Recently, my live-in boyfriend went away for 4 days for a business trip. Yeah, yeah I know, that’s not a super long time. But we moved in together 3 years ago and the longest amount of time we have been apart is one day. Part of that being because I HATE being alone. When I moved into this apartment, I lived alone for about 3 months, but before my boyfriend moved in, I would ask him to sleep over almost every night. I struggle with depression and anxiety and being alone can trigger both of those, but GUESS WHAT PEOPLE!
I was fine.
I was FINE!
In the past, I would have been constantly anxious and eventually spiral downward into an infinite depression, until my man came home when I would ultimately go back to normal when I could be dependent on another human person.
But I didn’t do that this time, I thrived. Okay, no, I didn’t thrive, but I didn’t stay in a cocoon in my bed for 4 days and that is an improvement.
So what did I do?
- Kept busy
I cleaned, cooked, did school work, did real work, etc etc. I made sure I was busy whenever I was home to pass the time. I literally did not give my brain time to spiral out of control.
- Pampered myself
In the last 4 days I have done face masks, whitened my teeth, lied in bed with the cat, shaved my legs (um hello, that is totally pampering in my eyes) and waxed my eyebrows. I completely spoiled myself because well, there’s no one else here to spoil me. This cured any bit of lingering depression that I had when my boyfriend left. It was self care to the fullest.
- Took advantage of the space I had to myself
I took off my pants, blasted the music and danced in the living room. For real. Okay, I could probably do this with my boyfriend at home, but not without weird looks and giggles. It was great! I didn’t have any wine so I made a vodka and crystal light (hello keto beverage!) and jammed out in my undies while I did the dishes. It was life changing. Instead of feeling sad that he wasn’t here, I flipped it on it’s head and actually enjoyed my time alone.
- Reminded myself that I could do it
For typical people, being alone isn’t that hard. Most people enjoy it. For me, I enjoy being alone WITH my person. Being completely alone makes it easier for the intrusive thoughts to pop up, because talking to my person is normally what helps keep them at bay. I don’t have a ton of friends, and I like to keep to myself (ironic that I hate being alone, eh?) so my boyfriend is the one I go to for everything. During this week, I continuously reminded myself that I was capable. That I could do it. One of my biggest downfalls is my low self esteem regarding my capabilities. I have always believed “I just can’t” about a lot of things. As easy and natural as being alone seems, that was always one of the things I thought I couldn’t do. As much as I hate to admit it, I am completely dependent on my boyfriend for a lot of things.
My take away
I want my boyfriend to leave more often! Okay, no that’s not true at all. I miss cuddles and back rubs and having him around. But It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. As the days counted down to when he was going to leave, I was anxious and sad. The first day was rough, but the last three were actually kind of awesome. I found out what it was like to take care of just myself for a bit. Which I neglect a lot. I put my boyfriend before myself a lot of the time. I cook for him, clean for him, and cater to him (which I choose to do because I love being a housewife), but I always forget to take care of me. This very short break reminded me that I am important too! So maybe, just maybe, being alone isn’t that bad.