Thursday, May 3, 2012

Being Happy Alone

You'd think by now I'd know how to do this. In my almost twenty-nine years on this earth, I have spent by far more of my time uncoupled and alone than with someone. And yet...

During my last session with Doc, he talked about how everyone on this Earth has two basic fears. 1- Not being good enough & 2- dying alone.

Everyone fears being alone.

Everyone fears being alone.

Doc said I have a phobia of rejection. Unfortunately, I think he hit the nail on the head. Instead of the instant no, I draw out the situation and just never hear the yes. I settle for less because I fear the instant pain of rejection.

So what did Doc prescribe?


My current ongoing homework is to take twenty minutes every day (I skipped today because of work; bad patient), and use the time to make myself feel unhappy.

My session with Doc was on Tuesday, and I've automatically taken therapy days off since we've started. So when I got back home, I put my sleep clothes back on, crept into our basement, sat behind the bar, and made myself cry.

You would not believe how hard it was to make myself feel like shit for twenty minutes. I had to resort to saying some awful things to myself to keep my head there.

You're always going to be alone. None of them will ever know how much you feel for them, how much you love them. No one will ever love you as much as you love them. You will always be the friend, never the lover. You never had a chance with any of them. Why would anyone love you...

And on and on.

I cried and sobbed and silent screamed a lot, to the point that my throat hurt. I immediately wanted to self soothe. I found myself hugging my arms tight, pulling my knees in, and sometimes rocking. More often then not though, I leaned my head against the brick wall and let the tears slowly slip down.

At the end of the twenty minutes, however, was the second part of my assignment. For five minutes, I was to dance around silly and goofy as could be, preferably to a high energy song. I chose Black Eyed Peas - Party All The Time.

At first when I tried to dance, I just wanted to cry again. The urge was almost as strong as when I started the wallowing. But I made myself keep moving, made myself dance badly at first. And then I got into the song, got into the movement. I started smiling and swinging my hips. I flung my hair about. I acted silly. And just as Doc knew would happen, I felt better.

The point of the exercise: feeling pain, feeling rejection is not going to kill you. Pain is a part of life. The fear of rejection, the fear of being alone is something everyone has and everyone has to learn to deal with.  I can choose to be happy, even when I'm sad.

By taking the time everyday, he wants me to build up my tolerance and acceptance of pain like I would build a muscle. And, hopefully, one day I will no longer avoid rejection because of my fear of pain and instead accept the pain as a possibility I will be able to handle.

And now, to bring this post full circle.

I believe part of my acceptance of pain is also the idea of being happy alone. Andrea Zanin gave a wonderful presentation that I was able to attend called 10 Rules For Happy Non-Monogamy based off of a wildly popular blog post she wrote (link love given to the post and the homepage of her blog).  One of her rules was Be Happy Alone.

If I am truly to get over my phobia of rejection, I think I must be happy alone.

If I don't fear solitude, then surely rejection will be lighten.

If I am happy as I am, just being me, surely the idea that a person not wanting to be in my life would seem small, minuscule.

If I am happy by myself, then others not wanting to be with me is really their loss.

I think all of this will be a part of my Bravery for the year: actively working on my phobia of rejection and being happy alone.

Bring it on.

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