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  • Alex Clarke

It's lonely being busy

Updated: Jun 22, 2022

As I reflect on another busy week and weekend of work, gym, family time, volunteering work and additional, unpaid side-projects, I sit here and there is one overwhelming feeling, LONLINESS!

How could I possibly feel lonely?

I go to gym with a great bunch of like-minded people, an amazing community. I work with a wonderful group, and I’m constantly connected to them face-to-face, phone, video calls, email. I spend time with my family every day, laughing, having fun, school drop offs and pick-ups, family dinner, bedtimes they are always around. I attend numerous meetings with very smart people about important issues and have impactful conversations and consult on important decisions, I was on the phone to numerous medical practitioners arranging and re-arranging appointments.

So, how is it possible to feel lonely after all of that???

Could it be that in all these examples, they are at times simply ‘transactional’, and I am giving of myself, my thoughts, my knowledge, my love, my time….my ENERGY and at the same time I am not receiving any energy back? (To be clear… I get loads of love from my family).

I need some way or someone to help me get back what I am giving out, just to listen to me offload, share the burden but not the responsibility. Listen to me, uninterrupted, not to provide advice or solutions, just to let me free up some space…

I am not sure where I used to go to for this but right now, I do not have anyone or anywhere I can go. So, I feel lonely, isolated. I am busy, my brain is always on and it is full, there is always something to be done, planned, changed, someone who needs contacting, an action that needs following up, there are always people around but I just do not have that person in my life, someone, away from all we are going through at home, that I can lean on, that reaches out to me because quite frankly I am too exhausted to try and invest more time to get the engagement, someone that checks in, unprompted, that I am ok (and genuinely checks in).

This sounds like a real ‘woe is me’ piece but it is the reality for so many parents with children who require more than the usual level of care, like those with Duchenne. I know I am not alone in feeling this way, feeling this loneliness. Questioning if it is caused by your son being different, being disabled, needing more, so people steer clear of you but in the same breath use your open heart and giving nature to get as much as possible from you.

It’s a horrible place to be, to be surrounded by people but still be lonely.

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