Being Alone Doesn’t Suck

I used to hate being alone. And when I say hate I mean with a white-hot passion reserved only for poor grammar and whining. Quite simply, I just did not particularly like my own company.

I thought it was because I was a natural-born party animal who craved the company of others. Or that my less than perfect childhood had left me with a need to be with normal people so that I could absorb all their normalcy. OR that, because I had never lived on my own I didn’t know HOW to be alone.

Poppycock! (Fancy word for bullshit.)

Turns out my need to be in the company of other humans is directly proportionate to that big, God size hole that has been inside me since I was about four.  You know the one.  The one I tried filling with control, over-caring, over eating, exercise, smoking and alcohol.  By being alone and without any of those coping mechanisms (for the most part), I was left to deal with that hole and face all the demons and emotions that were hiding within it.  That hole was a scary hole and I wanted no part of it. 

Never being alone = Never dealing with my feelings.

However, things like the business trip I’m on right now laid me bare on a regular basis.  I would start planning where and with whom I would have dinner, or socialize, or shop, the minute the trip hit my calendar.  The thought of having one unoccupied moment in my itinerary left me weepy and, quite frankly, scared shitless.  I remember vividly those few times I was left to fend for myself at dinner and entertain myself the rest of the evening. 

The words “panic attack” come to mind…and that’s no exaggeration.

Since becoming sober, my business trips have changed dramatically.  In the early days I would rush back to my room and pray no one invited me out to dinner.  All I wanted was to be alone in my room with room service and a book or TV because the thought of going out to dinner with a group of boozy bankers made me REALLY uncomfortable.  Many times I feigned a migraine or upset stomach to keep from  having to go.  The excuses weren’t that far off.

Slowly but surely however, I began to enjoy my time alone.  I didn’t mind eating alone either in a restaurant or in front of the TV.  I learned to just…be still.  That everything was okay and that these moments were few and far between and I should be enjoying them rather than wishing them away.

The hole was beginning to fill from the inside out.

Which brings me to this trip.  I spent the most wonderful evening last night…alone.  I got back in from work and laced up my shoes and hit the gym until my Fitbit buzzed.  Then I ordered room service and sat down to write an article (more on that later) and get some work done.  I left HGTV on all evening (woo-hoo).  I relaxed, recharged and rejuvenated.  I slept well (you know…for being in a hotel).

Here’s the craziest thing, while I still missed my family, I enjoyed my own company for the first time in…well…maybe ever. 

I’m hoping that this means that while I may never LOVE business trips, maybe I can learn not to be afraid of them.

Because I get to go with someone I’m beginning to know very well.



8 thoughts on “Being Alone Doesn’t Suck

  1. Wow, this post has really resonated with me.
    I felt I never had alone time, never any me time. If I got it I treasured it. I really craved it without understanding why. Well, now I have it on a daily basis 4 days a week. We moved out country and I left my job. I stay on the farm and do farm stuff. At first it was wonderful and I loved it , then I did struggle and was restless and now I’m doing a bit lost and directionless. I probably should make it clear here I love living here and I am loving my time alone but it’s challenging me in ways I didn’t see coming. It’s all about feelings, I am having to really face myself fully, nothing or no one to hide behind and it’s scary. Self belief has always held issues for me and now I am having to meet with these issues, see them , immerse myself in them and eventually deal with them. My desire to be alone is all about coming back to me, finding my place and then doing what I was put here to do. Terrifying, for sure, do I know what that is, NO or at least I don’t think so but maybe I do. It’s just scary.
    I am learning to like myself, to value myself and like you to know myself.

    1. It’s scary when you start to really look at yourself for the first time. But then it’s also nice to see…meh – I’m not so bad after all!

      Thanks for the lovely comment –

  2. Before I had kids I went on a few business trips and I dreaded them too. Of course, before I had kids, I never appreciated being alone. I totally took it for granted. My favorite time to be alone was when I called in sick from work. Other than that, I was always doing something. Now, a week by myself sounds like heaven! I’m actually thinking about planning a getaway for myself, not to hide from anyone/anything but just to be able to hear my own thoughts without interruption. I guess that means I’d like to enjoy my own company too. 🙂

    1. When mine were the age yours are now, I used to crave alone time also. My husband used to take the kids on Saturdays and I’d go wander a book store or Target and just…BREATHE. Problem was, after about an hour or so I started missing them so much I headed home. LOL.

      But I did cherish those Saturday mornings. Some weeks they were all that stood between me and insanity!


  3. What an “up” post! The gym until your fitbit buzzed, enjoying being alone, HGTV….I am envious too. I love being alone, but I think its because I hardly am ever alone. Sometimes when I walk, I DON’T listen to my book on my phone, because I just want the quiet. I think more than anything though, I am hearing that you are feeling comfortable in your own skin. ❤

    1. I’m getting there…little by little. Of course, that’s today. Who know HOW I’ll feel next week!!!

      I’ve stopped listening to anything when I walk also. I just wait to see what God has to say. 🙂


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