was written by Jenny Markland, a participant in our video discussion about the loneliness research results, reflecting on the question which most contributed to loneliness: “How often do you feel that no one really knows you well?”.

Thank you for inviting me to take part in The Loneliness: Know me Well video. It was an interesting session and really thought provoking.

One of the things I didn’t mention was my observations as I helped out in the community by shopping for some people who were isolating and spent time talking to them, at a distance! Prior to lockdown, naively, I assumed there was a caring happy family unit behind most doors.

It soon became evident that behind some of these doors were lonely people in addition to them living on their own. The things I take for granted like being able to pick up a phone and annoy a friend or family member, some of my neighbours have had no communication with family or friends for years.

Reflecting on the last 12 months and the people I’ve engaged with, I now know it’s perfectly natural to have feelings of vulnerability, frustration and even loneliness from time to time. However, loneliness needs to be managed as it can lead to anxiety and chronic loneliness which has a devastating impact on a person’s mental health. Without taking part in the video and reading some of research undertaken before it, I don’t think I would have come up with this particular observation.

Following the discussions we had on the video and my recent experiences I have applied to be a volunteer working for The Broxtowe Community Project, zoom interview of Saturday 13th March 2021, wish me luck ……

Head shot of Jenny smiling