The End Of Your World

I missed the early train by about thirty seconds this morning. It was so early the ticket office, which provides a modicum of shelter, was closed so I cut a sorry sight on the platform. The wind picked up, the temperature dropped and wicked blasts of snow cut across me as I faced an interminable twenty minute wait for the next Belfast connection. Needless to say, I was not a happy bunny.

I was also alone. I looked up and down the platform but there wasn’t another soul to be seen. There were no cars on the road, not even a chirruping bird in the trees to keep me company. I felt like Charlton Heston in ‘The Omega Man.’ Or for the younger generation, Will Smith in ‘I Am Legend.’ And he even had a dog for company.

My dog, Charlie, was wisely curled up in a ball, back in our warm house, while I froze my extremities off on Platform 1, a frosty post apocalyptic landscape which offered me no heat or hope.The minutes ticked by as if the hands of my watch were set in concrete. I huddled deeper into my coat and pulled my hat lower over my ears. Was this what the end of the world felt like?

If you check the news, it certainly looks that way at times. Brexit has finally happened and we’ve left the European Union, there is major political change in the Republic of Ireland and our schools and hospitals are in disarray. The coronavirus has reached our shores and the harbingers of doom are screaming from the rooftops. I even saw a lady in Belfast the other day wearing a surgical mask.

Most days I avoid the news because the only news ever appears to be bad news. I focus instead on the here and now, the daily humdrum. It’s akin to sticking my head in the sand or placing my hands over my ears and singing loudly, hoping it will all go away. I have enough on my plate without worrying about Trump, Boris and that climate change girl who frowns a lot and wears a yellow anorak.

My train finally arrives and I thankfully seek refuge within it, huddled into a window seat nearest the radiator. Light and heat do wonders for my mood and soon the horrors of Platform 1 are behind me as I look forward to the day ahead. The carriage fills with fellow commuters and I’m reassured that the human race is still very much alive and kicking. I’m not the last man standing, the lone survivor.

It’s a lonely place, being the last person on Earth. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Many of us feel that way even when we are surrounded by others. We are islands cut off from the rest of society for all manner of reasons. It can be depression, anxiety, grief, guilt, the list goes on and on. For those who live in such self contained cells it is a miserable existence. It corrodes the soul, stripping away any last vestige of faith or hope.

Loneliness is a silent, creeping killer. Some have no say but others choose this solitary path through life. It is a matter of freewill whereby they shut themselves off from the rest of the world. Please don’t choose this route, for there lies death. Reach out, engage, even if it’s only to reply to this post. Don’t be the last person on the planet. You deserve to be heard and seen, you deserve to live.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

32 thoughts on “The End Of Your World

  1. I have to take frequent breaks from reading the news for that very reasons. So very many doom and gloom stories, and in the middle of winter I find them extra depressing. Winter can be harsh enough without the cold realities of life adding their bite. I am glad you were restored to a happier (and warmer) state of being.

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  2. I have the special gift of missing the bus by anywhere from a minute to 30 seconds – but there’s always obnoxious traffic to make me feel less isolated. I think feeling like the last person on Earth is a normal feeling to have once in a while – it helps us to appreciate all the blessings we DO have.

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  3. I had no idea the coronavirus had reached Ireland. All the news here in the US every night is video footage from Wuhan with large trucks spraying disinfectant through the streets, government workers in hazmat suits ripping sick citizens from their homes and throwing them into vans, and large scale hospitals unable to maintain treating the volume of sick people.

    I agree with you though, it doesn’t take a lethal virus to isolate people or make them feel alone and despair. I’ve been fighting a lifelong battle which is waged from within.

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  4. I have felt such aching loneliness lately, and I do not know how to combat it. When I went off my pain medications, I experienced an incredible serotonin deprivation that for over a year left me mentally and emotionally incapable of processing anything. I was almost catatonic. I gradually healed physically from that, and moved back into the world. Now, though, I don’t know how to live in a world I cannot physically be a part of. I have no desire to communicate anymore, because I have nothing original to say; all I can talk about is my life as an invalid to my friends. I think about them. I pray for them. I wonder if I should text them, reach out, invite myself into their world. But then they’ll ask how I’m doing, and I’m so damn tired of always having to say the same thing. My days are ALWAYS the same. They don’t get better; in fact, they tend to get worse. So I instead talk to friends on social media (like Twitter) where they are discussing lots and lots of topics; where I can find multitudes of things to still talk about on days when my eyes and brain allow me to focus. When sometimes I can put to use some of the knowledge from the bazallions of books I read, because I have nothing else to do. Where people interact with me as strangers, and sometimes just bump into me, and sometimes actually get to know me…but always through the internet…and never with expectations. So I stay DESPERATELY lonely. Trying to balance real life people and the fact that real life always comes with a price. I try to focus on them and what I know, what Jeremiah tells me is going on in their worlds, what I glean through shared things when communication does happen…and I continue to pray… because at least that way I’m not neglecting them. I’m not forgetting them. It’s so much easier to have conversations on social media where I can put my phone down, and I don’t have to focus on people’s faces, and their voices don’t make my head hurt. Human contact is the greatest gift, but to me it is my greatest trigger. It is what will make me wake up the next day and have to crawl to use the bathroom. Humans are my favorites, and the bane of my existence.

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  5. Wow, I had no idea that the virus had reached Ireland. I don’t watch the news much, for the fact that there is insurmountable evil going on. I find that if I keep my focus on God and his word, and sharing scripture and the Good News, My mental health has been peaceful. I have good days and bad days with my anxiety. You are not alone in this. Thank you so much for sharing.. ~~Blessings~~

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