Coping with being alone

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I don't like being alone for too long. I find it depressing. I'm good with a few hours to myself, but that's really all I can stand. Although, I would choose to be alone than in bad company any day, and I can be very selective with whom I choose to spend my time. 

I was never the type of person who dreamed of spending a weekend by myself in a log cabin somewhere. I love having the people I care about around me, all the time.

I often hear women complain when their husbands work from home, not because they have a bad relationship, it's just that the women prefer having more time to themselves. I have never made such a complaint. In fact, I love when my husband works from home. Even if I'm busy working or tending to the house, I like knowing he's nearby. It feels good to have someone there to laugh with me or comment on stuff. I don't get that when I'm by myself. 

As a kid, I was alone a lot. My parents divorced when I was ten-years-old. For a period of time, my mother worked from 9:00 am - 9:00 pm. I would come home after school, eat a bowl of ice cream, do my homework, ride my bike, play outside, and eat dinner alone. We moved around so much it didn't afford me the opportunity to get acquainted with other families with whom I felt comfortable enough to crash their family dinner. I did make a few friends to keep me company and don’t underestimate the quality of companionship found in a bag of smurfs and a couple of dolls living in the Barbie dream house.

Thankfully that period only lasted a little more than a year. When we moved again my mother was able to be at home more frequently.

As an adult being alone is difficult for me, as a child it was even harder. My way of coping was to write. I didn’t write stories, it was more of a dear diary format - letters addressed to God rather than my diary. The tone was conversational. I wrote things like, “Hey God what’s up? Here’s what’s going on in my life." I wrote hundreds of letters.

The letters to God were a great comfort to me. They made me feel so much less lonely. I guess you could say they were my Wilson (see reference). In any event, I knew at a young age I didn’t like being alone and I found a strategy to combat the loneliness. 

If being alone is difficult for you too I strongly suggest you find a strategy to cope; join a social group through your community, your church or at work. Meet up with friends more often and find a hobby you enjoy that you can do when you're alone.   

When I am home for months at a time and not working on a project, I make plans with friends at least once a week. I write daily. I walk through town more often. I talk to strangers, a lot! And, I give my dog a ridiculous amount of affection. These tactics help me deal with the time spent alone much better, it also stops me from smothering my children the moment they walk through the door.