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Do we really know how to be alone? Do I?

Do we know how to be alone?  We are now always connected.  But this scares me.  Even before I had a smartphone, maybe around 19, I was terrified to be by myself.  Literally, in a room alone... I think I was afraid of my own thoughts, my insecurities.  I think I afraid that if I had time to think about who I was, I would've been exhausted or disappointed in what I was.  I was afraid to be alone, to know myself.  I put my happiness in the hands of others...parties, social events, alcohol.  Getting attention in any way replaced the deepness of friendships. Being noticed was more important that being invisible....I mean why did I need so much.  I wanted to belong somewhere, but I didn't even belong to myself.

It took breakups, bad choices, silly things to teach me to be alone.  I literally had to train myself to be by myself.  I ended up in some weird, dark place where I did hide from other people.  I was a mess, a ball of worries, anxieties and my own worst enemy.  But honestly if I hadn't given myself the opportunity to go though it, I don't think I'd be as healthy as I am today.  I felt into a dark pit, and realized finally that isnt where I wanted to be.  I took 3 years of work, in therapy, to find out what I was afraid of, who I wanted to be versus who I was and to learn to let myself off the hook from reaching an unreachable perfect.  I thought, if I was more perfect, he would love me....if I could succeed here, then I would finally be where I think I'm supposed to be.  None of it was rational, none of it was reality...all idealism, all ideas of a perfect whatever that I thought I was supposed to live up to.  These days I'm more practical, relaxed...I know when to let something go, or to know it will work itself out without turn myself into a tight ball of anxiety, wound so tight I couldn't eat.  Once you do the work on yourself you can truly learn to love who you are and open yourself up to new people and opportunities.  It's really amazing what you are capable of when you realize you can grow.

I know how to be alone.  I can put my phone away and not tweet, post or Like something.  I can also watch a movie alone, or hike alone or make a decision without asking everyone I know for advice.  I know myself better, I love myself more and even though I have a serious boyfriend, I still know who I am separate from him.  I listen to my instincts now, I understand that your body does communicate with you when something is off.  I enjoy life through a new lens. I don't need the approval from others to feel successful or cool.  Maybe a lot of this is growing up, maturing...but I can tell you, I definitely would NOT be where I am if I didn't say, HEY I NEED TO WAKE UP AND CHANGE SOMETHING BECAUSE I AM NOT HAPPY AND SOMETHING IS WRONG!

I realized through help, that I have trouble with anxiety and depression.  I have struggled with it my whole life and now it's finally under control.  Also I have ADHD.  Now finally I can have complete thoughts, I can slow down, listen and I can filter through my thoughts and know when not to say something.  My brain works in silly ways and now I have a better way to handle life, myself and my moods.  These challenges and overcoming them have allowed me to grow and become a better me, and not feel trapped like I once was, when I was afraid to be alone, by myself.  The fear is no longer lingering, anger no longer building up in my chest, the hate and irritability isn't underneath, my judgement are not as harsh, I do not feel like no one understands, I do not feel lost, I do not feel afraid of myself or ashamed of how people react around me....

I'm ok.  More than ok, I'm in love.  I'm happy...I'm so happy that sometimes I miss being sad...I wonder who else feels this way...missing feeling the unexpected moods swings, the manic highs and the low lows and just when something changes, like plans, or burnt toast.  My life is manageable now because I chose to love myself.  I chose me.
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