some thoughts on being alone


Being alone is not the same thing as being lonely. But they can happen at the same time.

I think the idea of saying it’s better to be alone with yourself than to be lonely in a crowd is not useful is crap. Being alone when you want to be with someone is hard. Being in a shitty marriage is hard. Feeling excluded and separate and isolated, whether you are around other people or not, is hard.

Comparing suffering – feeling like someone else has it worse or better – doesn’t help. (But we do it anyway. We are human that way.)

Getting comfortable being in your own skin can help. Reaching out to safe people, letting them know you feel vulnerable, can help. Crawling under the covers can help.

So can having a rousing solo dance party. (For me, the solo dance party is the only kind. So far.)

It has been good for me to find a way to be grateful, whether I’ve been alone or lonely or both.

If you know someone who is alone or lonely at the holidays, please reach out to include them – gently and without judgement.

Alone might not be what they want.

On the other hand, alone can be a conscious choice.

Elizabeth Potts Weinstein talks about just that in this post: How to Be Alone on a Holiday.

Andrea Dorfman’s video poem, How to Be Alone, has upwards of 3.6 million views on YouTube:

Amy Adams, as Mary, in The Muppets, has lunch in a restaurant by herself. This wasn’t the plan. As this is a musical, people break out into song and dance at the slightest provocation.

I’m having a Me Party.
A party by myself
A Me Party
I don’t need nobody else
Having a Me Party
I’m the first and last to show
There’s no one at this party that I don’t already know

What happens at a Me Party
Stays at a Me party.

Here is a link to the recording from the soundtrack, with Mary and Miss Piggy singing a duet. Which is odd, given the solo nature of the song.

To Write Love on Her Arms had a beautiful post on Thanksgiving Day, reaching out to let people know they are not alone.

We’re meant to win and lose together. We’re meant to know some people on this journey, to walk it together, to mourn and cry one day, to laugh and dance the next. We get to carry each other and we get to remind each other all that’s true, of everything not lost.

Sometimes, we need to know we are not alone. Let someone know.

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