The Addiction to being Alone, A message to Current and Past Friends
The message to friends for people who are addicted to being alone.
So this isn’t going to be a sports post and I am seriously thinking about dropping the sports part from my blog name because it has pigeon-holed me into a spot that now if I want to write about a non-sports topic that I have to explain that it is not a sports topic and so on and so forth. I actually have a lot more going on in my brain than just sports and have a lot of deeper thoughts than who should go first overall in a fantasy draft such as addiction. Now, this is not another I know someone, or I am addicted to drugs. No, I am talking about an addiction that is mental, an addiction that people often don’t think about. Being Alone.
So believe it or not, I am not a very big people person. I am not a social butterfly, I prefer nights spent at home as opposed to nights spent out with other people. A good day to me is spending time with my son, girlfriend, and future stepdaughter. I say “step” but that’s only a technicality. But I still find myself in times of wanting to be alone. Even now on the weekends, after everyone goes to sleep, I will stay awake just so I can have some alone time and decompress (for lack of a better word). Sometimes I sit up and play on the PlayStation, or I will watch a movie, or I will type up another blog, and honestly, there are times where I will just sit there and listen to the silence. Being alone is therapeutic for me, and it is addicting for me.
Now let me be clear; I am not saying this is an addiction that is as tough, and problematic, and life-ruining as other addictions such as alcohol, meth, heroin, etc.. But it does have its moments where it can cause major problems, especially in a relationship. Now I have a girlfriend that I love very much, those of you that know me personally know who she is, and those of you that don’t know me personally, well just pretend her name is Sally. She has helped me in more ways than she will ever know. Long story short, was going through a divorce, went from seeing my kid every day to not seeing him every day and I was in the dumps big time. Then “Sally” ( I am calling her Sally because I don’t know if she wants all her business out there) anyways, an old friend from high school accepted my friend request on Facebook, and then the rest is history and is still writing itself. Now, I plan on marrying this woman and being with her for the rest of my life. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for this woman. I mean hell she puts up my mood swings, childlike sense of humor and my inability to cook anything except frozen pizzas and hamburger helper. But I still worry that one day my addiction will come in between us. That addiction is being alone.
See, it is one of those weird mind fucks that I don’t know how to get around, and it is not just with her, it is with anyone in general. I keep a very, very small circle of friends. These friends I love dearly. These friends I actually spend time with here and there. Now as we all know, the older you get the less friend time you have because we all have lives and responsibilities. But when we do get together, it is like we never missed a beat. Same old shit talk, and laughs. But I also find myself at the same time thinking in my head, “I am ready to go home”. I am very much a homebody. Even on the holidays, spending time with family, I didn’t want to go. I am addicted to being at home, and not dealing with anyone. Not saying her family is problematic, hell there are times I don’t even want to hang out with my family. It is not that I don’t love them, I just get somewhere with other people and then I just feel really uncomfortable. I get anxious, nervous, and all-around stressed out.
Now here is where it starts to get real honest. I consider being alone an addiction, and quite honestly, I am not even sure addiction is the word most people would use, but it is and I will explain how it is. And again, I am in no way saying it is worse than other addictions that we know, but can cause some of the same problems with the relationships of people.
You see for the longest time, I say for about 4 years, I was by myself. I was back and forth between living with my mom and dad and going to college. I would wake up, be in a house by myself, go to class, and them come back and sit in a bedroom by myself. Watch whatever I want on TV, play a video game, listen to music or a podcast, and so and so forth. I was on my own in a sense, in the fact that in my brain, I was alone. When I say alone I don’t mean the type of alone where I have no one, and no one to talk to, and no one to help me alone. But alone as independent and do whatever I want, when I want alone. I hope that makes sense, I at times have trouble putting thoughts in my head into words. Anyways I had gotten so used to being alone, not having anyone to deal with, not having anyone to consider when I wanted to do something, and then I met or was reacquainted with my now ex-wife.
I won’t go into full detail into our relationship has I have already done that somewhat in a previous post, and it may be a more detailed post for later on if I know what to say and if she is ok with it. But my wanting to be alone cause major issues for us. See unlike me, my ex “Lucy”, again if you know me you know her real name, she is as social as they come. She likes being around people and talking to people, having gatherings and talking to any and everyone. She is the type to have never met a stranger. Me on the other hand, I was and am the exact opposite, and it certainly caused issues in the marriage. Granted, her and I both agree that we should have never been married in the first place but my desire to be alone and not deal with anyone caused problems. On the weekends, friends would invite us to gatherings, or to go out to eat and whatnot and Lucy was all about going. Me on the other hand, I had no desire. Why? It wasn’t because I didn’t like these friends, or like the idea of going out to eat or anything. So I would just tell her to go without me, so I could be alone. Now I wasn’t actually alone when she would go without me, we had 2 sometimes 3 kids, but at the age they were, they would sit in their rooms and play, meanwhile, I would watch a movie or something and just stay to myself. Now before we all go jumping to conclusions, yes I fed the kids, and if they got hurt or in a fight or something I would handle it so no they weren’t neglected.
