Covid 19 has brought many changes to our lives none of them very good other than learning to appreciate the basic things in life. We are now on our third period of lockdown which allows us very little contact with other people. The problems of mental health are becoming very evident and one of the most basic is loneliness.

Many of us live on our own and rely on visits from friends and family or a trip to the shops and until these lockdowns, albeit necessary, we were not aware that we take for granted our contact with other humans. I have now been living on my own for twenty years but have always had dogs for company, however, I have experienced feelings of loss and a sort of emptiness that I had tended to ignore when I was able to go out and meet friends. The family are some distance away and whilst we are in regular contact on social media and telephone, it isn’t quite the same as knowing that we can easily meet up.

My life revolves around spiritual events and contacts: and at various times when other mediums have been giving me readings, they have commented on a sense of emptiness within my energy. I always laughed and brushed it off saying that I had a busy life, loving family and of course my dogs – but is it a fact? I accept that I miss the relationship I had with my husband, we were married for thirty-five years before he died. What I notice is that when I see couples booking holidays or just going out for a meal something inside hurts – is that loneliness or grief? I am beginning to think that it may be loneliness and I have to understand it.

Perhaps I have to be grateful to Covid for showing this aspect of my life that I was not accepting. When I was younger I took part in various dog sports and events and in many ways the dog was accepted as the partner. I had an Alaskan Malamute who definitely thought he was the man in my life and I had a lot of fun going to Dog Shows, even Crufts, and Husky Racing. He lived a long life and died in 2018. I don’t think I was so aware of this inner loneliness through those years. I now have a lovely German Shepherd boy, we are devoted to each other but as I am now much older it is different.

The reason I am ‘baring my soul’ in this way is because I would like to try and help people to understand that we don’t always have to be brave and have the proverbial stiff upper lip, it is OK to say “I am lonely”. There is a need for companionship with someone who totally accepts us as we are. A soul mate. We have to accept that being lonely makes us a little bit vulnerable, and it is good to talk about it to a trusted friend or even one of the organisations that are available. Don’t be afraid or even too proud to ask for help.