I'm sad.

I'm lonely.

I'm disillusioned by the selfishness of people.

Why is that?

Well, I have no friends. Not real friends. I have many good time friends, as long as I supply the gas and car for rides, ideas for outings, a shoulder to cry on, an advisor for problems, food for meals, money to supplement theirs, or extra hands to help. But should I need any of these, they suddenly turn their backs on me and disappear.

I was raised to give. Give up the best piece of cake for the guest. Give up the most comfortable chair for company. Give up my time to assist a friend. Give myself second best to be a good host and friend.

However, as I grow older, I have less abundance to hand over. My finances are meagre, my energy less, my body more arthritic and weak and my needs have increased.

It is now that I would really appreciate the ride, the dinner invitation, the offer to help me to move or hang pictures, the kind ear to listen and the warm, loving hug to let me know that I matter.

But these things don't exist in my life and I look at my generation and the next and the next and wonder when these simple acts of human interaction and kindness went astray.

The "ME" generation has produced the "X" generation. Does the "X" stand for 'X out all else except for that which can benefit 'me'?'

Manners have flown the coop. A simple 'please and thank you' has all but been erased from the vocabulary of most folks. Opening and holding doors for those who are close behind one, has been substituted by letting the door hit the follower in the face, just so one can be first. Compassion has all but disappeared.

Over the years, I have found people who move in and out of my life. Mostly out, for as soon as I no longer fulfill their needs, they leave me high and dry.

Now that I am older, I look back and assess my life and all who have been a part of it and who are in and out of my life now. I realize that I have given too much of me and kept too little for myself.

I see that the world doesn't care anymore about those around them. It has become a fast paced, self absorbed society that leaves the 'Softies' like me behind. Softies, like me, are rungs in the ladder, used to give others the step up needed, and Softies are regarded as broken rungs, once the 'climbers' get all the boost that they need.

So where does that leave me?

Alone, sad, disillusioned and poor.

Life isn't so great, you know.


Click here to add your own comments

Am I confused or are they
by: Clifford / south florida

People seem to always hold doors for me now as retired. Is it the cane, grey hair or 100 lb Service dog. There are a lot of Caribbean Island folk around here and they are politer than others.

When I worked often I had condo owners shut the glass front door in my face, and I usually had my hands full of stuff that I was delivering and installing.

Once time I loaded an elevator and a small black guy with grocery bags kept the door open for me, this couple got in and told us that they lived there, to get off. Well the assumed delivery man asked if they recognized him? Did they realist that he had met every President in his adult lifetime, had been in at least 100 countries and he also lived in this oceanfront condo. The couple humphered and they waited for us.

Life never was easy for a real working person, why should it be easier for a retired worker?

Nice people have good hearts and usually came from a poor upbringing.

Joyce Sad and lonely
by: West Midlands

Hello Joyce, I know exactly how you feel. I also have macular problems and quite often I feel that life is not worth living. When I waken in the morning my heart sinks to think that I have another day to get through before the oblivion of nightfall comes.

I am 85 and although people say they know how I feel, I know that they could not possibly know unless they had to live through every endless day with macular problems unless they themselves had lived through the problems that have to be faced.

Oh to be a fully sighted person again would be the best present that anyone could give me. It has taken me such a long time to write this message. I would like to think that sighted people who read this would think how lucky they are not to be in this situation......

sad and lonely
by: joyce

Ruth Snap I have the same used friends as you but as everyone has said on this subject we wouldnt have any friends if we never helped anyone.

I get lonely as well but I do make myself join clubs for company also have phone calls from age uk the macular society and silverline and if I need to have a chat with anyone Ill ring up some of my friends who are all in ill health I do send people jokes by email and made several friends who send me some as well

by: Grace

I think , it is depends on how you take it. No matter what I make my own life, not parents, not family, not friends .... I am the one who makes my own life. If I am sad today, it will get better tomorrow . Tell yourself you love her. Think about the bright side. A friend

Sad, Disillusioned, Lonely
by: Ade from Abuja, Nigeria

So sorry you feel this way.

I've read the comments above and think you will do well to follow people's advice.