But in the end, and this is not the sole reason we ended up splitting but it honestly was a major factor. She wanted to go out and be with friends and hang out, meanwhile, I wanted to sit at home and do nothing. She wanted to be an adventurer ( for lack of a better term), and I wanted to be a homebody. Now she didn’t want to go out every weekend, maybe once or twice a month, but me being a self-admitted asshole, borderline douchebag, and selfish, never wanted to go out at all. I preferred sitting at the house, with my kids, and not doing anything. When I say sitting at home with my kids I mean, give them a toy and let them go play while at sit in my chair and do nothing. I never got out of the mentality of being alone, I never escaped the addiction of doing what I want, when I want, I never got out of the mentality of being an absent family member, or friend. I may as well have just been in jail where no one could see me or get in contact with me because when people called, I hit that reject button a lot.
So after the split, I had no way to get a place of my own, so I moved back in with my dad. Then it became weird that I was alone because I haven’t actually been alone in 5 years. I would get off work, come home, and go to my room and have no one. I would get home, shower, eat, watch TV, and sleep. The same old thing over and over. On the weekends, I would have my son, and I and he would hang out and cause some trouble, and do what best friends and father and son do. But as far as my personal life, I was alone. Again I hope that makes sense. It had gotten to a point where I was battling these demons of depression, and happiness. Depression during the week when my son was gone, and happiness on the weekends when I had my son.
But as time went on, I again, got into that feeling of being alone is amazing. I could get up and go anywhere and do anything, when and how I wanted. If I wanted to sit around and be a bum all day, then so be it. If I wanted to make a midnight run to Taco Bell, I could. If I wanted to eat frozen pizza every day I did it. If I wanted to kick back and play Madden all day, I did it, and I didn’t have anyone to tell me no I couldn’t, or anyone asking me if I wanted to go here, or there, or if I wanted to hang out with this person or that person. All that mattered to me was I was alone, happy, and most importantly, still have any visitation time I wanted my baby boy. So that was all I needed to get back in the groove of being happy alone. So now we fast forward to the amazing woman I have now.
Again, I won’t go into too much detail but so far so great. Pretty sure that she is the perfect woman for me. Now, that doesn’t mean we haven’t had issues, because like every couple we certainly have. But even still, I have this fear that being addicted to being alone will come in the way of us. Now I probably should tell her this straight up, as opposed to a blog, but it is easier for me this way, maybe that makes me a coward I don’t know. But anyway, she has been amazing as far as letting me have my alone time to sort of decompress. On the weekends, I stay up while everyone else goes to sleep, so she goes to bed by herself on the weekends. I get it, maybe that isn’t fair to her, but of course, I have told her why I do it and she is more than ok with it. She hasn’t complained about it or gotten mad about it. Maybe she does get mad about it but doesn’t say anything. Now when I am awake by myself, again all I do is sit around listen to a podcast ( True Crime Garage) has been the podcast lately, should definitely listen to it if you’re a true crime fan, but I digress. Then came the holidays, now I am not saying my family isn’t close or doesn’t have family gatherings, but we are not exactly hell-bent on meeting up on Christmas or thanksgiving. If we meet up we meet up, if we don’t we don’t. That’s just how it is. Plus, I again am a homebody and prefer to stay to myself and not meet up with anyone really. But the holidays rolled around this year, and we spent the holidays with her family. Her family is a trip to hang out with, their good people. But I was still the stick in the mud not wanting to go and just stay home. There was even a point where I told her to go without me so I could be alone all day and not have to deal with anything. That’s how bad it gets at times.
But there is a fear, that I won’t be able to break this cycle in my brain. There is a fear that my addiction to being a homebody will cause her to not want to be with me. I say that, but she is a bit of a homebody as well, so maybe it won’t, but she still has a desire to go somewhere from time to time and do something. And the selfish part in my brain knows that I won’t go unless it is a time where I feel like going. I know that makes me a horrible, selfish boyfriend in the fact that we both will go somewhere if I feel like it.
