March 8-14, 2010

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  • Rabindranath Maharaj on The Amazing Absorbing Boy.
  • Sharon McCartney on "Decaf" from her book For and Against.
  • Emily White on Lonely: Learning to Live With Solitude.
  • Michael van Rooy on Your Friendly Neighbourhood Criminal.

Music used on this show (broadcast only): Sarah Harmer, "Black Coffee", Songs for Clem

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Previous Comments (2)

Dear Shelagh and colleagues; RE: Emily White Interview

I listen often, and this is my first post.

Hours have gone by since the show aired this afternoon and with a strange feeling of excitement and anticipation, I've googled in Emily White, Robert S. Weiss and other 'stuff' on lonliness. I was deeply moved when I heard Emily speak about her life and her book.

I'm one of the chronic lonely ones now challenged to do something about my life after hearing Emily's words that rang true to me.

I live by myself (not even a cat). Mine is a secret life of solitude while others assume I'm out and about and enjoying what there Is. I'm not out and about. My world right now is my house and the odd trip to see my mother in longterm care and to the store. Re-reading this,how pathetic it sounds; but it's true and lately has become worse. Me, TV, computer, my books...alone.

The shuffle between depression, loss, anxiety, sadness bounces me back and forth along life's turns and sharp curves. My dilemma has tossed me deeper and deeper into isolation.

I'm very good at wearing a convincing mask when I work or am out with people. I'm not fooling myself though, and that's the scarey part. My social network has virtually disappeared and my family and few friends believe I'm busy or with someone else, while I'm alone in my home,lately becoming more frightened.

I isolate myself because, one, I can; and two,I've invited it into my life
even though I don't want it.

To know that chronic lonliness has somehow missed the radar in the world of psychology isn't a surprise. I've been waved off many times with a flick of the wrist and a prescription. Dismissed as having life's
circumstances getting in the way; a smiling depression. I could relate to Emily's words almost 100%,even the on-line dating. I've cancelled my account with Match.com to end in May.

I'm a capable, intelligent sixty-year old woman who needs help. I believe my listening to The Next Chapter and hearing your interview with Emily White,
I'll begin to do my own research by first reading Lonliness and then reaching out for help. Tomorrow I'll leave a message on my doctor's office voicemail to make an appointment. Another step to find a way to bring belonging back into my life.
Thanks for appreciating my comments, it's helped me to write them.
Keep up the good work.

Charlotte, March 14, 2010 5:07 AM

Thanks to Bailey Davis for this email:

I wanted to thank you for producing and airing the episode on loneliness. Just last night I had a 'loneliness meltdown' and was not able to fully verbalize what was wrong for my fiance.

Imagine my surprise when I turned on the radio and heard Shelagh and Emily talking about loneliness. It validated my feelings and gave me a great sense of peace to know what I am battling.

Lonliness has been a profound part of my life and had always been eschewed by my family, it was never understood why I would be lonely with people around.

Thank you for helping me identify my beast. I am relieved.

The Next Chapter, March 18, 2010 7:41 PM
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