Solitude

Under synonyms on Dictionary.com:

1. retirement, privacy. Solitude, isolation refer to a state of being or living alone. Solitude emphasizes the quality of being or feeling lonely and deserted: to live in solitude. Isolation may mean merely a detachment and separation from others: to be put in isolation with an infectious disease. 2.loneliness. 3. desert, wilderness.

 http://www.dictionary.com/browse/solitude?s=t

Far be it from me to say that the brains over at dictionary.com are wrong, but I disagree with part of the highlighted text of the above statement. The part I agree with is yes, living in solitude can make a person feel lonely and deserted. I think that if you are living in a state of solitude, it will have an affect on your mind. A prime example is that TV show called “Alone”, where they drop people off in a wild, uninhabited place to fend for themselves without any human contact for as long as they can take it. Last one to tap out wins. How people cope with being in solitude and how long they can do that plus being in a hostile environment is a very interesting study in the human psyche.

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But, back to my point…

The part I disagree with is that just because you are solitude doesn’t mean you are lonely or feeling deserted. Especially for an introvert like me. I’m completely ok with being alone for relatively long periods of time, as in all day. I’ve stayed home with my son since he was born. Hubs goes to work and I am alone. As Son grew up, he went to school and I was alone for most of the day. I’m not saying I was isolated the entire time. I had friends and I came & went as I pleased. But there were a lot of days that I was completely alone with myself. There still are, and I’m ok with it. I don’t get lonely because of it. I don’t have a need (far from it) to be around people all the time, or even a quarter of the time. I’m happy with myself and I keep busy by myself. It seems that some people, apparently extroverts from what I’ve read, have a need to be around people most of the time. That’s cool too. I’m guessing that they are as uncomfortable being alone as I am with being in a group of people.

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What’s irritating to me is that the extroverts I know don’t seem to understand that I’m ok. They ask “How can you stay home alone for so long?” Like it’s an endurance challenge. They seem to think that there’s something wrong with me because I don’t want to be in crowds of people. I don’t get it. I don’t think something’s wrong with them because they DO want to be in crowds of people.

Now, I know that there are some mentally imbalanced people out there who they say were loners or introverts that cracked and went out and committed heinous crimes. Maybe that’s where the bias comes from. But the key words here are “mentally imbalanced”. Those people had problems way beyond being introverted. Just because someone doesn’t want to be in a crowd of people doesn’t mean they’re going to go shoot up the town. Introverts are perfectly healthy people. They just prefer a bit more solitude. We do socialize and function normally and can deal with crowds of people. It’s not like a freak-out session if we’re in a crowd. It’s just if we get to choose, we’d prefer not to. And I’m speaking purely for myself. I’m sure there are people who have more or less tolerance for groups than I do.

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My point is, solitude is not a bad thing. Being alone can cause you to realize that you are your best friend and that you should treat yourself as such. That maybe you shouldn’t be so critical of yourself and that you’re great just the way you are. I mean, who can you be more honest with than yourself? Why would you tell yourself you’re too fat, too ugly, too stupid, too anything negative? You wouldn’t say that to your best friend. Your best friend isn’t too fat, too ugly, too stupid, too anything negative, because they’re your best friend and you love them. How could you not afford that same respect and love for yourself?

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Well, anyway, this post has sort of meandered around. I guess I’m trying to say that I’ve been around for a number of years and in my journey through maturity I’ve been through some crap that I’d never dreamed of. I have people that love me but when it comes to making decisions about me, ultimately I’m the one I have to talk to the most to come up with the answers. I’ve learned that if I don’t care about myself, I’m more likely to make bad decisions. I still make mistakes, as does anyone. But if I care about myself as much as I care about the people that I love, they are less often and have less effect.

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