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Dealing With Being Alone

Being alone is a new situation for many individuals. This is particularly true whether it is because of a sudden loss or even when we have made the decision to go it alone for some reason. It is natural that we should feel the need for some support and some help. There are a number of rules which should be followed to help in the coping process.

  • Do not reject all support which may be offered and do not shy away from asking for help when you feel you need it.

  • Talk to someone with a sympathetic ear at least once in a while during the initial healing process or the initial time alone. Being alone is not easy and we all need some support, some understanding of our circumstances. There are certain friends, and many individuals, groups, professionals who can listen and provide some perspective on your particular situation. Seek them out. This also includes talking on the phone with someone else who is experiencing the same situation although perhaps in a different way.

  • Allow yourself to let it out. Emotions will come to the surface and you must allow yourself to feel them. Bottling up your emotions, fears, feelings of loneliness will only add to the length of the healing or acclimatization process.

  • And very important - know and understand that letting out your feelings and experiencing the pain and the loss, the frustration, the anger, or the fear of being alone, or not being able to cope are all part of the healing process.

  • Keep yourself busy. Allowing yourself to be unoccupied makes it even more difficult to cope.

  • Arrange not to be alone all of the time. Aloneness tends to feed on itself.

  • Perform the processes of coping which means doing all of those things which you were in the habit of doing before: Reading, studying, working, doing a project, talking with friends, going to events, traveling, just getting out, pursuing a hobby, exercising, walking, etc.

  • Do things which force you to take care of yourself, to make yourself presentable both to yourself and to others. - like planning to go out, to go visit a friend, to go to an event or a movie, to eat out even if it is alone, or have coffee with a friend.

  • Go to places which interest you or previously interested you. You may feel that you are no longer attuned because of the circumstances, but it may be that the surroundings of a once enjoyed activity will help the healing process.

  • Join a group, or take a class, or become involved in planning and/or participating in an event. In other words, place yourself within an organized structure where you will be supported because you are helping the group by participating as an active member in fulfilling a purpose.

  • Place yourself in a position to be of help to someone or something. "The most helpful activity during the most painful season of loss is to reach out and help someone. Meeting their need becomes an instant source of healing in your need." Submitted by Gail Thomas

  • Establish routines which will involve the processes of keeping it all together: Cleaning the area in which you live, washing your clothes, buying and preparing meals, brushing your teeth - in other words - fulfilling the normal processes of life. The most important part is getting yourself to do it on a regular basis.

  • Create something. It does not matter what it is as long as it expresses some part of you. It is important that it not be a one-time thing although this can often develop into serialized one-time things or a full time activity. Some might say that it expresses our inner self – whether it is creating a papier-mâché something, writing a story or letters, choreographing a dance, expressing oneself on a blog, taking photographs. The important thing is that, whether or not someone else sees it, we are in a sense recreating ourselves and extending ourselves out and beyond into the world. It is an affirmation which provides strength to go through the process of grieving or of conquering our sense of aloneness, or getting used to a new situation.

    General things which often help during a time of loss or aloneness:

  • Make a list to things which should be done and set about reducing the list,

  • Talk to the loved one or to a significant other even if only in your mind.

  • Keep promises which were made to a significant other or to yourself

  • Do what the other would have wanted or would have approved.

  • Keep your own counsel???

  • Do things which will improve your life, or will make it easier or at least possible under the new circumstances.

  • Keep busy. It really does not matter what. Better if it is something that interests you but at times like this it is sometimes difficult to really get interested in something.

    © copyright 2008 J. Morgan Thomas All rights reserved


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