Diaries from living alone in lockdown

Andrew Grey
7 min readJan 4, 2021


I see household mixing will be completely banned again, and some are calling for support bubbles to be stopped. I’ve no idea if they will be, but before people living with their partners and families rush to axe these lifelines for people living alone/with a child, I thought I’d share some of my diaries from when I lived alone during the first of what seem to be regular lockdowns…

Some of these experiences are of course universal, regardless of living situation. But they encapsulate how it felt to live alone with no social contact for several weeks…

23 March
Well I certainly never anticipated the possibility I would see the day when the PM told us all to stay at home, and were not allowed to leave…yet here we are.

I can’t decide how I feel about my flatmate not being around…I’ll appreciate my space, but part of me thinks it would’ve been nice to have someone to talk to…

I’m very lucky that friends have said I can pick up the phone if I need to.

28 March
Still 2 days until week 1 of lockdown is over. But I’m grateful that I had video calls with uni friends, Raj, Liam, and a phone call with Rishi.

31 March
I’m not sorry to say goodbye to March…I can’t see lockdown ending in April but can’t see it dragging to May either…

I miss happy hour cocktails in Soho with lovely Vik. I miss dates and getting to know people over gin. I miss laughing with Alice in an Italian restaurant. I miss Raj mocking me while he cooks me dinner. I miss intense chats with Rishi over drinks in random parts of west London.

I guess it doesn’t help that I feel lonely. Every single person at work was either living with a partner or family, or chose to for the duration. I should stick to my decision to stay where I am but it is hard, especially when I keep hearing about everyone else enjoying their partner/family’s company. Just emphasises how alone I am. Though tbf it doesn’t look all fun and games. Lots of arguments and getting in each other’s way too.

Just wish Rishi or Raj had time for me sometimes. And can’t even drink because of this goddamned migraine.

5 April
Well the lockdown won’t be ending any time soon, judging by the language being used. And neither should it, if it means fewer people dying and hospitals more likely to cope.

The past few days have felt less slow and crap than the week before. I’m sure I’ll continue to go up and down, but I feel like I’ve felt less constantly anxious/down in the dumps. I think the biggest reasons are the runs/walks especially in the sun; less anxiety about food w shelves returning to normal, and recovering from the migraine.

The regular video calls really do help too — especially with Raj and Rishi, and at work.

It is nice to have the flat to myself sometimes too — I just wish there was a happy medium where I could still see Raj, or Chris and Alison too.

I am getting slightly fed up of the noise upstairs though.

13 April
This was my second ever Easter not with my Mum…only now do I appreciate the importance of it…still, I enjoyed our Skype lunch…I really hope I get to see her and my brother by my birthday [in September].

It feels so weird being alone. Still realising how unique I am in not being with anyone. Only Nish and Joe are in the same boat.

I just think 2 things would have to be different for me to have gone back to my family before lockdown — namely my own room/space, and Mum being less vulnerable. Tbf Lee and I would’ve inevitably ended up arguing around each other constantly. And I do like my own space.

Wish I had a partner though. Someone I’d chosen and would really like being around. Even if we were newer to dating…could’ve been fun (albeit scary). On that, no idea if this [person from Hinge] will be interested…

15 April
I guess I anticipated this period being a bit up and down. This is definitely more of a down period. I’m not sure exactly what’s triggered it, but I don’t feel as adjusted as I did eg last week.

I guess it’s probably a cocktail of factors..not sleeping well — awake by 5am this morning…but it’s also much more fundamental. I am tired and fed up of the sameness. I had such variety in my life; different restaurants and people to meet throughout the week and month. One week might’ve involved a couple of evenings gymming, a dinner at Raj’s, a dinner with Alice or Liam, and a night out in Soho with Vik. I miss all of those. And it’s looking increasingly likely that I won’t do any of them for a good 6 months.

And I’m feeling increasingly lonely. I miss hugs — hugging my Mum, brother, friends; I miss kissing people I’m dating; I miss the feel of holding and kissing someone. And yes, sex. Goodness knows when I’ll feel those again.

