Recently I have been forced to spend a lot of my time by myself. This is no novelty and I have no qualms with this either.
But as of late, this alone time has felt more like lonely time rather than me time.
There have been a few recent events that have led to this all consuming feeling of falling into a void where no one will notice my departure. Events such as little to no communication from friends, cancellations, over work, isolation from study and heartbreak. All of this has turned me into someone who fears being left alone whereas just a few months ago, I relished in spending time with myself.
So I went through the initial stages of denial, blaming my studies and biological reasons for my sudden dip in mental stamina. But just behind that reasoning came the undeniable voice of my conscious: maybe you’re just not enough.
So I sat up until 2am many nights in a row, bearing down on myself with thoughts of unworthiness, ugliness, desperation and rejection. I shook with the fear of being subordinate, average and above all, unwanted. I buried my headphones deep into my ears willing the music to drown out my inner dialogue.
I was too afraid to turn the volume down.
My family began to ask “are you okay?” repeatedly throughout the day, clearly noticing my change in demeanour and no doubt lacklustre elements to my face. I felt nothing, devoid of all inspiration, I was numb from the hairline down. Smiling made my face hurt.
Then, a few days ago, I woke up.
I reached out to a friend who I knew would pass no judgement, who had experienced similar thoughts and who would offer a point of view rather than half hearted advice. The key I took from them was:
“Spend as much time with yourself so that when others don't pull through, it hurts less.”
As cynical as it sounds to assume that all people will let you down, truth of the matter is that you and only you are in control of what happens to you. The second you put an ounce of responsibility into another person you’ve lost a little more control, and so on. So rather than be disappointed with someone when they don't pull through, I would rather have put enough coins into the “me time” piggy bank to think that’s okay, I can go by myself.
This was the element I had lost. I had lost that ability to be content with my own company, to be happy with the freedom of not being reliant on someone else. I had been so good at this for 23 years, and all of a sudden I had misplaced pieces of my moxie over a few negative occurrences.
But my God did I find it again.
When the boy who made me realise I was wasting my time solidified that sentiment, I found one piece. When I went to the cinema by myself I found another, and finally when I took stock of all the academic achievements I have under my belt that have come from me and me alone, I found that final piece.
You are the only thing you need, everything else is a satellite.
*plays hardcore rap music*