Sunday, September 26, 2010


...or agoraphobic?  Or both?

It seems that many people I know can't tell the difference between being alone and being lonely.  I love being alone.  I enjoy my company.  My thoughts entertain me. I don't feel lonely at all.   But it's as if people cannot believe such a thing possible and they think that someone like me is a.) hiding their feelings or putting on a brave face or whatever so nobody feels sorry for them, or 2.) claiming an anti-social stance in order to seem cool or interesting or mysterious or some other stupid something.

I think that people who can't understand the simple pleasure of being alone are people who don't enjoy being by themselves.  I often have friends or family who try to bond with me by saying, "Oh, I know how you feel.  I really like my alone-time.  It's great to get away from people!"  The friends and family members who say this more than likely are either in a relationship, living with a roommate or other relative, or they have children.  So, no.  I don't think they get it.  Wanting to be alone only because you are constantly surrounded by people is not the same.  These folks just want a break; I want the lifestyle.

My dad described me once as a social loner.  I love my friends and love spending time with them.  But at the end of the day, I have to be by myself.  I have to give the old Irish goodbye and shuffle off somewhere to pick my own brain.  The only way I can keep from hating everyone I know is to drastically limit the amount of face-time I have with them.

It's weird.  The weirdest thing is when I meet someone who I want to see all the time.  Talk about confusion...

I saw you today.


  1. It's not so weird. My whole family is like that. We need to be alone, sometimes for days at a time, and we live alone, Sort of by choice and by destiny. But, even in the old family-of-four days we tended to wander off to be by ourselves. There must be a gene for it.

  2. I definitely got used to living alone when I was at Wabash. I lived alone for three years (basically 3.5), and I loved it. So I really do understand, and I'm not TRYING to "bond," as you put it, even if it comes across that way in the rest of this comment. Heh. Anyway, even though I lived with you for a year – and now live with two other people – and was in a relationship for much of that time, I do enjoy my alone time, as you probably figured out, since we would go days and sometimes weeks without saying anything to each other. I felt bad, sometimes, like I was ignoring you, but reading this reinforces my gut feeling that you really just preferred it that way. I'm glad it worked out. That said, I do miss hanging out with you on occasion. We should get a few people and go for dinner or drinks or something one day/week soon.

  3. We never did have that Gettysburg trip, either!

  4. can you be occasionally agoraphobic? that's how I feel . . .
    is that like social loner?