Yes manners seem to have gone down the drain these days but try not to fret too much.

I hope you start up a penpal friendship with those who have offered and that you'll find yourself in a happier frame of mind soon.

All the best.

by: Craig - Minnesota

No question. For many of us, life is not great, but, on the other hand, it is clearly better than the alternative.

Many people can and will take advantage of the giving nature of others, it's true, yet it is important to understand that those that have taken advantage of your kindnesses are not representative of the population as a whole.

I would have preferred a happier state of affairs in my retirement, but my personal situation has also brought forth many instances of unsolicited offers of aid and moral support. This has amazed me. It has reinforced my belief in the basic goodness of most people.

In retrospect, I can see where I had my own episodes of selfish behavior and nonchalance about the plight of others in dire straits, so I am careful about ripping others for their perceived self-absorbed behavior.

You have identified the problem with your own personality, i.e. too much selflessness, and it is up to you to moderate those behaviors.

You don't have to become heartless and anti-social to achieve the equilibrium, but parcel out your favors more judiciously and do not allow yourself to be victimized. If a person takes advantage of you once, you do not allow it to happen again. You know, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me".

Bottom line, life can be pretty good, even in less than optimum circumstances, and so can the other people with whom we interact. It is easy to be cynical, but it is also bad for your psyche, so my recommendation is to wipe the board clean and start over again. It's never too late to try.

by: Carol from West Chester

Ruth, I don't know how long you have been alone or retired.

Do you have online penpals? I have two, that I met on this site. One is slowing down in writing while the other is increasing in friendship. Both have been a source of encouragement to me.

You sound like a wonderful person who has helped many over the years. I am going to suggest an activity that might be a good fit for you.

I joined a gym. I have arthritis, have to use a cane to walk and have not lost weight. My gym has a heated pool and the class is for folks with arthritis. We come in all sizes, some walk just fine, or use canes or walkers, both male and female join the class, and we range in age from 50's to 80's. If you find something like this you would be an asset. Why do I think you would be an asset?

I see you as a go-getter, bright with ideas, and the knowledge how to get things done. One lady, a go-getter like you started the idea of us holding parties after class - right at the gym. She tried birthdays but that didn't last so now we do Holidays. We each bring a food or drink to share and hold this happy event on picnic tables near the pool. This way those who don't have family nearby at least get a taste of holiday.

My group of pool friends didn't happen overnight.
It takes time: it took me 4 years to become friends with my pool friends, they were willing to be my friend but I was disillusioned about people that I had worked with. Please do not waste time, try different interests and if it is not a good fit move on.

I hope you find a friend or group of folks who like you for yourself. A space where your knowledge and experience will be appreciated and encouraged.It's out there, it just takes trial and error to find the right mix of new friends.

Wendy: Join the retirement community (right column)... you can read pen pal ads, write your own, search under Members for specific hobbies or locations. Whatever!!

Please don't give up!
by: Pat/OK

I can relate to your issue and feel your pain. I too have noticed the vast majority of people nowadays are very self- centered and arrogant. Having been hurt myself from many in the past I learned that they are the ones with the bigger problem, insecurity, jealousy, etc.

I am a 70+ lady with a deep faith that helps me get through the tough times.

If you would like to communicate privately, please send contact info.

Life is not easy at times, sincerely hope you find strength.


You are among friends here. You are a kind soul and deserve better. I would LOVE to be your pen pal. Please click on the Friendship Here icon.

You have found a place where you belong.

buck up...
by: Anonymous

Ok...things are more difficult than we'd all like. But bitter is not a good state of mind.

Be greatful that you have the ability to afford all those things your friends may not have appreciated. Gratitude is healing. Try and develop friendships that feel more balanced as far as give & take, and dont offer things you later resent.

Let friends know your resources are limited, but that youd love to see them for lunch, "dutch treat".

You're right
by: Anonymous

Hi. Regarding your comments. People certainly are less polite, less considerate and very rushed.

Today's society, at least where I live, is a high pressured, rushed lifestyle. Nobody has time for anything. And we're bombarded by information, way too much information.

