Loneliness is more common than most people think. It doesn’t just affect the elderly and infirm but also adolescents and people with busy lives. This report focuses on three lonely people in various phases of life and on their struggle with the often overwhelming feeling that each of them is alone in the world.
Ninety-five-year-old Marlies lives in the Marie Seebach Home in the central German town, Weimar. She feels tricked by her body and longs for communication that can’t occur anymore. "Everybody has to contend with pain and illness when they get old, and they want to be left alone." Her life is a constant struggle between her active mind and a tired body. "Solitude is not the same as loneliness," says Markus. After two life crises from which he learned a lot about himself he is happy to be on his own. "Whenever I am content with myself, I defeat loneliness." These the words of someone who was forced by circumstance to confront himself and not look away. Ulrike is a single parent and wrestles with loneliness. Her friends and family live far away and are unwilling or unable to offer her much support; she has to master the challenges of daily life alone. She is reluctant to approach other people when she feels lonely. As a professional clown, she is able to submerge herself in a different dimension. There she experiences a lightness of being that she wishes she could carry over into everyday life. To defeat loneliness these three people have to take the initiative themselves. That’s not easy. Our report reveals their thoughts and experiences in grappling with the painful phenomenon of loneliness.