It seems like a whole lot many more than just 5 months since I posted here in the blog and a lot has changed, in many more ways than I can recount. I’ve always found it tough to get back to my writing after such a long time away from it. However, I think we can just dive straight in on this occasion.
So, if you followed the blog before I put it into “lockdown” because I suddenly realised one day that someone had hijacked and SOLD at least one of my blog posts, then you might recall that my wife passed away and that left me in a pretty bad state, to say the least. So, I tried to bounce back and it worked for a while, until it didn’t, and then I stopped again. Well, now I’m back, and this time I’m not giving up.
Now, though, I will be writing for a different reason.
As always, there’s a story behind that. 😀 lol
From my perspective, the cold, long, dark winter started around mid-October. To keep the story short and to the point, it is sufficient to say that I trudged through October to January stuck in my emotional storm of grief and all that this immense struggle had in store for me. I read many articles and watched many videos in my efforts to understand and cope with what I was experiencing.
Well, one day, I’d had enough.
I spent a few hours with some “friends”, one day, (they are, for the most part, acquaintances, really), and, having a day where I was experiencing an extremely low mood, during that few hours, I said not a single word to anyone in the company.
I went directly home as soon I could that day and, as I entered my living space, I thought to myself, “I am lonely!” I even re-emphasised those words as I repeated them, “I am fuckin’ lonely!”
It wasn’t the first time, since my beautiful wife passed away, that I’d thought that precise thought, and felt that exact same feeling.
This time, though, I stopped in my tracks and took note of what was happening – on the inside.
“I feel lonely”.
“Okay, so what are you going to do about it?” I asked myself.
I spent the next several hours in a brainstorming session with myself and a pen and notebook. The end result was my decision to open a group, via the Meetup website.
I didn’t rush into this, though. I took my time. I had only made a decision. There were planning and strategy to be considered, and I thought some pertinent training might be a good idea.
I’ve embarked on some training and I will be continually pursuing that in the interests of the group and its members.
So, what’s the group about, where do we meet and who is it for?
I’m glad you asked. 😉
First, let me explain the name of the group.
BILD-A-Network means, Bereavement, Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Action Network.
Because those four issues, (bereavement, isolation, etc.), were what I identified as the fundamental roots of my problem that day I sat down and asked myself, as a starting position, “What is the problem?”.
Note: Since the start of the group I have dropped the term “Bereavement” and replaced it with “Belfast”, so we are now, Belfast Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Action Network.
What is BILD-A-Network about?
The short answer is that BILD-A-Network is about YOU…
You have experienced, or currently experience, one or a combination of the following:
- Social Withdrawal, (the retreat from society and interpersonal relationships).
- Feelings of isolation, (owing to social withdrawal).
- Social Anxiety.
- Depression, (Dysthymia, Recurrent Depression, and Seasonal Affective Disorder in particular).
Where does BILD-A-Network meet?
We list events taking place at various venues around Belfast, organised by other organisations, for our members to attend together, allowing each member to become more socially comfortable and able to spend time with people without feeling anxious or uncomfortable.
We also run a weekly meeting on a Wednesday evening in/near Belfast city centre. The purpose of the meetings is to get to know other members, talk about issues relating to isolation, loneliness, depression, and related issues and, for some, to discuss ways to cope with their current experience. All our events and the Wednesday night Belfast venue are listed here and here.
I have recently started broadcasting live on Facebook and I will soon be looking into running online discussions based on my new discussion series entitled, “Finding Peace, Joy and Freedom” in which I take participants on a journey of deep self-exploration. This will be a weekly discussion taking place on Facebook Live, Youtube Live, Google Hangouts or another, as yet undetermined, platform or app, (firstly I’m thinking zoom, FCC or OBS). I’ve still to do the research.
Who is BILD-A-Network for?
BILD-A-Network is primarily for anyone over the age of 25 who is prone to social withdrawal, (isolating), feelings of loneliness, depression and related issues. However, anyone who struggles in social situations, wants to become more socially comfortable, would like to meet people and make new friends and break and dispell the dark clouds of occasional or prolonged low moods can also benefit.
In short, if you generally feel pessimistic, cynical or find life generally uninteresting, or even just troublesome at best; if you are just generally unhappy, BILD-A-Network can help you find your solution.
What about you, how likely are you to go out and meet up with a couple of total strangers in order to begin growing a (RL), social group?