From the Archives: Alone vs. Lonely

*I’ve been reading through some old posts and found that a lot of them are still relevant and not widely read at the time. This post is from autumn 2019. Enjoy!


When I was growing up, I needed a lot of alone time. Ever since I can remember, I found solace in reading a book in my room for hours. I did a lot of things by myself like going to see movies and going to concerts. I even signed up to teach English overseas in Thailand for a year. If that’s not someone who craves alone time, I don’t know who is.

However, since my diagnosis in April, I’ve had weird influxes of people visiting or wishing me well. And there were days when I didn’t get out of bed or even use my voice at all, except to baby talk my sweet animals, of course. For the first time in my life, I have felt truly alone. Piercingly alone. Lonely. Also for the first time in my life, I’ve felt overwhelmingly inundated with support. So much I didn’t even know what to do with it all except sit in my bed and sob when several people showed they know my heart and want the best for it –and my abdomen. It’s hard to keep up with the chaos of it all, not to mention doctor’s visits, tests, self-advocating.

I used to feel so comfortable being alone, even at peace. Now being alone rapidly results in me feeling lonely. My ever amazing partner travels for work often, so there are days when loneliness feels like it will expand to fill my entire being. After a fair amount of wallowing, my younger self had to check my current self. I was going to move to Thailand alone and was thrilled about it. But that was about adventure and exploring. This alone is about introspection, healing, and waiting. I often don’t want to be left alone with my own thoughts.

I recently made a list of all the things I love to do alone in a smack-myself-in-the-face move. My inner warrior had to remind me of who I am. Since then, I’ve felt like I have a purpose each day. I set goals for myself and have daily affirmations. I have a routine. And it’s improved my mental health exponentially. I’ve already done so many on my list which has helped me concentrate on things outside of my own brain. Here’s a few of my to dos when I have alone time, with an autumnal theme, duh.

Things to Do Alone:

  1. Make a new playlist – for some reason I always do this in the fall. My Spotify playlists are all named fall of whatever year it is, dating back to 2012.
  2. Send sweet fall themed notes with Halloween stickers
  3. Take a long bath
  4. Walk to my neighborhood coffee shop with a book to enjoy
  5. Make a fire and roast marshmallows
  6. Go to a farmer’s market
  7. Call family who you haven’t loved on in some time
  8. Do a DIY Halloween craft
  9. Gratitude journaling
  10. Binge a new Netflix series

What do you like to do when you have some alone time? I need more ideas, so comment below!




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