Sometimes loneliness wears a suit and hands you a nice gold watch. Sometimes, it grows slowly within you as you watch your child grow and your world shrink. Sometimes loneliness reaches out from your phone as you type another smiley and pretend that chocolate really does solve everything.
Loneliness is invisible, the silent and shameful scourge of our homes and communities. The inability to reach out for help for fear of being not good enough. Or worse yet, that undeniable knowing that there is nowhere to go for help. Nobody to listen. Nobody to tell about the funny thing you watched on TV. Nothing except the four walls closing in on you and the rain beating down on the window.
I have been lonely. There are days when I have to look that monster in the eye and remind it that I have a place to go. Somewhere I can listen to other people, be seen and heard and met with a smile. Drink a cup of tea that has been made for me because somebody thinks it’s worth it to make me a cup of tea. Until you have felt that worthless that you are surprised people will do things for you just because, you don’t know how good that feels.
I love that place. I love those people. They are, in so many ways, my people, my tribe. We souls that have needed something and not known where to find it, somehow find each other. We provide the scaffolding to keep ourselves going, we stave off each other’s monsters and remind each other that we matter. Sure, we “do” stuff, but the main thing is, we accept each other. Wherever we are on the journey. Whether we think we can take another step, or we need somebody to stop us heading off the cliff. It doesn’t matter if you walk in for the first time or the hundredth, you can know you will find love, acceptance, warmth.
You can’t put a price on it. Except we have to. It costs £110 per day to run.
If you follow me on Facebook you will have seen me sharing posts about Space4. If the only thing you know about me is from what you read on this blog, you know I believe in big dreams in small spaces. You know I don’t ask for money. Well, this is not for me. This is for the lonely people who have found a way through. This is for all the people we support to believe in the hope of dreaming again.
Basically, we need to be able to pay rent when we didn’t need to before. In a time when services are being cut all over the place, we need to find the funds to keep our little community project running. Space4 is needed now more than ever before, because we are a place where people can find acceptance, love, support and such places are becoming increasingly rare.
And if you donate, I will write. Any donation over £10 gets a parody of a Disney song written for them. Unless you can think of anything better. I may publish said parody on the blog though.
(I thought I had the link, but I can’t get it to work. So if you just click through to the Facebook page, look at all the cool stuff we do, and then hit the donate button, that would be great.)