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Friday, December 14, 2012


I have admitted to it in the past and am doing so again. This life can be isolating, very much so.

And it isn't just about where you live. It's the work, the nonstop talking about it, and the weariness (some will claim smell as well). You become different then you once were. You subconsciously purge those toxic from your life. Then you find yourself a bit lonely at times.

Combating the depression that can result from this can be complex. As the cure is different from person to person. I know a family that set up shop at a farm market. Not just to make money, that my friends is a bonus. They meet people and talk to strangers. There have been times that I only see and talk to my immediate family and no one else for weeks.

I combat it by talking to my cows.

Don't judge me. You talk to your pets.

When things get too lonely, the cattle really seem to help. I can tell them anything I want, and they put up with me singing. Except for Urth, she will talk back. I spoiled her as a child. Not enough discipline in her life. However she still lets me use her as a pillow.

Loneliness is a hard one. It does affect us, maybe a tad more than other people. And if you are a Prepper without your spouse fully on board, the isolation can be even worse.

Finding people in your area that have similar interests as you do can help. But knowing your neighbors is a great way to feel connected. Even if you are not on the same philosophy boat. And of course online companionship goes a long ways. But it does lack certain things, like facial expressions and touch.

Over the years I have been straight forward with you about the good and the bad. Loneliness is one of the most dangerous obstacles that we are faced with. It can cause us to be distracted and depressed allowing us to put ourselves in positions we might not normally find ourselves in.

Many don't really talk about the loneliness of it. Sometimes when we try, it can come off as whinny, and others that have yet to come to this life will tell us to suck it up. Oh and we try.

By the time you read our woe is me posts, we have already sunk very low. We hurt, we need to tell, to talk, to let someone know that we are aching. Of course we have mentioned it to our family, yet outside forces can help. Just the act of writing it all down can be cathartic.


I originally wrote this back in October, and it went to draft. So why am I posting it now? Because I have been reading other bloggers who are feeling this way now. This feeling of loneliness can make you feel even more alone. Even with comments telling you otherwise. Christmas is a hard time of year for many of us. You want to make it magical for your children and your love, but when you feel this way it becomes almost an impossible task. I want you to know that you are not alone.

This year has taught me a lot. One is that karma is alive and well, and looking after us. My friends (including you) and family have been wonderful. When family heard about Husband's job loss, they started planning Christmas for my boys. Readers have been more than generous with tips, and Facebook friends, those I have never met and live all over the world, have been sending small gifts to my family. Husband and I are proud and humbled to have such people in our lives. It makes everything that has happened less devastating. And we thank you.

Gifts for my pay it forward family have come in as well. Those will be sent off to that family today. I wish I was able to help them more, but found myself in similar circumstances. But you have once again shown me that people do love and care for complete strangers.

The only gifts I am able to give to you is my time. I always have time to listen and chat. My email is open if you need it. I know what the horror of depression and loneliness feels like.


HermitJim said...

I can really feel this post. Seems like I go through this phase every year about this time!

Like you say, the many friends we have on the net and in the real world can help a great deal.

BTW, I spend a lot of time talking to my cats and does make me feel better!

Nice to have them as a safety valve!

Mamma Bear said...

I could have wrote this post. It's very hard now since the Marine's injury. Wheelchairs can't get into friends homes, they eventually stopped going through the motion of inviting us to get togethers. Out of town family invites us. They haven't made provisions for a wheelchair either and it's been over 16 years. Even if they had, you know how hard it is to find someone reliable to care for the farm critters while you are gone. Most of the time I like my's just harder during the holidays.

Phelan said...

Jim, I adore you and your cats! Merry Christmas my friend.

Mama bear, first big ole hugs and a thank you! Second, I understand about the wheelchair. My friend Brian Wheel has lost many friends becuase of this. Even his parents have yet to make their home more wheel chair friendly. Husband and I always plan on having him here, so anytime we have a project, we make sure he can get into it or around it. Heck, even our house we are planning to build is wheel chair friendly. He wants to ride out to visit.

small farm girl said...

It will be different next year. :)

Mamma Bear said...

You are wonderful people preparing for your friend and he will probably never be able to express how much he appreciates it.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and some of the loneliness is eased. I have gained a wealth of information from your blog while we become more self sufficient and appreciate you always speaking your mind, good or bad....Now I'm going to go pick out another turkey and buy several gallons of apple juice...bahahahaha

carol anne said...

Silly as it sounds I'm not sure I'd have made it through the long days at home over these past two years if I hadn't had the company of Cuppy and Snowy. I didn't have to be positive or brave for them all I had to be was awake to feed them on time. :)

Delicate Flower said...

Thank you for pulling your post out of drafts and sharing it, Phelan.

Another way animals can help is by giving us a reason to get up in the morning. They don't require makeup or fancy clothes but they do require feeding, watering, mucking out, and all the other tasks related to animal husbandry. I don't know how many times my goats and chickens have pulled me out into a glorious winter day.

Phelan said...

SFG, oh I know!

