This month, I’m working on something in therapy: how to be okay with being alone. When I think of the word “alone”, an extreme idea of total isolation in a dark room, no human contact, and totally cut off from the outside world crosses my mind. And that extreme freaks me out. O_O
However, that’s not the reality of it whatsoever. Being alone can mean: being self sufficient, as in relying on myself to complete tasks, instead of always needing someone else to do them for me. It means not needing anyone else to grant my self-esteem and gaining self confidence on my own merits, being able to enjoy my free time without having it totally dependent on someone else.
I’ve feared being alone my entire life, which often resulted in accepting horrible “friends” or settling for other abusive relationships. Ninety-eight percent of the time, I knew full well these people were jerks and a-holes from the start, but I feared being alone so much that I would put up with them, just to claim that I wasn’t alone. And it was a hurtful situation, because when I was in these relationships I felt more lonely than I ever did without them.
So, I’m getting stronger and trying to learn how to become more self-sufficient and okay with being alone. I want to be able to say someday, “Yes, I can live alone and I’ll be just fine.” ^_^
That’s not to say that I don’t wish for a special someone, nice friends, and occasional buddies to chat with. To quote Christopher McCandless, “Happiness is only real when shared.” Humans aren’t meant to be isolated, but that’s not the goal in the first place.
My goal is to be at a point where it’s harder for me to put up with jerks, because my happiness will not hinge on needing someone to do tasks for me, to make me feel less lonely, to read my stuff and to comment on it, to claim some sort of social status of “I have someone too!”, nor a need for someone to tell me that I’m pretty or smart all the time, in order for me to believe it myself.
In other words, I don’t want to NEED someone in order to feel okay about who I am as a human being, nor that person to NEED me for that same reason. I wish to WANT that person, because they’re decent and awesome, and really enjoy their company in life. I wish for that person to WANT me in their lives for the same reason, not because they feel that without me around they will “go insane” or can’t function in their overall lives.
I’ve had relationships before like that, where the person was solely dependent on me in order to function. At first, it felt like I was “special”, but after a short while it became TOO MUCH, and I felt like a tool to that person rather than feeling wanted or loved. Nor did I feel appreciated for my true self, only needed for what I could do for them to help alleviate their personal pressures or insecurities.
It shouldn’t be, “I have to have that person in my life, otherwise I’m lonely, lost, and have no life.”, for me or for that person. I want something more than that for myself and the person I choose as a lover. I want us to be able to say instead, “I want to have that person in my life, because I love them very much, and I appreciate them for their good traits and accept most of their flaws as well. And I love spending time with this person, even when I’m not afraid, dealing with something harsh in life, or need an ego boost.”
With this kind of attitude, jerks will not gain access to my life’s circle just because they were there, willing to speak to or email me, and I felt panicked about being alone. I won’t be settling for less than what I believe that I deserve, in order to run away from my fears of being alone. I will make better choices on who I decide to befriend and let into my life, based on who the person is and not just because they’ve showed up and gave me a little attention.
So far, I’ve been doing well with this in the past few months, as a couple of jerks did show up. Once I realized that they were jerks, and that I was beginning to excuse the fact of it because I was so afraid of being alone, I stopped. I took a deep breath, analyzed the situation, and then backed the hell away from those individuals. ;^_^>
It’s a work in progress, but soon it will become more of an automatic response for me, instead of two weeks of putting up with crap. My goal reaction time will be less than a day or a mere moment.
The weird part is, I DO enjoy my alone moments, when I am writing. I can’t exactly write while in the middle of a party or chatting with someone anyway. I’m okay with being alone as I write, I need that kind of isolation in order to finish a book or blog post. It’s when I’m NOT writing (those rare moments) that I feel the panic of “I need someone!” and then I carelessly let in the wrong individuals.
It’s kind of bad when my relatives react with “Oh, no…” whenever I mention a new possible friend. So, I want to change my reputation and habit, by changing my instant fear and reaction to being alone. Wish me luck! ^_^v
Thanks for reading!