Being alone is often thought of as lonely, boring, or even a waste of time. I find this is especially true among addicts and alcoholics. If you're anything like I was, being alone is like hell. I thought being alone was for losers. I tried hard NOT to be alone. I surrounded myself with people, parties, drugs, and alcohol just so I didn't have to be alone.
I never realized at the time that I was doing this on purpose. It wasn't until I got sober that I realized I hated to be alone with myself. Being alone meant thinking about everything and I hated to let my mind wander. Alone time meant beating myself up, questioning my whole life, my existence, and constant anxiety about where my life was headed. It made sense that I chose to occupy my life with fake friends, nights out at the club, and literally anything else that would keep my body and my mind busy. I couldn't figure out why there were people who actually enjoyed being alone, staying in on the weekends, or even -- gasp -- people who quiet their minds on purpose.. also known as meditation.
Today, the noise in my head has finally been silenced and I have sobriety to thank for that. I have given in to self love and enjoy my own company. I finally love my alone time, in fact I cherish it and I need it. I also meditate! Imagine that. Everyone can benefit from alone time and here are some reasons why.
1. You get to know yourself better. You don't have to please the people around you, so doing the things you want to do is top priority.
2. Alone time gives you time to plan your life and think about achieving your dreams. I like to make lists and write out calendars during my alone time.
3. Sweet serenity. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually love the sound of peace and quiet. No one talking to me, bothering me, or asking me questions, just me, myself, and I.
4. You are more productive. This is so true for me. I am calm and centered and it's much easier for me to concentrate when I'm alone.
5. You'll start to like yourself. Now that I'm sober, I am actually someone I want to be around, as crazy as that sounds. Being alone is enjoyable for that reason.
6. You can get in touch with your soul. Spirituality is something I've learned by spending time alone. Meditating, relaxing the mind, and being one with myself is something I never thought I'd be doing two years ago, but here I am.
7. Taking a moment to pause prepares you for other stressful situations. I now have a chance to reflect before making snap decisions. I ponder decisions and thoughts when I have a moment alone, and this helps me throughout the rest of my day.
8. Rest. Giving your body and mind a true resting period is therapeutic and good for your health. Take that extra power nap, you deserve it.
9. You don't just have to rest and relax to be alone. You can also pamper yourself, attend an event alone, or take yourself on a date.
10. Cherish the moment. As I'm approaching 30, I realize that these moments alone will become fewer and farther in between. In the coming years I'll have children and they will inevitably be screaming "Mommy" 24/7. I don't take the minutes and hours I have now for granted, because I know they won't last forever.
Even if you are busy, have kids, or your home and work lives are crazy, it's imperative to find some time to slow down and get back to yourself. I find it has been an integral part of my life as a sober human being, despite it being something I never wanted to do in the past. I'm so grateful sobriety has helped me achieve self love, self esteem, and the ability to get in touch with myself. This weekend... pencil in a date on your calendar... with yourself!
This post originally appeared on The Adventures of a Sober Señorita.