My partner is currently on a hunting trip, a week in total Saturday to Saturday – which means that I’m almost half-way through his time away. I have to admit, that as much as I always think I want more time alone…… I always get a little bit tweaky when I have the house all to myself for more than a few hours.
Even though I lived on my own for many years, moved several times alone, bought my own home in a small town where I knew very few people, lived the life of a single woman for a solid six years between the age of 28 and 34 — and then continued in my own place until I was 36 when Brian and I moved in together — I feel like I’ve gotten a bit out of practice on this whole “alone” thing. Like it’s awesome because I get to watch all the episodes of Portlandia without feeling guilty — but then when I turn off the computer, the house gets *awfully* quiet.
Mostly what I notice is that I am responsible for filling up all the energetic space in the house – that when I get home from being out, no one has turned a light on for me, and it seems colder inside despite an automatic thermostat. This I remember from living on my own before – especially when I lived on the Sunshine Coast and came home after my long commutes. Also what I remember is how much time I spend in my head when there’s no one else around and how anxiety-invoking that can be. (I say *can* be, as I am finding that meditating these days helps me get out of my head quicker so my anxiety doesn’t have as much time to build).
A couple of years ago I mentioned this tendency to get anxious when Brian was out of town to my naturopath who suggested it is an indication of co-dependency in my relationship. But I’m not sure that’s it exactly….. I think more, when I am released from all the little daily interactions and on my own that I can hear my inner voice more clearly – same as how I have a much more pronounced startle response when I am meditating and an unexpected sound pops up. By which I mean to say – my base anxiety levels are very high, and Brian’s presence sometimes helps to mute those a little bit. Which is also to say – it’s not co-dependency in my relationship that needs the work, but this other mental health piece.
This isn’t exactly a revelation for me (I’ve been shopping around for a psychologist for a little while and I have someone I’m going to start seeing in the new year) but it is interesting to note the amplification of certain traits through the absence of my partner — and it reminds me how neurotic I could be in all the years I did live alone. It wasn’t that I lived an unhappy life at that time – but without someone to daily reflect and share with (someone who isn’t afraid to tell me when my perceptions of myself are distorted) – I tend to turn inward in a way that isn’t always positive.
On the plus side, I’ve had and still have activities with friends, family and academia scheduled for every day of Brian’s trip – because I do have lots going on right now – and I’m reminded of what a great and active life I have (and pretty much have always have). Whether on my own or not, I’m pretty good at making things for myself happen – so my life is never boring! Plus this weekend I managed to finish two two crochet pieces finished, did lots of school reading, and had much meditation in between the friendly visiting.
I feel really clear right now, for all this thinking about my negative inner voices — I think because now I can at least identify them as what they are…. something to be deal with….. rather than something to be listened to. It’s certainly a positive to have the quiet time to really hear myself and know that I am on the right path in untangling my life.