Long time quiet here, but today I was asked by someone who knows me well, for my advice on getting comfortable at being at home alone. Being asked the question made me realise both how far I’ve come since starting Time to Release and how the same issues still come up for me, all be it with less weight.
Here is my answer to: How can you get comfortable with being home alone?
So I guess for me it was the struggle to both be in a space alone and also to be with just myself. Partly recognising why I didn’t want to be on my own in the house (fear of insignificance, loneliness and being engulfed by my feelings with no one there to help -mainly) I also think there is no getting away from the fact that to become more comfortable with myself at home I had to actually be with myself at home-which was uncomfortable! It really was a case of facing it and doing it even when hard, and then doing it again, and again until it felt easier.
There are things that really supported me to do this, I’ve been thinking about the commonality of these things and think being by myself but with some purpose and positive distraction (not wine!) really helped me.
Examples of turning points, small instances where I felt something big shift for me were:
-Doing a project on my own at home, for the house- recovering old crappy chairs in nice cloth or making something to put on the wall, for example- made the house feel nicer and like mine and also made me stay at home for a bit on my own.
-Taking myself for a long long walk listening to Alan Watts (distraction) and collecting blackberries (purpose) gave me some needed outdoor time and exercise but I was also perfectly happy walking on my own by the end of the walk. (I’d felt ridiculous at the beginning)
-Ordering a food shop and then in the hour I HAD to wait in, cleaning out and rearranging food cupboards (distracting and purposeful) gave me valuable alone thinking time and sense of contentment, on my own.
Also I’ve had big shifts when I’ve been forced to be with myself. The silent walk on a retreat after some deep work or the biggest one was when I had a 6hr wait at a train station with NOTHING to do and a big issue that was upsetting me. I bought a notebook and wrote stream of consciousness style for about 4 of those 6hrs. I really got through some stuff for myself and with myself, doing the work on my own felt empowering and was quite a revelation.
I still struggle with this and some days am up and escape out of the door in 10mins or rush to meet one friend after another rather than spending time alone with myself. The difference is I can recognise this when it happens and be kind to myself with those feelings.
I guess that this has brought up for me that whatever the struggle is, success is not about getting over it (because you are valid in feeling it), just about getting to know it and manage it better.