"Join the Trek"

ALONE

Being or believing you are alone is the greatest problem we face. This is certainly not a new phenomenon but is becoming a critical issue and growing at an alarming rate. I believe it is a overlooked component of many of the current problems we face.

I first became aware of the problem when I was involved with crisis (Suicide) hot line in Indianapolis (would you believe in 1969-76).  I handled a six hour shift every Sunday night for approximately seven years averaging two calls a shift.  Although advertised as suicide prevention line the vast majority of the calls were people looking for someone to just talk with regarding a current crisis in their life.  The most difficult problem was trying to put yourself in the callers shoes as often the crisis seemed rather trivial.  The purpose of the line was not to treat but rather to deal with the moment and help the caller find a resource for additional help.  During the seven years and over a thousand calls every call shared a common thread which was the caller felt alone and they had no one in their life available to confide in.  Often after conversing with the caller it would be apparent they had family and friends and many times in the immediate proximity.   However, they were usually reluctant to show a weakness or did not want to burden another with their needs.

It is likely if one is honest everyone has experienced such a moment.  The situation seems to become more prevalent as we age.

As I have aged (now a Senior Sex Symbol) I have some trouble sleeping and usually up and at it before 6 AM.  In addition I often lay half asleep thinking over the past.  There has been a group of friends that have met on Saturdays for lunch for over 25 years.  At one time the group numbered approximately 20 people with the actual number and participants changing over the years.  I estimate there have been at least 40 people.  Today maybe six people attend and the math indicates at least thirty have past away.  Laying there half asleep I verified the number.  OK, no surprise and what is the point?

I contend and plead guilty that as we age we stop making new friends.   And thus we slowly find that we are alone.  It does not have to be this way and we need to take responsibility.  It is important we seek new adventures and participate in life.  Join that bridge club, volunteer in community organizations, be active in a church, or any number of places.  Most important be active, walk up and introduce your self, and do not be shy.

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