Living a Fulfilling Life—On Your Own
Becoming happy with your own company
Is it possible to go from being afraid to live by yourself—filled with pure fear—to a point where you enjoy your own company? I know it's possible, because I've done it. I'd like to share my story in order to help others who may be searching for answers. Writing is good for the soul. So, get ready to learn how to become successfully independent, as opposed to being codependent and lonely.
Melody Beattie is a wonderful author of many books on codependency. I've read her books, Codependent No More and Beyond Codependency. It can take years to achieve recovery, and some people may always think back to that narcissist they used to date and "think" they are missing something—but in reality you are doing yourself a huge favor by moving on and forging newer, healthier relationships. So, let's get started learning how to become happy with your own company.
Living alone for me used to be a nightmare. Sometimes I still wish I had a roommate or housemate or partner/husband to live with but I've learned that living on your own is not a bad thing- it's okay and you can actually like it. So from someone who used to fear being alone, I will share with you what made me into a person who is now confident to be on my own and even enjoys it.
There are lots of reasons why some people may be uncomfortable to live alone. I know people who tell me they still are- and these are grown adults near age 50. I used to think I needed a roommate or would have to give birth to a child for company just to have another person there. I was afraid of spending too much time alone. It was actually a fear that gripped me and caused me a lot of distress. What did I do?
Well, honestly, it took hard work and a few years to get used to living alone. (Just like I worked on social anxiety or any other mental health issue.) I had to:
- Force myself to do it: to spend time alone
- Get a new perspective
- Stop being codependent
When I spent time alone, I made sure I have something to do that was meaningful like watching self help TV like Joyce Meyer on Daystar, or playing with my cat, or even making phone calls or reading books.
Codependency is an emotional dependency on another person. I grew up very sheltered and my mother was codependent with me so therefore I became that way. I became convinced I needed company. I also had a lot of mental health issues that needed to be worked on. Little did I know though that deep inside me was a person who actually yearned for independence. I was lied to. I was told I needed other people around me constantly.
Have you suffered from fear of living alone? What was your approach?
I needed fresh ideas
The truth is that you are never alone—unless you live in a cabin in the woods. Even then there are animals around you, as well as plants and trees. But I digress.
We are not alone. We live in neighborhoods. We have neighbors. We live in apartment buildings or neighborhoods with people close by. People are just a phone call away. Family and friends are good to call.
- Get a pet. Cats or dogs make very good pets for example. I have a cat. My cat is exceptional company.
- Get out of the house or apartment daily. Whether you work or volunteer or go and visit a friend or go to a meeting or clubhouse of some kind, that works.
- God is with us always. Don't think you're alone. Just from my spiritual experience and beliefs, and you don't have to agree, If you get in touch with your higher power and start having a relationship with Him, you will never feel alone.
- Talk to your neighbors. This may not be easy if you're shy like me but it can become easier over time with practice. Make the effort to talk to your neighbors when you see them. Talk about their pet dog for example, or anything appropriate you can think of like the weather or current events. Most neighbors will appreciate this.
- Join a local church. And try to get involved somehow.
- Go to a local meeting such as Celebrate Recovery or Codependency Anonymous or Al Anon.
- Keep a routine. Don't just go out daily but do weekly activities as well. I go out with a bunch of friends for example once a week to eat. I also have a friend I visit often and cook for.
- Keep in touch with family and friends on facebook. Remember- In order to have friends, you have to be one!
- Visit or help someone in need. This will take your focus off yourself!
Don't forget... If you have a pet cat you need to spend time every day playing with it. I learned that this made both me and the cat happier. I found that playing with my cat promoted a feeling of bonding and connection—and of course my cat needed the attention, as would any pet. Television can also be a great pastime when you're home. I also like taking walks, reading, and writing.
I hope you have found something helpful in reading this article. Remember, it will take time to become confident. Be kind to yourself, and give it time.