The need to be alone


Do you find it difficult to ask for alone time? Or find yourself making excuses in order to get it? 

As someone who has spent a lot (too much?) time alone, i recognise the call for it - it's a bit like being "hangry" but more jittery. 

In our home, we call my alone time "dionne-time", and i schedule little pockets of it into the day (this is where the bathroom disco was born). As an introvert and empath, i also have a habit before and after big social moments to "charge up" on alone-i mean dionne-time. But i also realise that it's not always easy to ask for it. Or that there isn't always the time for this pocket of processing. Yet it's so good for us! And in those times, i'll look for ways to find it even if i'm amongst people: excusing myself for a moment to pop off somewhere (window gazing or standing in a toilet cubicle to breathe or a brisk exploration of the local environment is a good one), or taking headphones with me if i'm traveling so i can create a solo musical meditation cocoon.

I guess a lot of the practice is about trying to catch the cues from my body - so i can give myself a little bit of room to catch up and therefore be more present and hopefully more myself when i am in social situations. But then, who are we really? That's another conversation! 

Do you have strategies you use to spend time alone? Or tools to aid the processing of all the stuff you experience day to day? How do you decompress? Or do you find it hard to be alone?

"It is a quirk of our minds that not every emotion that impacts us is at once fully acknowledged, understood or even - as it were - truly felt.

After time among others, there are a myriad of sensations that exist in an 'unprocessed' form within us. Perhaps an idea that someone raised made us anxious, prompting vague impulses for change in our lives. Perhaps an anecdote sparked off an envious ambition that is worth decoding and listening to in order to grow. Maybe someone subtly fired an aggressive dart at us, and we haven't had the time to realise we are hurt.

We need some quiet time to console ourselves by formulating an explanation of where the nastiness might have come from. We are far more vulnerable and tender-skinned than we're encouraged to imagine."

This short film by Tom Fisher + Catherine Prowse created for The School of Life made me squeal with pleasure and recognition. -Takk til Finemann for this golden find!