When I became single I realised that I had cocooned myself in a world of children and partners and that I had cut myself off from the rest of the world. I did this out of self-preservation, because I couldn’t face explaining my situation to anyone and really didn’t have the energy. Also I was so emotionally closed down that I found it nigh on impossible to get close enough to someone to really feel capable of opening up to them.
I had started helping out at 2son’s playgroup and continue to do so today. It gave me a sense of purpose outside the family and a feeling of being valued for what I could do, rather than abused for what I didn’t do. It made me realise how much I needed that and how I would have to go outside of the family in order to get it.
So once I settled down where I am now, I joined in. I joined virtually every community group going, and there’s quite a few. I also wanted to make friends outside of children and their parents. I do quite a lot of voluntary work and even the work that pays me is community-based and run on a shoe string.
I did come a cropper with one of the first groups I joined which had a few men who really didn’t like women who didn’t do as they were told. But I realised it was them and not me and made my own decision as to what to do. There was some pain involved but I didn’t run away.
I do realise how hesitant I can be with offering my own opinions when I’m not sure how they will be received but it’s something I get better at. I find Twitter very good for finding like-minded people with respect to different subjects that I’m interested in discussing.
When I first joined Facebook probably about six years ago I was quite apprehensive that I wouldn’t have any friends and that I would be disappointed. But I did it anyway, very apprehensive whenever I made a friend request. It’s not until you try these things that you really realise how difficult you can find them and that the only way to make them work is to do them.
I’m still not as argumentative as I would like but I have got better at making contact with people, of talking to strangers and turning them into acquaintances, if not onto friends as well. Life is fairly meaningless if you don’t engage with other people and your own community as well as the wider world out there.
So yes, engaging with the world is vital for my sanity and for stimulating my thoughts. I’m getting there.
Beautiful You, by Rosie Molinary, with 365 thoughts and challenges, is available at Amazon (click on the picture) and her website is Rosie Molinary