It has been a hot minute since a did a personal post and today I wanted to write about a personal journey of mine, learning to be alone with myself.
You see for most of my life I tended to stay in relationships way too long because I didn’t like to be alone. I would rather be with someone who wasn’t necessarily right for me than to be alone. I have always been a relationship type of girl because I didn’t like being alone. I would go from one long term relationship to the next and most guys I dated for years never short relationships.
After Matt and I separated and he moved out I started a relationship very quickly after that that would last a little over a year. I took zero time for myself to process our divorce and what I was going through. I just threw myself into this relationship wanting companionship and someone to be with me and distract from all the crap that was going down in my life. I expected him to be my knight in shinning armor and solve my problems and bring me happiness because hell I didn’t want to take a hard look at myself and the fact that I was in my thirties getting divorced and going to be a single mom of 2. I am the queen of brushing things under the rug. Even in relationships I have a hard time voicing when things are wrong because I don’t like dealing with the hard stuff. I want everyone else to fix it and make it right. Like I have said before it took me a long time to learn happiness is an inside job. You can’t trust anyone to do that for you.
I used to dread the weekends when Matt had the kids and my boyfriend at the time would be busy. I would want him to be at my house every night, he even lived with us for a few months because I was craving that connection and company. I didn’t want to be alone and didn’t know how to be alone. I was scared of being with myself and an empty house and my anxious thoughts. I would always make plans so I didn’t have to be alone. Friends would say you are so lucky to get an entire weekend to yourself and I would say no I’m not I dread it.
As ya’ll know that relationship ended last Summer for several reasons. I immediately jumped back on the dating train getting set up on dates, dated a few guys briefly but never felt happy. But still I would continue to go on second and third dates with guys I knew were not the right fit for me. I always felt a pit in the bottom of my stomach and my anxiety was at an all time high. I am talking panic attacks and the worst anxiety I have ever felt.
A few months ago I decided to make a list every weekend of things I wanted to accomplish. Little projects here and there I never had time to do. I also started taking hour long walks most days. My doctor really recommended getting outside each day to exercise to help with my anxiety. I would turn on a podcast and just walk. I would listen to motivational podcasts, beauty, entertainment really anything. I came to love those walks and I am now addicted to listening to podcasts. I also decided to take a break from dating and dating apps. I felt they were depressing me more than making me happy. I always felt the need to have a man to complete me and make me happy but maybe I didn’t need that man, maybe I could find that happiness on my own.
I started to realize how full my life actually was without a man. I had 2 precious kids, wonderful parents and friends. I had invites for plans most weekends when I was kid free and invites for plans when I had the kids as well. My social circle was very full and loving without having to go on dates. This is when I really started to practice gratitude for the things I had in my life. I would think there are women out there who have never been married and women who desperately want to have kids and can’t get pregnant. Look how lucky you are. Yes you are divorced but you got two blessing out of that divorce. I would go in every night and look at my kids sleeping and thank God for them (still do). I wasn’t really alone.
I used to be embarrassed I was divorced. Now I proudly wear that crown and I am proud to be a single mom and proud of what I am capable doing on my own. I have learned to treasure my time alone. It is funny I just told my therapist my favorite thing now when the kids are gone is to pour a glass of wine lay on the couch and watch a movie alone. Before I would never want an entire evening to myself now I look forward to those evenings so much. I also can get in bed at night and work and watch all the crappy reality TV I want to. Now on the weekends without the kids I look forward to the break, it has helped me to become a better mom and I can get so many things done.
I am dating casually now but don’t feel the need to have someone just to have someone. I also don’t feel the need to be with that person everyday. I made plenty of bad relationship mistakes because of fear of being alone. Now I am enjoying taking things slowly no rush and I know I am just fine on my own with myself and my two precious kids.
Along the way I actually started to look forward to being alone, I learned to go walk the Farmer’s Market alone, go have a coffee alone all things that before I would never want to do alone. Now I treasure the time with myself. I think because along this journey I have come to give myself grace and love and compassion. If you can’t love yourself and be alone with yourself how can you ever be with someone else? To be honest I hated myself after the divorce it was such a low point in my life and took a horrible toll on my self confidence. I had lost my voice and my ability to love myself. I have worked hard to get that voice back and be gentle with myself. We all are doing the best we can to get by.
We all make mistakes and have highs and lows in life. You have to be kind and gentle with yourself. No one’s journey is the same so you just have to embrace where are at this time in your life. Overthinking and negative self talk are two of the worst things you can do. Being able to be alone with yourself is a wonderful gift. xoxo