Learning to Be Happy Alone

I struggle to have fun on my own. I’m capable, but as experiences are better when I’m with my fiancé, why bother? The answer is because I’m my own person and taking time to have enjoyable moments just with myself is a part of growing and healing as a whole person.

Codependency takes many different forms, some more destructive than others. Relying on another person to make you happy is no way to live sustainably. That becomes a weight that you place upon someone you love, rather than happiness remaining a byproduct, as it should be. 

I would beg my fiancé to go on walks with me. For the last three years I’ve considered myself a recovered agoraphobic but still, to walk outside alone causes severe anxiety. We go out together often but sometimes I’m in the mood for a stroll and they aren’t, which has always meant I’m staying home. I’m aware how annoying I can be when I pester and prod, this isn’t someone I wish to be. 

There was a time I’d spend hours walking, sitting or laying on park benches, roaming the city solo, and I was miserable. I was at the end of the line all the time, rock bottom, but these rituals kept me alive. I’d already begun developing some agoraphobic tendencies but circumstances included an unstable living situation and unmedicated bipolar mania (which sky rocketed my agoraphobia into shut-in status for years). 

Now, after much therapy, my anxiety disorders are better controlled and my inherent love for nature nurtured, I want to be out there in the world. I can run errands and go grocery shopping by myself if I spend half an hour with my cannabis vape and mentally run myself through the routine, and I’ll probably only have one panic attack.

It’s difficult to convince myself to go out for things that aren’t obviously necessary. I love going to parks, I adore looking around at all the new spring growth creeping through the dead plantlife of winter, and I deserve to be able to do these things with only my own company. My fiancé can’t always be there to babysit me or make me appreciate life— I have to learn to do it myself. 

Yesterday I went to the park alone. A quiet little nook of the city with no one around, I felt safe and secure though there was one person I wished was there who wasn’t. I brought some twine to do macrame and a joint to keep my mind present and I was happy. I haven’t been happy in my own company in years, not since my early days of spiritual gnosis. It was a revelation that I was capable of it.

We convince ourselves we’re unpleasant people inside because our internal voice can be cruel and deprecating. We decide we don’t want to be friends with ourself, we don’t want to keep our own company. Others are happy to enjoy their time with us, and we enjoy them, but should we find ourselves alone, there’s no one to protect us. 

We must protect ourselves from self abuse. We must befriend ourselves. It’s time for me to learn to be happy alone and I’m grateful for having a life where I’m not forced into this decision, but instead choose out of hope, growth, and love. I don’t need to be alone but still, I must learn to. 

This is the path for healing for myself.

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