‘The G.F. List – One Woman With a List Of Men Answering the Question That Singles Hate’, is a book of dating disasters and resilience. Knowing first hand what it is like to be single and live alone for more than a decade, author Sharyn Atkinson, is on a mission to eliminate loneliness around the world with The G.F. List Two-Part Game Changer – A Social Inclusion Project.
Why This Is Important
Sharyn Atkinson explains;
“I recently learned that loneliness can be just as damaging to your health as obesity, smoking and being an alcoholic. Read that again! Feeling lonely is just as bad for your health as being an alcoholic. This feeling can harness some pretty damaging outcomes on your body. Recent studies, from all over the world, conclude loneliness, social isolation and living alone are the next big public health issues affecting mortality.
To be honest, I think this is pretty messed up. Having been single for more than a decade, and living alone, I can certainly see how people could feel lonely. I definitely had my moments, even though I was surrounded by people every day.
And Valentine’s Day… well, that proved to be a very intrusive day for me and an annual reminder of how long I had been single for. Even though I may have started the day feeling fantastic, the constant relationship-status badgering left me feeling pretty lonely by the time I ate dinner on my own that night. Even though no one asked maliciously about my Valentine’s Day plans, it still left me wondering where my perfect relationship was in the vast sea of not-quite-right experiences.”
The Author’s Loneliness Experience
Sharyn knows first-hand how difficult and how lonely it can feel when you are a single person, living on your own. That’s why each year, she has given copies of The G.F. List away for free on Valentine’s Day. If it could lighten someone’s day and reassure them that they are not alone when it comes to dating challenges, that there is nothing wrong with them, and inspire them to persevere just as they are; that’s all she hoped to achieve.
Sharyn has received some beautiful feedback from women all over the world. They were relieved to learn that they weren’t alone when it came to some very personal stories of heartbreak and even abuse. Sharyn is touched that her book has helped women. “I love that my book has been able to help some find comfort and reassurance that they’re not alone.
You would be surprised by just how many people can go through a traumatic experience, heartbreak and bad relationships and not confide in anyone. I’m not talking about professional counselling either, I’m talking about the number of people who chose not to confide in friends or family like I did. I simply did not want to have the conversation with anyone and that was a very lonely and dark time in my life. I became a great actress and could play the part of ‘happy’ in a variety of situations convincingly, but when I was on my own I was far from the bubbly person people spoke to.
I want to do more to help people find the resilience within them, to keep going until they have the relationship they want and deserve. Until they have that companionship, affection, love and laughter that everyone is entitled to enjoy, just as I do; every day.
Sure, there are many reason why people can feel lonely. It’s very broad, which is what I find so frustrating – it’s a big problem to fix. My experiences are only a part of what contributes to the bigger picture and that feeling of loneliness and isolation. And I don’t claim to have all of the answers, but I do know that feeling can go away and I want lead the loneliness solution.”
Sharyn explains; “While I can’t put people in a relationship and make loneliness go away for them, I can share my journey; the good, the bad and they ugly. If it inspires people to keep going, feel that they are not alone and empowers them to move forward with the determination professional athletes have; then that’s all I can ask for. I might entertain a few people along the way too.
There are many great support networks and charities out there helping people who come forward. But what about the people who don’t come forward and ask for help or confide in their friends and family like I did? Reaching these people is difficult because you don’t know where to start looking. And you can’t force people to open up; that’s just lunacy.
I will never forget the day my best friend called me when I was in my mid-twenties. She told me how tired she was – tired of all the relationship-BS, the dishonest people she kept meeting and then she burst into tears. I can still hear her say, ‘I’m just so lonely.’ I didn’t know what to say. Even though I resonated with what she was saying, I never considered sharing how I felt with anyone. And to be honest, I was pretty shocked that she could feel that way.
My best friend at the time had a lot of friends, she went out all the time, she lived with two housemates and was the social butterfly at work, so it really rattled me that she felt lonely. Even though I knew that feeling, it didn’t seem like it was suitable for her to be experiencing it. Then, I realised what I was doing; making assumptions.
It was easy for people to assume that I had many options for relationships, friends and anything else I wanted in life because of how they perceived me, when the reality for me was very different at the time. And that’s the difficult thing, you just never know who is feeling that way and if they are a great actress as I was, they don’t want anyone to know that there is a down-side to what they see on the surface.
I want everyone to join me on my mission to inspire and empower people by spreading a message of hope and resilience to a few hundred thousand of your fellow men and women who have had failed relationships and let them know they can turn it all around.
In my book, The G.F. List, my main contention was to encourage single people every where to never give up hope, and never feel as though they had no other option in their life other than to settle for a semi-satisfying relationship. Everyone deserves to experience love, affection and companionship.
Although it’s a humorous, and what has been described as ‘brutally honest’, account of my dating experiences, I also wrote several chapters as they happened. So my feelings were very raw at the time and I would have died if I had of told anyone how I really felt at the time. And that’s part of what contributes to the feeling of loneliness. That feeling that no one will understand what you are experiencing or you’re just too embarrassed to discuss it. Not to mention what it feels like to want to share something funny that happened, but having no one to share it with. That is loneliness.
That’s why I’ve created the social inclusion project; it’s a game changer. In the spirit of my humorous, energetic and ‘brutally honest’ style, I’m creating awareness on two fronts so that this message reaches as many people as possible who are struggling to find their place in an a happily-ever-after world.
Get involved! Inspire and empower each other so that people can feel accomplished, appreciated and worthy of great things happening in their lives and shake off this rubbish feeling of loneliness that is so harmful.
I have broken up the project into two parts to make this massive goal easier to tackle.
Enjoy getting involved and enjoy the game.” – Sharyn Atkinson
Make your move…