Annie Lane: Feeling stuck in a rut and down in the dumps

Published 7:09 pm Friday, April 15, 2022

Dear Annie: I’m writing to share my feelings about giving up and just being done. I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing really means diddly anymore, going from day to day in an effort to find happiness and the illusion of caring in anybody. No one gives a rip.

Let me cut through all the nonsense and masks. At 65, I’ve come to the conclusion that everyday niceties and greeting other folks are just people engaging in what everyone expects to hear. “How are you?” “Fine.” “How are you doing?” “Great.” But if we were to really answer truthfully, no one wants to hear it. It’s negative. Whining. Unmanly. We hold the pain internally, wearing the mask that portrays all is great, leading down the road of same ol’, same ol’.

I feel so guilty for feeling blue and depressed. I’m so blessed in life. I have a nice home, successful kids, good retirement, stuff — and comparing this to others who struggle day to day — guilt! Yet the internal blah is there nonetheless.

My children’s careers took them away across the states. I’m a single dad and grandpa. I get out with friends, but I’m always the third wheel. I give my time and share. I love deeply.

I just wish that when I’m asked how things are, I could answer openly and truthfully: “I’m lonely.”

Folks have their own masks to hide behind, same as me. We all are a bunch of phonies.

All I see around me are other angry Americans anymore. Angry on the road. Angry in the stores. Angry over politics. Short! Rude! Untrusting. Scammers. Liars. Like it’s all expected. Fraud insurance for profit. Schemes. No one has any regard for anyone else. The attitude is, “I’d better get it before some other guy does.”

The world has gone completely insane. So, I ask you how to cope. Am I alone feeling like nothing really matters anymore? Is it just a free-for-all? I wish I had someone to walk with holding hands and feeling again, someone who can relate and gently tell me everything is going to be OK.

— Done With It

Dear Done With It: No matter how blessed or fortunate we are in life, it’s not abnormal to feel down from time to time — especially considering the difficulties we’ve all faced these last few years. But just because the world is full of angry people doesn’t mean you have to be one of them.

The best cure for loneliness is fulfillment. Find some hobbies or volunteer work to fill your days and get involved in giving back. Being part of the good in your community might help adjust your current outlook on life. If possible, maximize your time around your kids and grandkids. Perhaps online dating or joining a group or club might lead you to the companionship you seek. Try to find the good in every day, no matter how small. There is so much to be thankful for.

“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to