riding bitch

The life of a writer and survivor of loss.


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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.

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