6–12 weeks, however long this lasts, it’s such a long time :( I miss human interaction, with people I know. I must remember that I’d have felt cramped and probably fed up in my family home after a while. But at least I could’ve hugged my Mum and kissed her goodnight, and just had face to face conversations.

I miss it all.

19 April
This noise issue is so draining. On Friday it left me shattered.

I must remember I’ll feel much less trapped after lockdown, with my flatmate around making noise too so it won’t be as noticeable.

On a positive note, genuinely looking forward to work tomorrow…it’s giving me focus and company during lockdown.

22 April
Well, doing the Zoom quiz was fun albeit slightly stressful on the breakout front. A very noticeable feeling of sadness when it was over though, even though it was late. Suddenly aware that I’m alone again after an evening of interaction.

Worse than just being alone — alone in a flat trapped with the noisy neighbours upstairs. Thank God I finally wrote to the property manager.

Everything feels so slow moving. Two whole weeks until the next lockdown review, with very little hope of relaxation of restrictions…and if they are it’ll be very limited.

I miss Soho and happy hours with Vik; triple carb meals with Raj; Tesco meal deals after the gym; sitting on Tooting Common with Pimms and ice cream; drinks with Gary; Players Bar! I miss it all so much. Heaven even :(

I won’t hold out hope for any of these coming back till this time next year.

24 April
I really am not in a great place. I’ve rarely felt so isolated, alone, depressed and worried all at once. I love my cat with all my heart and I can’t bear to think of him being hurt and worse.

And this lockdown makes it so much more painful. I just want to go straight back to my family home tomorrow and be with him. But I can’t :( Seeing the video of him today helped though.

I just wish I could talk to someone who’d understand as well. Rishi, who’s almost always there, doesn’t really get it. Just suggested cheering myself up…and didn’t answer after my reply. Raj wouldn’t be especially comforting I imagine and I couldn’t bear it if he and Jack mocked me. I’m hurting.

I just have to hope and pray his condition improves, and that I get to see him again soon, well before anything happens to him.

25 April
I really am weary now. I just feel so trapped and fed up. The biggest burden is undoubtedly the noise from upstairs…I really hope the restrictions get lifted in a way that allows me to go back to see my Mum, brother and cat.

Still I’m grateful for video calls with uni friends, plus Liam today, Matt yesterday— and having Tooting Common to run around. Both help keep me going.

30 April
Thank God it’s the end of April. Maybe just maybe there’ll be a glimmer of hope in May. I sure hope so. I need it…It’s been tough worrying about my cat…

The thought of being just stuck here does fill me with dread somewhat….next review is still 7+ days away...7 days of constant noise, up to and into the night. Noone to talk to in person. God, I miss people. I think I can cope with the lockdown just — thanks to Zoom. But the constant noise…

In some relief to distract me, that was a really nice call with [person from Hinge]. I was immediately, instantly attracted to them…what a lovely way to spend the last 2 hours. I’m grateful.

4 May
I really can’t cope with this…every day. The noise — relentless. And the monotony. And the loneliness.

I’ve got the sadness and feelings of rejection at the lack of enthusiasm from my family at coming to get me if there are future lockdowns.

Not sure where that leaves me. Stuck — here I have the hell of the noise upstairs, not especially wanted at home; unable to get to work without public transport. Raj and Rishi don’t seem to want to drive over to see me.

Still, in more positive stuff, maybe I’ll get to see Chris and Alison this week. That would make such a big difference. Something to look forward to. Real people.

I have no idea what’s going to happen for the next year or where I’ll be. I just hope I can see and hug my Mum normally and regularly soon.

6 June
Zoom dinner was fun again this evening. It feels a lot less depressing when it’s not my only interaction. Seeing Chris and Alison today, and Raj yesterday, has made it so much better than it was.

Names have been amended to protect identities.



Andrew Grey

Working in the not-for-profit sector on healthcare issues, and teaching religion and philosophy part time at City Lit.