Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that there is a big difference between being lonely and being alone (solitude)? The difference is actually significant because one you can enjoy and learn a lot from, and the other stems from, and can cause discomfort, sadness, and depression.
When you are in a crowd or with your family or with a group of close friends and you feel alone…that is lonely. When you stay in because you just don’t want to be with people or feel down and out, and going out feels forced, that is something we want to change and look into. that is a chance to think about what might be going on mentally, spiritually, physically, or emotionally.
When I would leave a group of my best friends at crossfit and feel so alone as soon as I got in my car, I knew something was up. When I would stay quiet and to myself, and leave events or gatherings early just to be by myself, I knew that wasn’t really me. When I felt odd-man-out and had thoughts like “what is life all about?” and “do I want to live like this?” I knew I had to get better.
I knew I couldn’t and wouldn’t always be around people, nor did I actually want to be, but I wanted to be ok being alone. I wanted to find things I enjoyed and I wanted to find that inner peace allowing me to be ok when I left a group of friends without feeling like “woe me.”
We should all be ok being alone. Seek solitude. Enjoy yourself. Recharge. Rest. Be peaceful. Enjoy a taste of being an introvert. There is nothing wrong with it. Be ok wanting to spend a night alone at home reading, writing, watching movies, cleaning, or whatever you enjoy doing. Find things you enjoy doing, find that sense of peace within yourself, challenge yourself to be alone and allow yourself to experience the fear, excitement, confusion, boredom, introspection, and peace that comes along with it.
I finally found that enjoyment and peace recently. One of my goals in therapy a while ago was “be able to relax.” I knew whenever I spent time alone I was always interrupted by so many thoughts and voices in my head that relaxation was the last thing I felt. I wanted to be able to sit on the couch and read a book, or watch a movie, or sit and rest without feeling like there was someone next to me, or better yet inside me, bothering me all the time; without feeling like I needed to read and reread the passage ten times; without feeling the frustration and giving up, only to get up and distract myself, unable to just be. With intense therapy and deep diving into the depths of my sorrow, depression, and anxiety I have been able to live on my own and enjoy my own space, time, and company.