Wandering On The Outside, Occasionally Looking InI haven't always been a loner but I've always had cognitive distortions, odd interests, racing thoughts and anxieties that made me feel a need to be alone.
A therapist recently expressed concern over my lack of social support and attributed to it by discussing my childhood in a family where I often felt like an outcast.
Perhaps she was right, and I am an introvert not by nature but by learned experience.
Whatever the reason, after years of being surrounded by many needy friends, I did what some people only dream of doing. I moved to a tiny island in the middle of the ocean without friends or family and I stayed there for the better part of a decade.
Sometimes the isolation was so intense. I remember a few incidences where I consciously chewed my food well, thinking....if I choke and die, it will be days before someone tries to call me and it will be weeks before anyone finds me, and I will be found by a stranger.
Still, in my chosen isolation I learned a lot about myself. I learned how to be completely alone. I learned that people could survive without me being there to codependently solve their problems for them. I delved into my mind and my artwork, read and taught myself how to do things I never would have taken the time for if I was surrounded by other people. I learned how to take care of myself. I remembered what I liked to do and what brought me joy.
When I left the island a year ago, I moved to a big city with many, many people everywhere. Now I highly value the time I have to myself, my privacy, my hobbies. Sometimes I get protective of my space in ways that I never have before. I have trouble talking to people and meeting new friends. My social skills are lacking and the things I talk about are strange.
I am still in touch with my family and a small handful of old friends from my past life on the other side of the country. I am grateful for them.
I don't know how to conclude this because with the inevitable intervention of change, my loner status is inconclusive.
Still, thank you for reading and best of luck with all you do.
rainifel 26-30, F 0 Jul 20, 2012