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A&D: Loneliness vs being alone

Morning all,

“Spend time alone replenishing your spirit”

What a lovely quote.

So true. I love me some me time! Being engrossed in my box of creativity (a big white pretty box in my room full of cards and cuttings and pictures and buttons and things) and just cutting, sticking, making. Doing that, just being me, makes me happy.

Walking. Being around nature. The beach when I go home to Bournemouth. Ireland, oh Ireland! Just appreciating surroundings. The borough of Richmond Upon Thames- where I work. 😍👌🏻definitely spirit replenishing.

Alone time is so important. Struggling with A & D I probably didn’t make the easiest of flat mates back when I was flat sharing, (although personally I don’t think I asked for much, just space, please! ) – and the usual tidying and cleaning muck in. Luckily enough, I haven’t lived with many people. Although perhaps preferable to the unhealthy loneliness which differs from ‘spending time alone’ being left alone at 14 …(You hear of 16 being tough but kids do it, minus a couple of key developmental years and a suicide bereavement and hey presto = you get an adult with many a thing to work on… Sorry for the sarc but my therapist is pushing I really understand the severity of what happend).

When I first moved out I stayed with 2 girls, no problem really as they were friendly but left me to it and I had my boyfriend so spent some time at his and some there and it was nice enough. I was in familiar territory for 3 months before my move back to London for uni.

I stayed with my bro and a flatmate in London. Again, that was fine. Another joined. We all left together (bro naturally moved in with his partner though) as we thought our rent was increasing. Then things started to show. I won’t go into the ins and outs of it as I had a similar experience with my flatmate after that who’s actually a friend, but I just needed time alone. I’m sensitive to energy and negativity or even a need to engage in conversation all the time without being able to just, ‘be’, and it made me hibernate. Please, I request all not to assume that people diagnosed with A & D are negative moany people because I assure you, and those who know me, know. I wear an ear to ear smile, have a blooming awesome sense of humour (wink, wink haven’t you noticed 😉) and gratitude is my attitude – I for one am definitely not in that category and people may wrongly presume we all fall there. I don’t. My true friends and family know this. Because even when A&D appear they remind me that it’s not me,’just a separate part’ that will work hard against all that I am.

That’s the funny thing though. There’s me, the girl with A & D…who really struggles to be around bad en er gy (so rry – rhyming heaven, forgive me)…🙈

But there is a difference. And I don’t think they quite understood that or why I was doing my badger and hiding away but I do try and raise things with people and let them in. I’m pretty confident I could label myself that friend that pretty much everyone feels they can fully confide in because I pride myself in my ability to empathise with sensitivity and genuine compassion. So don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t hiding from people going through difficult times who needed me. Friendship needs to be mutual, though. And they weren’t accepting my need for mental safety in a place I called ‘home’.

It’s not the simplest of things to grasp. As A&D can be one of the most lonely isolating experiences I can’t even describe. It’s because it works in two ways. I can feel alone in A&D land because it’s so debilitatingly cut throat it convinces you you’re no longer part of the human existence because you’re not worth it. Sounds pretty hardcore? It’s true. That’s when I need my friends and family the most. And as I’ve been speaking out honestly with my diagnosis and condition, I’m pleased to say I’ve had much more of the right kind of support I need. People assure me I’m not alone. It’s the A&D talking and that it’s their voices and presence that are reality and will over shadow A&D’s attempt to take over.

Yet despite this lonely feeling in A&D, it’s vital I experience alone time/self care time -time replenishing my spirit, cleansing my palette (whatever you want to call it!) to rebalance. Naps, lie downs, relaxation. It’s all part of the parcel.

Luckily for me, living with my partner actually doesn’t eat into this time. Because he’s so accepting of me and let’s me do me and be me in my space I call home. He’ll respect it if I need actual space though. But personal space can come in many a form.

Lots of love, Abs x💙

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