Today was the St. Patrick's Day parade and I spent it alone.
I didn't spend it alone last year but I found that no one had called me to hang out and I felt slightly... sad. No. I didn't. I felt very sad.
Me, last year
I had to go downtown today where the Paddy's Day parade was happening and saw many people, couples, groups of friends, families and I felt very alone. I was stressed, it was crowded and I felt very exposed as though everyone around me knew I was alone and felt pity on me. It was my anxiety [I was diagnosed with anxiety in 2001, I'll talk about that more later] telling me everyone was looking at me, but that didn't make it feel less real.
I find myself alone a lot, because I have very few friends. The friends I do have, don't have much time for me and don't return my phone calls on a regular basis and that makes me feel like they don't consider me their friend at all. There is something very distressing about feeling you are not a friend to someone you consider your friend. I am single so I don't have anyone to fill my spare time with and my family and I are not that close.
Me, alone at the ballet two years ago
But I am here to tell you, being alone is not being alone at all.
Because you are always with yourself and the relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you'll ever have.
When I am feeling sad and lonely I watch a brilliant video by Andrea Dorfman called "How to be Alone". It points out all the necessities and pleasantries about being alone and turning that time into something that nourishes you and I'd recommend it.
If you find yourself without friends or lovers or family try these things.
- Turn on your favorite upbeat music and fill your head with song. I have a playlist called "When You Are Sad" on spotify and its filled with the music that makes me move. Beyonce always helps. I also have another playlist that is called "When You are Sad but Not Enough to Cry" that is more mellow. Sometimes in silence we find its easier to get wrapped up in sad thoughts, music gives us something to focus on.
- Go to the movies! My favorite thing to do! Catch a matinee, get a big ol nasty bag of popcorn and a cherry coke and sit in the darkness. You'll find that you experience the movie so much more by yourself. No one to ask you to explain who is who and you can just laugh if you want or cry if you want.
- Give yourself a spa day. Shave your legs! Finally (winter is almost you know)! Get at those stray face hairs or groom them! Paint your nails, get at those bunions, put on a clay mask and just rest.
- Get a journal and write down letters to yourself, then read them later. Ask yourself questions and then answer them. Questions like "How do you feel right now?" "How did that make you feel?" "If you could have done 'xxx' differently how would you have?". You'll be impressed by the answers you give yourself.
- Pick up a craft. Crafting was really popular when I was growing up and I don't know if people are still into the diy approach but I know many girls who are making patches, jewelry, T-shirts, and nipple pasties. Make em and sell em! Start up a small business and name yourself CEO/Captain/El Presidente. My small business is going to be called "LadyBaby" and I will be selling hats, jackets, dresses, kilts, and faux collars.
- Start a blog! This is coming from a personal experience *cough*. I don't enjoy being around people in an intimate environment, of like 2 or more people, but I have many interests I'd to share with people! I love art, fashion, and such but no one I know shares my interests so I decided to start a blog. I get my thoughts out their and other people can read them. I feel like I'm connecting to others but I'm still by myself and I don't get panic attacks!
I hope this helps and you can find yourself becoming more comfortable with being alone. Be the best company you could ever ask for and you won't feel so lonely. If you find yourself feeling lonely, its okay, thats normal, give yourself some time and try some of the things I said! <3