Paperback: "Girl Behind the Fence: Loneliness"100% SSL Secure
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As of 2017, approximately 42.6 million adults over age 45 struggle with feelings of chronic loneliness. Twenty-five percent of the population lives alone, and over 50% of the population is unmarried. Results from a recent study of 300,000 participants prove that individuals with weak or non-existent social connections actually increase their risk of early death by up to 50%. As a result of these shocking statistics, more social outreach programs have been put in place to help conquer this nearly-imminent worldwide loneliness epidemic.
Since life began, we have had a strong sense of belonging. Whether to a small family or a large community group, this fundamental need powerfully affects our mental and physical health. However, even if we interact with co-workers all day, surround ourselves with a large family, and are in a decades-long marriage, we can still feel very alone.
With the click of a button or the help of social media, within seconds we are provided with more opportunities than ever before. Logically we know that reaching out for help is key in combatting this deep, pervasive feeling, yet we don’t do it. Why?
Typically, we dislike admitting to ourselves and others that we feel lonely for fear we may appear unlikeable and vulnerable. Moreover, we have been conditioned as a society to not show our feelings.Instead, we try to ignore our uncomfortable thoughts and emotions, hoping they will go away on their own. They usually don’t.
Consequently, we feel anxious and rejected as if a fence separates us from the popular crowd, thereby allowing us to secretly obsess over our perceived defects.
Despite all of us having an innate need to connect with our fellow humans, the degree of that need varies. For example, you may feel lonely when not around people. On the other hand, I may feel completely exhausted when I am. Yet, despite our individual differences, our DNA strands are programmed to satisfy our need for belonging.
So, to help determine if you are feeling lonely, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I hoping my current partner will eventually love me as much as I love him?
- Am I upset because my partner won’t officially commit?
- Am I staying in a miserable or unhealthy relationship because I don’t want to be alone?
- Do I frequently compare myself to the happy people I see, and wonder if that will ever be me?
- Do I have a history of “attracting the wrong type of people”?
- Do I sacrifice quality in order to avoid feeling alone and unwanted?
- Do I settle for what I dislike in relationships just so I can have someone in my life?
- If I am not always around others, does my life seem empty and less satisfying?
- When I am alone, do I find ways to stay busy to avoid my feelings?
- When I am feeling unloved or rejected, do I become viciously sarcastic or critical of others?
If you answered yes to any of these, this book is dedicated to you.
The Girl Behind the Fence brings together 22 amazing women from around the globe. Take a peek into their diary as they share a personal account of a time they felt alone, and how they prevented the self-destructive wheel from spinning out of control.
Written for individuals, this book is a useful resource for sociologists and psychologists as well.