I used to be one to hate being on my own, as in completely alone in the apartment or at my parents. As an introvert, I’ve always needed my time alone in a room to recharge – but with someone in another room, please.
The idea of being alone for a stretched period of time sent anxiety coursing through my veins and informing my brain that something bad was going to happen. I didn’t feel safe, neither physically nor mentally. So if I didn’t have a choice, I would find ways to always.be.doing.something.
Whilst I could enjoy a few hours on my own in the evening, whilst my boyfriend was out with friends (I mean, eating whatever I wanted whilst watching what I fancied and stretching out on the couch? OH YES PLEASE), the prospect of spending days *gasp* alone sent me… crying like a baby and having an anxiety level of « though the roof, please come back down ». It actually happened last March when my boyfriend went to visit family for a week and I had to work. I ended up crying for an hour when he left and feeling very low, my sister actually had to come and stay with me for a few days.
To make it more understandable why a twenty-something young adult would be brought to tears about being alone for hours if not days on end I have to explain a bit. You see, being alone meant alone with my thoughts. Alone without anyone to stop this constant flow of self-doubts, dreams with no plans, self-criticizing thoughts running through my head. And because I suffer from anxiety already and feeling unsafe triggers it even more, it was a combo made in hell.
I felt this need to always have someone by my side to balance these negative trains of thoughts. To talk some sense into me.
But I am proud to say this no longer applies. I no longer feel the need to always be with someone to feel okay, no longer dread hours spent alone. I don’t wait for time to pass until someone arrives or returns in order to be able to actually breathe. I don’t feel anxious anymore when I’m alone at the apartment. I don’t feel anxious nor do I overthink.
Years of training my brain to stop going on overdrive and overthink and over-panic have finally paid off. It wasn’t easy, it meant dedication to fighting negative thoughts, to working on finding value in myself in order to actually embrace and enjoy being with my own company. I had to train it to think logically in order to feel safe again or to know how to react appropriately a.k.a not turn into an anxiety mess if someone were to ring the entrance door.
I’m now enjoying the silence, the sound of my feet on the hardwood floor, the trains of thoughts that run through my mind. I nourish my creativity through being able to think clearly and for as long as I need. Granted, I do need to actually see people and be surrounded by the noice of conversations and lives being lived. And I really appreciate them at a whole new level. Because I get to have my « me » time, my quiet time with myself and my thoughts, and my creativity and my reflexions, I find it all the more so important to fuel myself with the world outside. But no because I need to be with people, because I want to.
I am no longer dreading the days spent alone, I am now cherishing them because I get to be with the person I’ll live the longest with – me.