I'm thinking of leaving the curtains closed for a few days and see if any of my neighbours notice and knock on the door to see if I'm OK.
We're constantly being told through the media to check on those on their own, the vulnerable, the elderly. And yes, I'm doing that. I'm still doing mums online shopping for her and even sorted out her Christmas shopping and cards when I posted to her last week while they've been in lockdown in Wales and the presents are all with my DIL just over the border in England for her to drop off once England come out of lockdown in early December.
During Lockdown 1.0 I felt like I was in Groundhog day, but I had more than enough things to be getting on with renovating the house and garden and every Thursday for 9 weeks all the neighbours checked in on the street for Clap for Key workers, in between they seemed to be spending a lot of time at the front of their house, hanging around waiting for a door to open to grab a chance for a quick chat.
I then travelled to Dubai for 3 weeks, I let the neighbours know I was going, then I returned for two weeks to isolate and not one neighbour came round, asked if I needed anything, in fact some 4 weeks later I saw a neighbour who said 'oh you're back' and since then, not a peep from any of them.
Dealing with loneliness is something I've been doing now for 10 years, back home in Dubai, Peter is out at work everyday and although I get out the house most days for something to do, same as I'm doing here during covid, I'm on my own, filling up 10+ hours. There is only so much reading, drinking coffee, cleaning to do, writing letters, watching TV, but at least he would be home at the end of the day. In the UK there is even more time to fill. Thankfully I'm sleeping now for at least 8-10 hours a day. but if you take out prepping, cooking and meal times, a shower/bath, dog walk, coffee/tea, washing up, cleaning etc that still leaves 8+ hours a day to find something to do to relieve the boredom and loneliness.
I have been going out everyday for long walks with the dog, stopping for a coffee, sitting outside and I often find someone to chat with and once a week I've been going further afield to visit family and friends and my friend comes round every Friday night for chips and wine, but of course we're back in lockdown again so that all stops.
I'm sure there are many others like myself, on their own but not falling into the elderly or vulnerable category. I know there are many others that are craving some alone time whilst juggling work from home and home education, I see it on social media daily. I'm grateful not to have finances to worry about, that I have a garden to sit and work in and a car to get out further a field. I have hobbies, things to do to entertain myself, but nothing replaces the emptiness of the house, the silence that I'm living in for the majority of the time and its hard work.
The longer I'm not around people the more my anxiety builds when I do go out and the less I want to actually be around people, the thought of sitting on a plane for 7 hours soon, is creeping in, there's no one to just talk to when I need to, I have to wait till people have finished work, sorted the kids out and had 5 mins to breathe and rest before we can speak and then I don't want to off load, I want to hear about their day, talk about anything and feel grateful they've made the time for me to remember I'm on my own and I'm struggling.