Monday, August 4, 2014

On being alone...

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

These days I go through some periods of time where whatever responsibilities I do have, don't require me to leave the house much.

It's a pleasure to not have to work full time outside of the home.... not have to deal with traffic... or even get dressed if I don't wanna!

And I don't live alone... my husband comes home each evening around 6... my (now grown) children live here and are in and out of the house.

But I have a study just off of the master bedroom.... and that's where I tend to spend the majority of my day when I can.

It's nice.  Beautiful even... a space created by me, for me, and I enjoy living in it.

However, even though I know that I should 'enjoy my own company' blah blah blah... I often find myself feeling very 'disconnected' and alone.   No, lonely.

I'll check facebook on and off throughout the day... and people are doing things... and I don't really feel a 'part of' any of it.

It's somewhat surprising (to me) to think that someone like me... with many acquaintances and quite a few very good close friends... and also a pretty close-knit extended family, can begin to get depressed in my alone-ness, given my circumstances.

And it IS a form of depression, in a very real sense.  Sometimes worse than others.

Then... I'll suddenly have a day where I need to get out and accomplish some things in the world, and I'll get dressed and put on makeup and go do my thing.... and even if I'm very very busy at home....
I FEEL better.

I get busy and I don't know (or care) what's going on on face-book... I'm just doing my my life.

When I was working full-time out of the house I could not have comprehended this... I SOOOO needed down-time.

And I still look forward to the days that I have down-time and can stay home.  But having too many in a row isn't so good for me, I think.

It's quite different, but it reminds me of the time, after having quit gambling...when I didn't have anything to fill the time that I had previously spent sitting at a machine.

For so long, I had abandoned my friendships for gambling... and suddenly I was alone.

It is so important to fill our time... to busy ourselves with something meaningful to us.

For a while, after I stopped gambling, having newfound free-time, I decided to volunteer at a Hospice Organization.

That was sad and hard... but it also felt good.
To make a difference for someone.

If you've got time on your hands and are trying to figure out how to fill it, I highly recommend volunteering somewhere.

Actually... I have lots that I SHOULD be doing (around here)... I just sometimes lack the motivation to begin :(

So I'm going to take my own advice now and get busy.
You matter.
Me too :)


Still thinking said...

Beautiful post, Peg. It is so true.

Loneliness is a risk and so is living without purpose and connection. I retired over a year ago and am ready now to give something back and to meet interesting people. The gambling ended 7 years before the end of my working life but the consequences took a long time to deal with.

I love history and research and volunteered for a role with a palliative care organisation on the weekend. They rang me this morning to set up a meeting. I would be working with people in palliative care helping them write their biographies. It sounds really interesting and something I can do.

I think that gambling, for whatever reason people get hooked up in it, is such an isolating yet consuming experience. Part of recovery is realising that we all have something rich to offer and that there are countless ways of giving and reaching out to others.

The worst thing I can do is to be paralysed by regret. My gambling happened. I stopped and now I need to get on with life. I don't often say this, but the experience gave me something which did enrich my understanding in ways that I did not see for a long time. The future is now mine to create. I am no longer overwhelmed with loss and despair. There is a line in a Leonard Cohen poem - "Your loneliness will bring you home." How beautiful, hey?

I love your blog and I love that you're dealing something else that is so hard for all of us. Huge thanks to you :)

Love and blessings.


Peg said...

I love Leonard Cohen...yes, that's beautiful.

Helping people to write their biographies sounds fascinating! I LOVE that!!!