When people are asked about their greatest fear they usually speak of spiders, snakes,
heights and anything alike but something most of us avoid even more then these things is
being alone.

It is only natural to crave human connection as we are all connected on a larger scale and
we came into this life already connected to our mother, however there’s more that we are
avoiding and fearing other then just lack of human connection and that is to truly be with our
own thoughts and emotions.

We do anything and everything to escape this from social media to drugs to staying in a
relationship we know isn’t right, all just to avoid what? Being alone.

 

All of us do it. Of course some to more extent then others. We just aren’t particularly aware or conscious of it.

 

Have you ever found yourself alone scrolling through Facebook and when you’ve exhausted
that you jump onto another social media platform and when you’ve exhausted that you go
back to Facebook?
You then find nothing new has come up on Facebook so you then go to
the extent of scrolling through all the random Facebook videos then catch yourself 2 hours
later realising how much time you’ve just wasted?


I know I have. And when I really looked into why.. I was avoiding being with myself.
Can you imagine being stranded on a small abandoned island on your own with no reception
therefore no calling, texting or internet and nothing else to do then be with yourself for a
week?
Scary right?
This is because most of us don’t actually know how to handle our thoughts or emotions if we
were to allow them to come up.

We were taught from a young age not only to not express yourself but worse, that we are
wrong to have these feelings.
 

Let’s consider these common conversations between a parent and child.


‘You shouldn’t cry, you’re ok’ when a child has scraped their knee or is overly tired.

‘Don’t act like that or you’ll be punished’ when a child stomps their feet because they don’t
want to leave the playground’

‘You have to wear a dress to the party’ when the child just wants to wear her favourite purple
pants.

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All of these things that may seem harmless to the parent at the time actually teach us from a
young age that our feelings, thoughts, wants and needs are invalid and eventually after time
we associate having these to pain and punishment and eventually begin to avoid them
and/or shut them out completely.


But I am here to tell you otherwise.


YOUR THOUGHTS ARE VALID
YOUR EMOTIONS ARE ALLOWED TO BE FELT
AND YOUR WANTS & NEEDS ARE IMPORTANT



And when you begin to acknowledge and accept this, well this is where the magic begins.


If you can relate to the above then it is likely you are carrying pain. What’s even more likely
that you are carrying pain is the fact that you’re a human being and part of our journey on
earth is to feel every emotion both good and bad.
Ignoring pain doesn’t make it go away but acknowledging it will certainly help you begin to
heal.
And although it may initially be challenging, scary and painful to sit with yourself and allow
the truth of who you truly are to unfold, just like riding a bike or driving a car, it becomes
easier and easier the more you do it.


And the trick is, that once you start digging and you come across something big, dark and
dangerous, keep going. Don’t turn back, keep going and eventually you will find gold.
And by gold I mean the best, most loving, most authentic relationship with the most
important person to have one with. Yourself.


As a Therapist, this is something I have practiced in my own life for a long time, however I
was inspired to write about this after taking 3 months off work during Maternity Leave.
I was inspired because this led to allot of forced time alone where I was able to have a
couple of life changing breakthroughs.

But for someone who isn’t yet familiar with how to handle their thoughts and emotions this
can go a very different way and result in conditions such as postnatal depression.
And that is only one scenario where people are forced to deal with time alone before they
may be ready.

Another common one is when you are injured and cannot work for a long period of time
which also commonly leads to falling into a depressed state.

That’s why I believe as much as it’s important to get out of the house, get some fresh air, be
with nature and surround yourself by people that make you feel good, loved and of course
connected, it is just as important to start connecting with yourself and overcome the fear of
being alone that most of us have, whether you are conscious of it or not.

 

Below is a simple and effective starting point when it comes to managing and releasing the emotions that may come up when you are with your own thoughts.


1. Lower your head and place your hand on your chest or stomach. Get in touch with the
emotion that you are feeling.

2. Welcome the emotion. This doesn’t mean you agree or forgive the emotion but just
embrace it and allow it to be there .

3. Ask yourself: “Could I let this go?” (yes/no - answer out loud, honestly)
Each time you answer the question breathe out and allow yourself to release some of the
emotion. It doesn’t actually matter if the answer is yes or no, you will still be releasing.

4. Check in with the emotion again and see if it has gone down

5. Repeat these steps until the emotion has been fully released.


If you resonated with this article, I hope you now see that you are not alone when it comes to
fearing being alone and there are ways in which you can not only overcome the fear but also
have a happy, healthy and loving relationship with yourself.

Written by: Chanel de King, Healer and Therapist at The Melbourne Centre of Healing.
Specialising in Addiction Rehabilitation and Mental Health Programs in Melbourne.