Look out the window at the crowded streets below
Seems everybody has someplace to go.
Look in the mirror with far away eyes
Cry in silence at a wasted life.

Do you believe when I tell you
That lonely is the hardest.
Do you believe when I tell you
That lonely is the hardest state of all.
— Suzi Quatro ‘Lonely is the Hardest

So, this is my first attempt at a Medium post!

Well, today is my 59th birthday and like pretty much every day of the year I'm spending it alone.

Since losing my parents in 2008 I lost what little contact I had with my aunts, uncles, and cousins - they never really bothered with me before then anyway. I was always the black sheep of the family.

As for friends? Well, I lost a lot of the fair-weather type friends when I lost my job in 2013 following my heart attack. I still see them around the area but they never bother to speak now that I haven’t a good salary to spend.

Other friends drifted away when my health — both physical and mental — started to decline. I've made new friends through my voluntary work but they mostly live a couple of hundred miles away so socializing is difficult 😔. The few that live closer involve a train journey costing £15 return, which having to survive on the pittance paid by ESA benefit is a lot of money!

For people in the 35 - 60 age range there is very little provision for combatting loneliness and isolation. Everything seems to be aimed at those 65+.

So, yet again I’m spending my birthday alone. As indeed I spend much my life. The only social interaction I’ve had this month is 90 minutes talking with fellow volunteers at a group 50 miles from my home.

So yeah, I’m feeling down on what should be a happy day. I’ve spent the day drinking a bottle of Vodka and 6 cans of lager — I should be comatose but I’m still functioning. I don’t drink that much on a regular basis these days — just on days like today. Days like my late parent’s birthdays ,anniversary of their deaths, their Wedding Anniversary, and yes my birthday.

Yes, I’m feeling maudlin and sorry for myself. Yes, I know there are many worse off than me, thank you for stating the obvious!

Tomorrow will be here soon enough and I’ll pick myself up and try again. One of these days I’ll succeed .

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