And with our smartphones and computers we are constantly being solicited to spend, spend, spend our money. I get a kick out of people today walking down the street looking at their smartphone.

We've raised a generation of people who can't do anything for themselves and need apps and smartphones to do it for them. Crazy!

Regarding the lack of politeness, etc, in the world, I think if we take the initiative and live our life with purpose and morality and politeness and respect then others might see that.

But the point is to live ones own life that way and to live up to the standards we've set for ourselves. Let's not concern ourselves if others do it or not. We take 100% responsibility for our own life and actions, then we know we're doing the right thing.

Regarding friends, yep, most of my friends are still working. So, since I just retired in 2015, my days are lonely. I didn't expect that, or think about that. Who would know? But I fill my time playing music, painting, walking a lot.

And I have a very small side business that needs to grow a bit.

But I understand what you say and feel it myself.

No more sad
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox, MA

Dear Ruth,

There is one rule that we can all benefit from..and that is that we never do something for someone if we only do it to expect something back in return.

If you find yourself saying to yourself, " How can you do this to me, after all I've done for you?" Just remember it doesn't really work that way,

Have you ever looked to your early childhood and studied your relationships with family members? It can be very informing.

Please, please, please consider having psychological counseling.

Spending money on yourself in this manner can be not only invigorating-but life changing.


lonely post retirement
by: mildred/tn

I am so sorry that this has happened to you.

I,too, find my friends have dwindled but due to their health problems. Two have had strokes that have effected their speech and they have moved in w/ their daughters. One has started going to church and has made new friends there.

So this week I have reached out by phone to my old Sunday school members (since physically I am no longer able to go). The people that I have called seem really happy to have heard from me.

So next week I may call a few more... You can not wait for them to call you. They may be lonely also but fearful of reaching out to you..

Good luck.And know u are not alone

by: Linda C., Annapolis, MD

I'm so sorry you feel used and abused -- you certainly sound like you've been a 'giver' and that is commendable! But yes, you can be and have been taken advantage of.

My husband (2nd one) is a 'giver' and I so badly needed that...but I DO feel like I've leaned too far since he's spoiled me :(

Some thrive on giving but then later on...wish they were 'given'. I've reached out in the past to be a penpal here - on this site...but just like the snail mail penpal one ever answered me and I felt I started out as a good communicator/friend :(

So if you feel you want to give me a try....DO! Try: I forget the rules here...but this is my personal email address :)

I am 66 y.o....retired....husband still son in Chicago - not married and I ache to be a grandmother someday...but he is already 38! I love nature, cooking, reading, writing, the arts, cafes, and wine! Cheer up and let's bask in the good together!

Wendy: I removed the email address... please please join the Community and find friends there. If I post an email here, you will get scammer emails like you never saw before... loads of them. It's not good, therefore, email is gone. sorry...

so sorry
by: Rose Raintree Arlington Wa.

I found a long time ago that you can't buy or give so much that people will love you out of obligation. You need to find things that make you happy, and do things by yourself if necessary and discover yourself and created a world you can be at peace with.

I am 72 and discovered many things after retiring, one important one is if you are looking to others to provide your happiness you will live in despair and lonliness.

Create the life you can wake up each day with a thankful heart and find things you can learn or grow to enjoy. I never was a gardner but once I retired I began and lost for awhile but now I love my yard and create new things in it each year.

I stay active physically by walking every day, I too have arthritis and two total knee replacements and two total should er replacements, and can't do many things I used to do but I joined a gym 3 years ago and lost 100#'s and got in the best shape I had been in for a very long time and now maintain my stamina by walking my little dog, who by the way is the best thing I did and a great companion.

Aging can be the best time of your life in many ways, but you will have to seek the strength with in and become determined not to sink into despair and loneliness. You can do it but you have to make the effort.

Stop looking back that is gone and will never return, look at today and create the life you want and what will give you that deep abiding joy and along the way I suspect as I did you will make friends the kind who will be there for you as much as you are for them, those kinds of friendships are made in sharing our lives together, not it buying one another.

God bless

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Anxiety and Depression.