But how you break the cycle? Again, as I said when I go out and get around other people I get nervous, anxious, stressed, and even sort of feel claustrophobic if there is a lot of people inside a building. I can go to a football game, or a race with a lot of people in an outside setting and be fine. How do I break the cycle of being happy being alone? I get it, we all need our alone time, and everyone tries to find time to be alone, but they have a balance of alone time and social time. I know there are other people who are like me: don’t have many friends, the friends they do have they rarely see, they sit in the corner if they go to family gatherings at all, and feels stressed and anxious when they are around other people. They feel all around uncomfortable out in public.
There is nothing wrong with being an independent person, and a homebody. There is nothing wrong with it at all. But like other addictions, being alone causes loss of friends, family, and relationships. It puts a strain on the other people of your life. Eventually, they stop calling you when there is a hangout. Eventually, you stop getting invited. Eventually, they don’t even think about you anymore. Sure they talk to you when they see you in the store, but after that, you don’t hear from them unless you seem them again randomly. I personally have offended many people because of my no showing and turning down invites. Part of my brain, says “ it’s their fault for calling me knowing, I am not going to show up”, and then the other part of my brain says “I am sorry”. Part of me says “ I don’t need anyone”, while the other part of me says, “help me out”. If you know anyone like me, who has social issues, and feelings of anxiousness when around other people, and nervousness, yea there are times we put on a front, but we are trying. A lot of us, I especially have had the mentality of “ fuck them, I don’t want to do anything, they shouldn’t ask so much”, yea those are real and genuine thoughts at times, but at other times, there is something deeper to it. There is something building inside of us that is troubling and we don’t know how to channel it, other than being alone. Being alone allows us to decompress and not worry about it. It allows us to bury it and not stress over it. It allows us to forget and relax.
So is being alone an addiction? I absolutely think it is. Those of us that have the desire to be alone cause a lot of the same problems drug addicts have and the same characteristics. We are selfish and put our needs first. We do anything and say anything to be alone. We put being alone over the feelings of friends and family. We know constantly turning down invites functions hurts friends and family, but we do it anyway to be alone. Wanting to be alone and not go out causes relationships to end. After so many times of turning down invites, not going anywhere, not talking to people to feed our addiction, eventually, people give up on you, and then you are left with no one. On the outside you say fuck’em, on the inside you miss them and want them back. The high of being alone eventually becomes the depression. It eventually becomes the monster. It eventually becomes the darkness. It eventually becomes what you’re addicted to and can’t break, and then when the light comes, you still struggle. You try not to fall off the wagon, you try to change, but there is always that monster inside your head, that you can’t get rid of.
So how do we get around it? Find people who understand. Write about it, hell blog about it. Hope you get lucky as I did and find someone who is perfect for you and understands you and is willing to let you have your alone time yet also keep you in check. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be alone, as long as it is within reason. Yes, it is hard as hell to break the cycle of constantly being alone when you have been alone for so long. Yes, it is hard as hell to factor in other people’s feelings when for so long all you had to do is worry about yourself. But we have to be willing to open up more and be more honest to the friends, that quite honestly we have lost or are about to lose because of our desire to be alone. When I say open up, I mean explain to them, that you do not hate them, or dislike them, but that when you go out and are around other people, you get feelings of nervousness or anxiety. The real friends will understand, the ones who criticize and judge, well you kick their ass to the curb.
As far as my group of friends go, and they know who they are. I have turned down invite after invite after invite to parties or gatherings, I wish I could say I apologize, but I don’t. I have no desire to be at a party. But that being said, If I have ever made you feel like I didn’t like you or your friend or significant other, I apologize. It was never personal, and I don’t know if this whole long drown out explanation makes any sense to you, but it was always that desire to be alone, and selfishness on my part. I feel it is the only time I can breathe and fully relax is when I am alone (again like and addict, making excuses for my behavior) but rest assured, while I may never be the party goer and the guy to call to be the life of the party. I am here, and I am doing my best at being a little more social, and being a better friend. Hell I am even on medication now to make me less anxious and nervous. Just know, that the turned down invites, and rejected calls, and excuses were never because of you, it was because of me. It was because of my selfishness and my own addiction.
For those of you who are like me, you will understand this whole thing, you will understand the thought process and mentality of what I deal with. For those of you who aren’t like me but know someone who is, here is some advice for you. Don’t force anything. Don’t force invites or conversations, especially with new people to us. Be patient, and be understanding. We can have honest heart to heart talks, but make us aware that you and only you want to talk about it. Let us know you understand the desire to want to be alone, but also let us know it is not healthy to be alone all the time. We know these things, but having someone we trust reassures us and makes us more comfortable. I say us, this is just me speaking from my point of view.
So that is it for this long drawn out post, Until Next Time
Break the cycle