Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.

Being Alone vs Being Lonely


Last time I posted about loneliness and made some suggestions on how to overcome it. I neglected to mention that just because someone is alone doesn’t mean they’re lonely.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of Kaz, that I don’t miss him and wish he were here. But even when he was alive, I used to like being alone. Back then I called it “needing my space.”

One of the more difficult aspects of moving in together was that I couldn’t have my space. His apartment (like mine) was a one-bedroom, and the bedroom wasn’t big enough for a desk. So, I wrote in the living room – with headphones on to drown out the sound of the television and his video games. After a while, he started wearing headphones too, so he could play his video games at full volume. It wasn’t ideal, but we made it work.

After he died, it wasn’t totally foreign to be alone, but it was strange and very painful. Excruciating at times. I felt him with me spiritually, but that did little to lessen the void created by his physical absence. It took a long time for the pain to subside and stabilize.

After 3.5 years, I’ve grown accustomed to being alone again. I still have moments of “why isn’t Kaz here?” but being alone has become normal.

And now that I live “in the sticks,” as someone recently teased, I’m more alone than ever, in the sense that I don’t see lots of people.

But I’m not lonely. Well, sometimes I am. But for the most part, I’m not.

I think this is because I’m writing all the time. I’m extremely focused on my work, and I like that there are little to no distractions (other than the dog).

Besides my work (which I enjoy), I get enjoyment from sources other than people… things like books, movies, cooking and being outside. I’m even enjoying winter (so far). It’s a bit like being in hibernation. There’s a certain relief in not going out a lot.

When I go into the city, it’s a different matter. That’s when I get my people “fix.” But I love returning upstate to my little sanctuary.

It’s hard to explain, but I have no complaints right now. I  don’t have much money, but I’m not stressed about it for some reason. I’ve gained a little weight here, but I’ll lose it eventually. I still cry about things, but I’m not depressed. And after I cry, I’m okay. I don’t go to bed sad, which is very different than before.

I’m more grounded and secure than I used to be, more self-sufficient and content. I need less of others, and less of the material world.

In a way, it’s like I’m learning to be happy again… happy with a very simple life. It might not always be this simple, but perhaps I can carry the simplicity within me.

As I told a friend the other day, “If I can make it through this year of working my ass off, making little money, living in an isolated place, and surviving the winter… I’m pretty sure I can handle just about anything.”

Wishing everyone peace and light.


Author: nivaladiva

Freelance writer and independent filmmaker.

13 thoughts on “Being Alone vs Being Lonely

  1. It has been seven weeks since my husband Isaac died. Thanks for your blog. It’s very comforting.


  2. I know what you mean. I was in the same state before I met my husband. I was alone, but not lonely. I lived alone in my own apartment and loved it. Like you I also worked in television, so most times I was also alone when not out on shoots. But I loved my life. I loved my space. Now that I am married though, often times I find myself missing my old life and even feel guilty about missing it. Oh well, such is life. So yes, I do understand what you mean about being alone as opposed to feeling lonely. x

  3. I think you are a survivor! I totally understand what you are saying! ❤

  4. Hey RB: You are doing well and I’m kind of jealous of your contentment. The solitary life is not for everyone and is especially difficult after being surrounded by a husband and kids for 28 years. I hope I can get to your degree of comfort.

    • I know it’s not for everyone (possibly not for most people), and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to adjust to being solo after having a husband and kids for 28 years. My heart goes out to you, that is very tough. I think the challenge after losing someone is redefining who we are without that person. When our loved one passes, a big part of us goes with them, so who are we after that? Not an easy question. For me, the answer included leaving LA, where I had a FT job and tons of friends… to focus on my writing in a distraction-free zone. I’m fairly content with the solitary life (for now) because I’m using it to be creative. But it’s by no means easy, and it definitely takes time. It all takes time… Wishing you the best on your journey.

  5. It’s so satisfying to read this post, Niva. So glad you are in such a good place.

  6. Very sorry for your loss.

    Love this post! I’ve been with my beau for 4 years but we don’t live together. We’re both older and divorced and have our own houses. I really don’t want to move into his house and he doesn’t want to move into mine. At some point we’ll end up under the same roof but, honestly, I feel like I have the best of both worlds. I’ve got my alone time, when I’m rarely lonely, and our together time. Your living situation sounds lovely, glad you’re enjoying it!

    • Thank you. Your situation reminds me of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, who lived in two houses connected by a bridge. Maybe one day you can move into a new (to both of you) house that allows enough space for both of you? I’ve always thought it ideal to live in a house that has another completely separate space that I can work in, like a barn/office. Good luck!

  7. Pingback: Can One Have a Family Without Drama? | Riding Bitch

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