I believe that one of life’s greatest tragedies, now, and perhaps from the beginning of time is, loneliness.

I doubt that there are many people that can say they haven’t been lonely at some point in their life. Sometimes we’re simply victims of circumstance, isolation, or suffered a tragic loss. There are many reasons for loneliness, and it really doesn’t matter why you are lonely, unless you don’t somehow resolve the issue causing the loneliness.

Then it becomes a problem.

Staying isolated or lonely should not be considered an option, but is a huge problem worldwide. And it can lead to various illnesses, untold misery, and even suicide. You must seek help. And that doesn’t have to be in the form of a therapist. Seek out family, friends, someone that will listen to you. If I were walking through the market and a person walked up to me and said, I’m lonely, my immediate reply would be, “how can I help you.” And mean it. His/her words would start a dialogue.

Being a people watcher, I see things that, often times, most people don’t. It’s not uncommon for me to see a distressed looking person, walk over to him/her and ask, “Are you okay?” And in every case so far, the person has said that their okay. And you know they’re not. But for those that are hurting, you at least acknowledged their pain. And that does help them knowing, someone cares.

I’ve written a few compelling articles on loneliness over the past 2 years. And looking through them, I’ve realize I’m really good at identifying problems, but I didn’t offer much help. So I’ve been researching and believe I’ve found some really good help for many of you suffering from isolation or loneliness. They are both 24 hour service’s and you will get a real person. So if you are lonely, feel isolated, emotionally distressed, depressed, or need someone to talk too, make the call. Both these services are provided free of charge.

The neat thing about calling them and having a chat was, their willingness and wanting to help. I told both locations they may get a lot of calls and that seemed to excite them. They truly want to help you. And I do, too.

Institute on Aging is for older adults, 60 and over. Or if your disabled, one can be younger. Check out their beautiful website. It has a wealth of information and some help too. These people do care.

IOA has a friendship warm line you can call when you feel emotionally drained, lonely, anxious, depressed, or just need someone to talk to: 1-800-971-0016 They have no caller ID, so your call is anonymous. I called them at 3 AM, and the lady said she was the answering service and that if I was in crisis mode, or suicidal, she’d connect me to an experienced member. She said they handle thousands of calls a year.

HopeLine has no age group, and provides a wealth of support. They have a website, too. They are a true 24-hour service, and will talk to you if you’re lonely, emotionally distressed, anxious, depressed, or perhaps just need someone to chat with. The phone number is also a crisis or suicide hotline. I called them today, and based on my area code, they hooked me up with a lady in my town, Wichita, Kansas. They have a large building here, open 24/7 with on-duty counselor’s. These folks appear to be the real deal, and have offices throughout the country, fully staffed. If there were to be an office in your area, you’d be onto a good thing. You can tell, I was impressed. The phone numbers are: 1-919-231-4525 and 1-877-235-4525. They also have connections through those two phone numbers for PTSD Veterans.

So, if you’re feeling isolated, lonely, anxious, depressed, wake up from a nightmare in a crisis or feel suicidal, make the call.

Either one of these sites will help you. Through studies and research we know, depression, isolation, or loneliness, can be precursors to suicide.  The chat lines are geared to try to not let your emotions get that far. Make the call!

After I lost my wife Annie to cancer, I was so lonely. In the middle of the night I had no one to talk too, and no guidance as to where I could even call. Well, you’ve got guidance now. Use it, If the need arises.

These emotions I’ve talked about can morph into a huge problem if you’re not careful. Don’t let them. It doesn’t have to be that way. One person can touch a life and change it forever. Maybe that one person will be on the end of the line, you call.  Surely you deserve that. I certainly think you do.

I wish you all, the best.

About Bob Harrison

Bob Harrison was raised in the heart of the Redwoods in the far northwest comer of northern California. The little town of Crescent City, California was located near some of the world’s tallest trees, with the west shoreline being the Pacific Ocean. Bob spent most of his time fishing the two local rivers where some of the finest Steelhead and Salmon fishing is located. He was also well known up and down the north coast as an avid motorcycle racer, winning several hundred trophies, and one Oregon State title. Bob graduated from Del Norte High School with the class of 1966, then spent a one year stint at the College of the Redwoods, before having a strong sense of patriotism and joining the United States Air Force. After three years of service, Bob met Annie, the love of his life, and they got married in England in 1972. Bob’s love of country pushed him on to what turned out to be a very successful career, retiring in 1991. Bob’s last military assignment was Wichita, Kansas, a place he and Annie decided to call home. Together they developed and ran two very successful antique businesses until the stranger knocked on their door and changed their lives forever; “Because of Annie.”