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In one of my favourite novels, one of the main characters, a sixty-four-year-old woman, responds to the query from a woman in her late teens, as they talk about marriage and family and the older woman talks about her divorce: "Weren't you lonely." with "I was alone. But that's not the same as being lonely."
Does that resonate with you?
If so, what have you found to be the difference between being lonely and being alone?
What are some ways you've enjoyed being alone?
Even if you often find yourself with friends, family, or a partner, do you have special "alone" time? If so, what do you do during that time? What does having alone time, or not having it, mean to you?
-------------------- Robin Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011
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Sadly, I think it's also just as possible to feel lonely without being alone.
When in a relationship that doesn't feel right or in a social situation where you have to hide some part of yourself it draws such a thick line between you and the people round you that you really feel disconnected and lonely.
I think my best alone time is when I'm walking somewhere and taking more time to than I need to or painting or playing my guitar. It's so easy to feel dependent on other people as a source of self-worth that being able to make something for myself or to allow myself to take some time that isn't part of my daily chores or tasks, really allows me to value myself. Also that thinking space can really help me gain some perspective on my relationships with people and effectively feel closer to them in general. So that alone time can really even be part of the medicine against loneliness.
Some alone time has also been enough in the past to help me realise that something is up in one of the those difficult relationships or a social scenario which I should actually address in some way by changing those relationships or questioning the dynamics that were able to lead to such loneliness before.
Posts: 694 | From: Leeds UK | Registered: May 2011
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