On Sunday I had decided that I was going to make a post on how to quit smoking and I wish I had gotten to it but life had different plans for me that day. And today I had planned a post about why I went vegetarian. Both great post ideas, if I may say so myself. But with recent events in my life I think a different post may not only benefit you but will really benefit me in my current state. I want to talk about something that may hit close to home for a lot of you. Being alone and/or lonely.
It became very clear it me in the last few days how little active friends I have in my life. When I say active friends I mean those who are there at a single text. The ones who know you well enough to read through the bullshit vague texts that you send them. In other words, best friends. I have friends. Don’t get me wrong. And they are amazing friends, but none that I have felt nearly as close to as my best friend who passed away in 2014. I have yet to find that since. And this realization came with train of other thoughts and emotions in the last few days. And then I realized, I was alone.
Now alone can sound terrifying, who in the world wants to be alone? Well the thing that you are missing is what alone really means. Alone can be amazing. Alone can give you peace of mind and time to work on yourself. Alone can be freeing because the only person there is you and why would you want to judge or hurt yourself. Alone can be what you need during an emotion filled week. We all need to be alone sometimes. However, the problem with alone is the sneaky little bastard that follows him, loneliness.
Both of these feeling and states hit very close to home to me. When I was 17 years old I picked up all my stuff, moved to a new state and walked into a new high school in the middle of a year. I was completely alone. But it was amazing. I felt free from all the problems and pain that I left behind and I loved to be alone. I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. It blew my mind. The problem is I stayed in that state much longer than I had intended, and then loneliness set in.
Loneliness comes with so many friends that it is hard to pull yourself out of it. My buddy came with emotional eating, lack of motivation, anxiety, and depression. You can understand why this scares me so much. The last thing I need in my current life is to have this asshole walk back into my life and destroy everything that I have been working for. And to be quite honest in the last couple of days he has been throwing punches like no other. He wants to live in my life, control everything that I do. He wants to pull me back to who I once was. And it can be so easy to let him. But you have to find a way to beat him. You throw harder punches and even give him the straight up silent treatment.
Yesterday he was winning. I sat in my house, barely even went to the gym, ate chocolate, and watched movies. I didn’t really move, I did everything I could to not think. I stopped living. And then it hit me what was happening. I saw myself laying there wasting a completely perfect day just to let my emotions go crazy. I let the realization that I had no one to come hug me set in so deep that I forgot I could hug myself. (Sounds weird but oddly helps.)
So what did I do? Am I still laying on the couch as I write this? Did I skip the gym this morning and eat ice cream for breakfast? Fuck no. I saw what was happening. I refused to let it continue on because I have been in that state for years, and every single day that you are in it, it is that much harder to get out of. So I woke up. I yanked myself out of bed, ate a damn good breakfast, and drove to the gym. I can see you now thinking, well that is easier said than done. And you are right. But let me share something with you that really helped me wake up. Mel Robbins said in a Ted Talks that in order to get what you want; you have to force yourself to do it. You will never actively want to do something out of your norm. You will never want to wake up early; you will never want to go to the gym to lose weight. You will never want to do it. So force yourself.
I watched that talk last night and it clicked. I was never going to want to get out of the house, I had to force it. I forced myself out of bed at 7am, I forced myself to go to the gym, and I forced myself to sit here at this coffee shop and write this all to you. And you know what? I feel fucking great. I am sure tonight will be hard, and I am not out of the woods yet, but I am trying. I am forcing myself to get out and do things I wouldn’t normally do, like go to a talk tonight about mindfulness and meditation. I am going to go hiking alone in a few days. I am going to work to meet new people because I am tried of being lonely.
It can be so easy to just wallow in self-pity and be sad and emotional. But you know what, it is just as easy to do something good for yourself you just have to force yourself to get there. Know that being alone is great but never let his asshole of a friend come along. Never let yourself stay lonely. Find someone or something to pull you out of it. My dog does a great job of that. Sitting in the sun at a crowded coffee shop does it for me too. It is hard to be lonely when you are so loved by an animal or surrounded by so many potential friends. So force yourself awake, and get out there!