There are many sides to living on ones own and just as many reasons for so doing. There are those that choose it as a way of life that gives them total freedom without the ‘interference’ or influence from others which is perfectly commendable and suits many lifestyles. Yet ‘alone’ and ‘loneliness’ are quite different things. Some people have the latter thrust upon them through no fault or choosing of their own. Bereavement and divorce are the obvious culprits than can leave one feeling isolated particularly if in later years such things arise and, for whatever reason, there are no young adult children from any previous relationship to tender support. Of course there are friends or other remote family members that can offer human contact and comfort, but literally, at the end of the day, when the doors need locking, the kitchen light is switched off and its time for bed, one of the loneliest prospects ever is the climb upstairs to the bedroom: alone. Animals have proven to be a great comfort to the lonely, simply another living ‘being’ around ones home that requires just enough attention to ease the all too often volume of silence. Dogs are particularly good as they require the owner to at least get out of the house for a couple of brisk walks a day. Hobbies, evening classes, clubs, and societies: these are some of the obvious groups of ‘new’ people that are out there and remember they need you as much as you may need them. Mind you, perhaps after a hard days work, feeding and walking a pet, cooking for ones self, and all with one eye on the ironing, housework or shopping list, ones energy levels may be just a tad too low. Too low to summon enough ‘get-up-and-go’ to learn about pottery at a Thursday evening class. I’ve experienced enforced loneliness, divorce and bereavement, and fully empathise with anyone going through the same. When two older people, say, in their 50’s or 60’s, decide that for whatever reason there is no alternative to separation, it can lead to one partner who will not find a new life with another person in another home. That’s not all. It’s the panic attacks and hideous waves of useless desperation: even failure. It’s the loss of income which in some cases can be quite extreme. One also loses that other person who was so familiar with your little endearing personal quirks that made that relationship uniquely sacred. Yet all is not lost. In my experience I found it most helpful to ‘open-up’ to my G.P who was than able to recommend various agencies or professionals that understand your plight. The advent of social media on the internet can be an amazing resource for bringing the ‘real’ you back into the world, where you might just find that you are certainly not alone in being alone. I recently came across an excellent website that you might find useful. http://www.webofloneliness.com/. It certainly worked for me.