Are you feeling lonely?

There’s a lot of conversations about loneliness recently as it’s been a discussion topic for mental health awareness week. Feeling lonely can affect your mental and health and we often hear members of the Online Community talk about how lonely they feel.

We’re talking about loneliness in this blog so why not stay and read more if you’re looking for some company, or to find others who are also feeling the same as you.

The past couple of years during the coronavirus pandemic, most people have experienced loneliness as social interaction was stopped and we were told to stay at home to keep safe. For a lot of people, feelings of isolation and loneliness doesn’t just come from being physically alone, but something that can is often felt when you’re affected by cancer.

“The last 12 months have been a nightmare and finding out I've got testicular cancer recently is just the icing on the cake. I’m struggling really bad trying to deal with everything and I feel so alone.”
Community member, Testicular cancer forum

"I am really struggling having no voice to communicate with people and am finding it very lonely as I don't know anyone else in the same place as me so that's why I joined here to see if I can make some connections or friends xx"
Community member, Larynx cancer forum

Community members are often talking about feeling alone when it comes to their personal cancer experiences. We know how important social connection can be and the benefit of joining Macmillan’s Online Community is that there’s thousands of people who understand how you’re feeling.  

Feeling alone when people are around you

Having people around you can still leave you feeling lonely. You may wonder why you are feeling this way as you have family and friends by your side. The feeling of loneliness can come from those around you not truly understanding what you’re going through either living with cancer or supporting someone with cancer.

“There is no magic trick to deal with this, but this forum helped me enormously as it felt like my world was closing in on me and I felt so utterly alone and lost. everything I looked at tore me to pieces as I would see it without him. It was just awful. This form made me realise I’m not alone. It is so supportive and comforting to be able to share feelings her without judgement and receive love and support on return.”
Community member, Carer’s only forum

“Of course everyone is different but it is a guide and makes you feel less alone, sometimes you have the best family and friends but they can't understand exactly what you're going through like someone in your shoes."
Community member, Womb (uterus) cancer forum

“Firstly, hang in there, you are not alone and this chat forum is full of so much optimism, hope, support and success stories. I am reasonably new here too, I have found it to be a comfort even knowing we are all in this unwanted journey together.”
Community member, Breast cancer forum

Feeling lonely after losing a loved one

The loss of a loved one can leave you feeling lonely as you’re missing them. You don’t have to go grieve by yourself as our Bereaved spouses and partners forum and our Bereaved family and friends forum are spaces for you to get support. There’s lots of other members sharing this space to talk about how they are coping following a loss of a loved one, reading some of the posts below may help you feel less alone in your grief.

“Everyone on here knows what you are going through, you are not alone on here.”
Community member, Bereaved family and friends forum

“Having read these posts, I am so glad I am not alone in feeling the way I am right now.  Its been 15 months since my wife died and I genuinely thought that I was getting there but, like many here it would seem, I still feel lost and so so tired at times.  Understandably, people move on with their lives and I think there is an expectation or belief that I am doing the same. I am trying but it seems now, at times, to be even harder than a year ago.  And love my friends and family as I do, I know that they really don't get it.”
Community member, Bereaved spouses and partners forum

Feeling alone when supporting a loved one

Being a carer and supporting a loved one can bring a range of emotional and practical challenges. It’s not uncommon to feel lonely when you’re supporting someone as you may have stopped working or attending social events to provide more time to offer support. 

Sometimes not having all the information about your loved one’s situation can make you feel lonely as you’re involved in their care. Of course, it’s an individual’s choice what information they share with you, but the dealing with the unknown can make you feel lonely with processing everything.

“Dad knows he very poorly but will not ask life expectancy which is driving me insane because there's so much we want to do and don’t know how much time we have to do it. I feel so alone and just don't know where to turn.”
Community member, Supporting someone with incurable cancer forum

There’s other carer’s, family members and friends in the below Community groups who are regularly supporting each other. Having someone who is also in a similar situation can make you feel less alone why not join and post in the below groups:

Don’t forget that the Macmillan Support Line is there to lend a listening ear and offer emotional, practical and financial support, every day from 8am to 8pm. You’re welcome to get in touch if you need some additional support and someone to talk to by calling 0808 808 00 00 (for free), send an email or use live webchat during the opening hours.

The information pages on the Macmillan website can help explain how to cope with loneliness. Hopefully the above blog helps to reassure you and offer some comfort when you're feeling lonely. 

Why not post a supportive message in the comment box below so those who read this blog know they are not alone.

  • I feel lonely,especially since my mum died in January.It’s good to be able to part of this community,it does help.Jane

  • I have always felt alone..this is a very common feeling for it was nice to find a place where I have something in common with others.....

  • Hi ,

    Thank you for feeling comfortable enough to comment on the blog. Although your circumstances may not have been positive, it's great to see that you have found the Community to be a place of support. I wish you all the best and hope you can continue to benefit from the site.


    Macmillan Community Team

  • Hi ,

    Thank you for reaching out and commenting on the blog. I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your mum, it's reassuring to see that you have found the Community a supportive environment during this period in your life. I hope you continue to find support and kindness on here.


    Macmillan Community Team

  • I’ve been at my brothers bedside all night, he has terminal lung cancer and has declined rapidly the last few days.The staff in his care home have been so kind and loving in their care of him, doing their best to keep him here with the help of district nurse.They have told me to go home tonight and get some rest. Where would we be without these amazing people who care for others at their most vulnerable and ill.  I was scared that he would be alone but feel so reassured by the fact that they will be by his bedside. It’s such a hard and lonely thing to care for someone who is terminally I’ll, I feel so inadequate and lonely