Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Sunday, November 03, 2019

The hidden loneliness epidemic no one talks about

Iris Rainbow, cat of mandy charlton, the hidden loneliness epidemic no one ever talks about, photographer, writer, blogger

In 2007, I had no one except my then-husband who commanded my whole attention, he was the centre of my universe and I'd had agoraphobia, to all intents and purposes he was my whole world, I even heard a scathing relative say that if he ever left me they thought I would kill myself because I wouldn't be able to cope on my own.

Well, 12 years on and I'm still here, I still have very few friends but I am free, I have a good job that I love and I'm around people all weekend when I'm working.  I do have friends and I see Harriet a couple of times a week if I'm lucky but that's where it ends, I can't go out because the only compatible evenings for the pub quiz are the nights when Looby is home (now that she's at business school and I want to spend every spare minute with her) and not horse riding and I can't meet anyone to share my life with because I never go out.

Don't get me wrong, I am good in my own company, I like my own company and I'm independent enough to take myself out to the cinema, or for dinner or on holiday but I guess that's just it, I spend a lot of time with people I don't know being overly happy like I just won the lottery (because, try photographing kids or weddings and being miserable, it would not end well). When I come home it's just me a lot of the time.  So I live this life being perpetually lonely whilst on the face of it people not realising that I am. 

I think this doesn't just affect me, I think there are lots of other people in the same position, the hidden lonely.  I also think I've led a weird life in some ways because I always introduce friends to other friends and they end up being friends whilst also having their own friends and there's me in the corner (not losing my religion, I never had one).

Please understand that I'm not looking for sympathy, I just want to raise awareness now because in the future I probably will end up being one of those old people who doesn't have a single person, I dread it, I worry about it and at the back of my mind I have this memory of when my husband left and he told me that he would make sure I ended up with no one.

I have raging anxiety today, my stomach is literally in my throat, and that's perhaps why I decided to write this, I don't know what the answer is, if I knew how to fix it I probably would have done that by now, currently, my energy levels are completely awful too but that's more likely due to the fact that I've been having a ton of medical tests for months and this week I finally hope to get a diagnosis, my doctor thinks I have hyperparathyroidism which causes depression as well as many other things, I've been just existing for months, and all I'm hoping for now is the diagnosis so I know it's not just my stupid brain again because really, I already take a significant amount of medication for my mental health, don't really fancy taking anymore.

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