The Beginners Guide to Loneliness
I'm delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for The Beginners Guide to Loneliness by Laura Bambrey and below I have an extract for you to whet your appetite! I'm hoping to be able to review this soon for you.
Tackling the Taboo
Today marks the second anniversary of The Beginner’s Guide to Loneliness. I can’t express how grateful I am for all of your messages telling me how my blog has helped you navigate your own personal journeys. It makes me incredibly proud to know that so many people have benefited from this site.
Admitting that you are lonely remains one of the biggest taboos in our society. That’s why all of the recent publicity the blog has received has been so welcome. The mixture of newspaper, magazine and online coverage has helped thousands of new readers to find their way here. If you’re one of them, then welcome! The more able people feel to talk about being lonely, the easier it becomes to seek the support that’s needed.
One of the greatest misconceptions is that loneliness stems from a character trait, or even a character flaw. Listen to me: you don’t have to be broken to be lonely. I’ve heard it so many times: ‘But you’re so friendly . . .’ ‘You seem to get on with people so easily . . .’ ‘But you know lots of people . . .’ etc. I hope I am friendly, but that doesn’t mean I can’t feel isolated at times too; it doesn’t mean I don’t find it difficult to connect with people.
The truth is, you can be alone and not at all lonely – happy and content in your own company. Or you can be at the centre of a huge crowd and feel so lonely it’s like a physical ache.
Sudden life changes can sometimes cause connections with other people to fall away. A bereavement, change of job or even the disintegration of a relationship are just a few of the catalysts. Should more than one of these things hit you at the same time, as they did for me, you can end up feeling not just lonely, but completely stuck, searching for the way out.
So no, you don’t have to be broken to be lonely – but loneliness can, eventually, break you. Let’s keep talking about it. Let’s keep looking at ways to heal. Let’s keep supporting each other. Here’s to the next two years of TheBeginnersGuideToLoneliness.com.
Thank you for being here.
P.S. A note to the press: thank you so much for your interest in the site! Should you wish to reach me about my work, please use the contact page. I will, however, be maintaining my anonymity. From this point onwards please note that I will not respond to any communications that include the request to ‘come out’ to my readers.
About the Author
Laura Bambrey was born in Dorset but raised in Wales. She’s worked as a trapeze choreographer, sculpture conservator and stilt walker, among other occupations, and spent most of her time collecting stories from the people she met along the way. She has spent many years as a book blogger and reviewer of women’s fiction and now lives in Devon with her very own romantic hero and a ridiculously fluffy rabbit named Mop. The Beginner’s Guide to Loneliness is her debut novel.