9 May 2022

When being alone turns into loneliness

In his blog for Mental Health Awareness Week, Tony uses diary entries to show how he has been increasingly affected by loneliness throughout the pandemic, despite normally feeling more comfortable “safe and alone”.

The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year is Loneliness.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, “Loneliness is affecting more and more of us in the UK and has had a huge impact on our physical and mental health during the pandemic. Our connection to other people and our community is fundamental to protecting our mental health... Reducing loneliness is a major step towards a mentally healthy society.”

 

9th May 2019 – Hi, I’m Tony. I have autism. Part of what I love about autism is that I love my own company. I love being alone. Don’t get me wrong – I like getting together with the family every Sunday. I like going into the office every now and then, despite being a homeworker. I like getting together with PCS union colleagues at conferences and forums. But most of all I love when these things have finished for the day, and I can get home – feel safe and be alone. I love being alone!

9th May 2020 – Hi, I’m Tony. I have autism. Part of what I like about autism is that I like my own company. I like being alone. I am worried though. I hear stories of a virus and I feel that I may have no choice for a month or two until it is sorted. Perhaps a good thing is that I may get to spend more time alone. Less time with the family, less time at work, less time with union colleagues. I like being alone – but I like to be with others sometimes.  

9th May 2021 – Hi, I’m Tony. I have autism. Part of what I must endure about autism is that I spend a lot of time alone. I miss others. I miss the family, I miss work, I miss the union. This virus has been around a lot longer than I feared. I hate being alone all the time– I love to be with others sometimes. 

9th May 2022 – Hi, I’m Tony. I have autism. I have had no choice but to be alone for the past two years. I hate it. I am still scared about getting together with others. I do not like the days I need to go into the office. I do not want to spend too much time with the family. I love being alone, but I hate being lonely!