...the voice of pensioners

Really talking to each other can halve a problem…

15 Apr 2019

Dear LPG


I don’t think that I am the only one.  We all have problems and that old adage ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’ really does ring true but, in my experience, as we get older there are less people around that we can talk to about our problems.


I am one of those people who live alone now and, as I have got older, I have found that I have fewer and fewer really special friends left around me.  Now that I am in my late 80s, I have lost many of my really close friends to illness and worse, while circumstances have forced others to move away.


I am lucky to have family around me though many of the problems, dilemmas and concerns that I really would like to be able to talk about often surround some of them and I know that if I confided in one of my family members the details, and a lot of what I say, would get back to another and change the way that they think of me. 


It is silly but often those concerns are the very ones that keep me awake at night because I am keeping them all to myself.  


But not long ago I got into a conversation with someone that I regularly meet at one of the day centres I go to.  Our talk included some of my problems and hers, our feelings and what we would think and do in the other person’s situation.  It was good to offload and get someone else’s point of view on what I should do, and I think that the person I was talking to had  felt the same as we swapped some quite personal details about some very personal stuff.


I was a bit worried about it when I had had a few days to think about all the really personal information I had given away, but then it occurred to me that the person I had shared all the information with was as unlikely to ever meet the members of my family that I was so worried about, as I was to meet hers.


It has been good to share my problems and get an objective reaction to them and I found it really easy to offer some ideas about hers.


I have come to the conclusion that, for so many reasons and regardless of age we don’t talk any more… I mean really talk and it is one of the most important things to do.  It is surprising how what is so important and upsetting in one person’s life can be put into perspective by someone who is not personally involved. 


We need to talk to each other more…


WS, Peckham.