When Solitude is Unbearable, it's Time to Act
When you think about solitude, you probably think of it as something negative. We are all influenced by unpleasant experiences and irrational beliefs about the possibility of “ending up alone.” If you don’t find a solution to this, you might start to think of solitude as something unbearable.
So, the moment you feel alone or think that you will always be alone, you start to feel bad. You feel pressured and you start to feel suffocated. That might lead you to make bad decisions. The best way to avoid this situation is to act.
“One day, solitude embraced me so tightly that I started to feel affection for her. I cried like a child and told her a thousand stories. We talked for a long time like two old friends, then said goodbye and we each went on our way. We still see each other sometimes though, and I’m always glad to see her. She’s still the same: always honest, wise, and intelligent.”
Identify what you feel
What does solitude make you feel? Anger, or maybe sadness? Identifying your emotions when you feel alone is important so that you can release them. If you let them go, they won’t hurt you. If you ignore them, they won’t go away. On the contrary, they build up inside you and become toxic, creating an even bigger void inside of you.
To identify what and how you feel in these moments, it helps to keep an emotional diary. In it, you can write down the sensations, feelings, and emotions that you experience when you are alone. Another option is to write a letter to someone describing how you feel. You could also draw a picture, talk to someone you trust, or simply seek out professional help.
At first, you probably think you don’t have time for something like this. That’s because it is difficult to look at what is causing you pain, which is why you avoid it. Nevertheless, looking at your pain in the face allows you to release what makes you feel bad and finally accept it. This is an extremely important, if not crucial, step.
“And when no one wakes you up in the morning, and no one waits for you at night, and you can do whatever you want, what do you call it? Freedom or loneliness?”
Once you identify what makes you feel lonely, you have to stop any behavior or attitudes that are feeding it. For example, you might separate yourself from your closest family and friends because you feel bad… It is one thing to be alone, but another very different thing is to act in such a way that you stay alone.
“Solitude isn’t bad, but in large doses it can put limits on our lives.”
You have to make an effort to make new friends. You have to try hard to leave behind relationships with people who make you feel more alone. Try to notice when you accept invitations to things that you wouldn’t normally go to just because you feel bad. Ask yourself “If I didn’t feel this way, would I go?” If the answer is yes, then make the effort.
Change your beliefs about solitude
What beliefs do you have that make you feel that solitude is unbearable? Maybe you believe that being single means you are a failure. Or maybe you feel like you are incapable of keeping anyone around, or that doing things alone is embarrassing…
The only way to combat these feelings is to accept them and then do the opposite. Do you think it’s embarrassing to go for a coffee or to the movies alone? Go and do it! You will discover that you aren’t the only person doing it, and, even more importantly, you will realize that it can actually make you feel good.
Why don’t you try some new activity or hobby? Maybe you work 8 hours a day and you believe you are busy enough. However, when you get home and you are alone without plans, you start ruminating and having negative thoughts about loneliness. Instead, try that class you’ve always wanted to take or make plans to go to the gym for Zumba after work.
There are things that will help you grow as a person and be self-actualized. In addition, they will help you meet new people and realize that you aren’t as alone as you think! You have to actively confront your sadness and realize you don’t depend on anyone to be happy.
“Why do people tend to avoid being alone? Because not everyone can enjoy their solitude.”
Start to question your beliefs. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Do what you feel like doing, without worrying about whether or not other people can participate. Your happiness and enjoyment are at stake. You deserve the best, you deserve to feel good and happy with yourself and by yourself, not just when there are other people around or you are in a relationship.