Mamma Bear, I know he is appreciative. He never needs to say it. I told you, apple juice rocks a turkey :)

Carol Anne, I am so grateful to Snowy and cuppy. Give them a good scratching for me.

Delicate Flower, I agree. I have gone out in the worst type of weather to care for my animals. They are a good excuse to get out of bed.

Lamb said...

My goats are the best listeners EVER. And my chicken, Nugget. And of course, Siona the wonder dog! But, yeah, people are nice to talk to...Like you, I have gone weeks without much contact with the outside world...other than my computer. The Darlin' Man goes to work everyday, the Boy goes to school and The Girl and My Son stick their heads into video games, but as for *getting out there*....doesn't happen too much for me.
My problem is...I get to feeling lonely and depressed and I bake/cook. Then I eat...then I gain weight, get depressed at my weight gain...yeah....vicious cycle, lol!
But, since it is the holidays, all that baking and cooking comes to good use as the Darlin' Mans friends have been dropping by.

Coffeekittie said...

Hi Phalen,

Yes, loneliness. I finally put my own blog up for general view because I am so isolated, even though for now I live in a city. For me though, it's just "my way". I choose to be alone - reading your blog and a few others helps me a lot, more than you could know. Especially yours, though. You let people in a lot more than the others I read, and I feel like you are sort of a companion. I appreciate that.

Practical Parsimony said...

It's lonely without my hen, Fancy, who talked to me and just came by to converse or sit in the swing with me. The other three are no fun. I am alone here, so there is no spouse or relatives for 1000 miles. I love Christmas and send out cards and gifts beforehand and sit here alone on Christmas Day without one card, gift or call.

Phelan said...

Lamb, oh geeze, yes that baking cycle. I do it as well. I haven't been able to bake becuase of the broken knee, but I can make candies!

Parker, you are welcome, and thank you. I went through a phase of wanting to be alone. It was fine for awhile, but as I get old I like being able to talk to new people, learn new things, and debate them. Feel free to email me anytime.

Practical, I am so sorry to hear about Fancy. I know how that feels. Mine was named chocolate. Haven't had another one like her since. I know you don't know me, but as I said in my post, my email is always open if you just need to talk.

MamaHen said...

Good post and I know exactly what you mean. I have considered writing about the very same subject but, as you say, did not want to appear "whiny"! Being so different than most people ideologically, not just physically isolated, makes the problem worse and it even seems since I got married many of my readers have lost interest in my blog, so I don't have the commenters that I used to. Maybe it's just my imagination though. lol!

Phelan said...

Oh Rex, I have been through it as well, periods when people suddenly seem to stop talking to me. Try not to read into too much, it usually isn't personal hugs my friend.

Coffeekittie said...

edifix rex, Phalen is right about it most likely not being your change in marital status that's caused comments to drop. I know from talking to a few people sort of like me that sometimes folks just withdraw...usually only for a while. For their own issues that they are dealing with, even happy issues. I keep seeing your name pop up in other blogs I read, so you are really not abandoned. :)

Laurie O'Neill said...

Sweet and true. I had to drop a lot of friends who were toxic to my life about 12 years ago. Since then I find it very hard to connect closely with anyone. Sometimes I feel lonely, but it is a loneliness of my own making. I guess that makes me feel better. Also identify with having a philosophy (voluntary simplicity) that my husband is not on board with, although he does not actively oppose it. Quite frankly, I pretty much despise holidays and I can't make myself change my mind about that as much as I'd like to, so I get pretty lonely and frustrated and angry this time of year. Blogging definitely helped me make friends with some like-minded people and helped me when I was going through my worst times.

Phelan said...

Laurie, you are one of my favorite people.

Anonymous said...

I tried to give you all something here but the one size fits all character count defeated that. So i can just say..
check within through meditation, cleanse the programming out of you and find your true self, spiritual self..behind the ego. Wasted 3 hours here. :)
Gnosis gnows :) peace.

Phelan said...

No one asked you to waste your time anywhere. If you are handing out spiritual advice, you might look deeper into your own. Unless you are that spammer from Malaysia, then congrats! You have figured out that when you link out to a junk blog you get blocked in comments. Sorry it took you three hours to figure that out.

Anonymous said...


Lisa said...

We planned and planned to homestead for years before we actually got to do some of sad as the situation may be...we have come to the realization that we need something of our very own...purged of toxicity as Laurie has stated...I have worried that loneliness will envelop me more but since privacy has been an issue at our small place, I think I am looking forward to it...I rarely have the luxury of uninterrupted thought but I am oriented this time to finding LIKE minds this time for support and friendship...I feel for your friend, seems people have no idea what they can learn from an independent person that has what is described as "limitations" open your home is to open your mind...and as a homesteader, that has become very valuable when discussing what it is that we take for granted and trying to become more self sufficient...I can't imagine not having the use of my legs but I can imagine the inspiration that one who does not, could afford, again, have given me insight to planning our next home will definitely include access to ALL and I will strive to realize the value that community can provide...

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