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Doing Me

Comfortably Alone (With My Dog)

Is anyone else totally OK with being alone? My anxiety has forced me to be alone for so many years. When I say alone, I do have a dog (since 2017) and I do have a husband (together 9 years, married for 2) but he’s away so often with work than I often spend so much of my time alone. 

So many people that I know are forever trying to meet up with friends and go out almost every chance they can. I love the idea of that kind of social life and perhaps my anxieties have shaped my views on being alone, but I really am so happy to be on my own at home with my dog. I take her for walks and meet people but I’m always faced with people wanting to become friends and then they wanna come over and then they wanna go out for drinks and so on. I struggle in these situations because I don’t want people to think I’m being rude but I try with all my might to avoid them getting too close. These people aren’t quitters! 

I guess I’ve never really been able to completely relax around strangers, or even those almost close enough to call friends. I’ve made it to 30 without a best friend or even a circle of friends. I moved a lot growing up from town to town to finally ended up in a city working freelance so I don’t even have work friends. 

What scares me the most is that loneliness or at least not socialising with others can lead to Alzheimer’s. When I hear that I think to myself, I’m not depressed from being alone, I’m quite happy. Yes I could be happier; I could have less anxieties and a more ‘normal’ life but because I’ve never had that, I don’t really know what I’m missing, and those that do appear to have that have a world of other issues going on anyway. 

There’s really nothing I love more than snuggling in on the sofa with my dog and Netflix or relaxing  after good food to my favourite music. The idea of other people being around genuinely ruins it for me. 

I don’t know many people like me. I’ve only recently started to talk about my mental health out loud and I’ve mustered up the courage to admit it to others should it become relevant. Before this year I would be faced with something scary like an invite to the cinema for example, I would go into panic mode flicking through my mental archive of excuses and back up excuses and then an excuse to leave the situation. It was so tiring and just brought on more anxiety trying to avoid the initial invitation to potential anxiety in the first place. Never ending shit storm. 

So a world without other people is a delightful one for me, I can relax and not anticipate all kinds of impending doom. It may sound unhealthy, and I’m honestly not sitting back and letting my anxiety win, I am working on ways to combat it, even talking about it has been so liberating almost. My previous story was the first time I had ever written down my first ever anxiety attack, the one that got the ball of all things shit rolling. When I woke up (having posted it before bed), for the first time in years I felt less tension in my back. This is huge. My anxiety caused my back muscles to spasm around 10 years ago so I can spend days in bed during an episode, but generally I’m on about a 5/6 on the pain scale daily with my back. I try not to complain about it to people but sometimes you can’t see past the pain and if you don’t have it then you can’t relate. Another reason I prefer to be alone. 

Maybe one day in the near future I will let more people in and have a circle of supportive friends but by that time I won’t need as much support because one by one my anxieties will fuck off and give me some peace. Here’s to hoping that the rest of my life isn’t being as alone as I am and actually enjoying the company of others.