I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

All By Myself


I spend a lot of time on my own without ever truly being alone. I mean, I’m at my cafe all day by myself, but there’s windows everywhere and customers coming and going and occasionally a friend or fab-regular will stop by and we’ll chat, but for the most part? It’s just moi. It can be trying and tiring and difficult. I spend a lot of time in my own head, ya know? This has helped me with a lot of self-work and processing events in my life, but it also makes me feel starved for attention. I hate that! Now that my husband has taken up fishing, I’m finding myself with more evenings alone than I know what to do with (sort of).

Some people are simply better adjusted or accustomed to being on their own for stretches of time. Some people actually prefer their own company to anyone else’s. While I respect that, I just can’t figure it out for me in my life. Sure, I have hobbies and interests and such, but when I’m home with the dog and cat and it’s only a few hours before my husband comes home from the ponds? I feel at a loss for what to do with myself. You can only masturbate so much (ha-ha! once is always enough for me)! But seriously? I lose track of normalcy and even what it is I want to do or need to even.

The truth is I’ve never fully been on my own. I’ve never lived alone. When I wasn’t living with an abusive boyfriend, I was living in a tiny apartment with four roommates. Before that I was living with my family. I remember times when I had roommates that I would come home from work and just fall into deep spells of crying. I was depressed, surely, but it never occurred to me to do anything else. Yes, I had a social life at the time, but sometimes I wouldn’t head straight out to Steph’s or parties or dates or whatever. Or there would be a lag in time before things got rolling. I guess, well, I never have been on my own long enough to get used to it.

When I was in that horrible abusive relationship for five years (ages 14-19), I had nothing to call my own. No possession or space or anything. I was the possession. The only refuge I had that had become my sanctuary, so to speak, was the bathroom. He would rarely bother me if I was in the bathroom, no matter how long. Weather it was in the morning for my daily ablutions or make-up applications or long luxurious baths with my boom box (Madonna’s “Erotica” album at the time) and about ten to fifteen candles. I would escape into my mind to escape the horrors of my reality if only for a few minutes to an hour.

I find that when I’m in a panic, I still run to the restroom! When I need to cry or just breathe for a few moments, I’ll pop into the bathroom for the serenity of what that space has been to me in the past. When my husband and I went to Maui, Hawaii, we spent more time in the bathroom than the room of our hotel itself. Ha-ha! It was glorious though! I didn’t even bother with the large oval luxury tub (but he did). When I talk about owning a home one day, the kitchen is the first thing I’ll go on and on about. But that’s because in my mind the bathroom re-do will be almost exactly like that one in Hana, Maui! Paradise! (No, nothing cheesy like floral prints or anything, it was quite understated, honestly.)

I wonder how one does adjust to being on their own. Is there a ritual or routine I could develop for myself to sooth or make it easier? What’s helped you? The most time I’ve spent on my own was probably on business trips or when I went to coffee school (yes, there is such a thing). Luckily for me most of this time and those trips were in Portland, Oregon. That is a fantastic city to be on your own in. I never felt uncomfortable. People would talk easily to/with me. I would go to music stores (physical store chi’ren, not like the iTunes store) and chat with people there. Or I’d eat at the bar at Gustav’s (OMZ! German food! *drools* and blackberry margaritas!) and the bartender would always be chill about it. Even in the evenings when I’d walk (ahem, or stumble) back to my hotel from Gustav’s I’d have a romantically lingering cigarette or two (I quit and now suddenly have cravings again after so many years) and gaze up at the stars and sort of daydream, but at night.

Up there though I actually loved to wander. Weather on foot or in my rental car (gotta love a good rental) and just try to get a tad lost. The last time I was up there my hotel was right on the water and there were all of these little shops and cafes along the shoreline. It was snowing, but I’d still walk along until I was too cold to keep going. Perhaps I was trying to avoid being alone in my room? Hmm. That could be true, actually. And of course all of this was before my fear of germs grew to what it is now which is: Hotels? Ack! Germs! No!

I imagine that with every passing year I should get more accustomed to time on my own. What if I suddenly didn’t have a husband? (For whatever reason, let’s not get morbid.) Or we needed to move out of town for some random reason? What the hell would I do? I get worse later at night. After 10 pm? Any sound at all is to me someone trying to break-in and rob/rape/kill me. Always! It’s irrational, I know. But it pops into my mind without my wanting it to. I should be more comforted by the fact that we live upstairs now, but I’m not. Seems easier in my mind to keep me from escaping with only one exit/stairwell. Or maybe I watch too many horror films. Ha-ha!

I know that none of this is fat related. I do think that it is more difficult to be on your own in public while fat. It’s probably why I rely heavily on my stink-eye look or fuck you glare when I truly don’t want to engage in conversation with anyone (or be seen as vulnerable). It’s why I absolutely hate walking the dog on my own at night (I pretty much won’t do it now, unless my husband is with me). I feel as though I’d be such an easy target for harassment or worse. This pisses me off to no end and that sucks because I should be able to enjoy such things. But we can’t always control our minds, let alone the environment around us. And so I seek refuge in restrooms because most people wouldn’t want to intrude upon whatever it is you/I might be doing in there.

So what can I do to work on this?

26 Comments to

“All By Myself”

  1. On May 26th, 2011 at 9:09 am erylin Says:

    i really dont know how to help you with this. i really dont know how to be on my own. i mean as i sit here i am physically alone…..but i have a tv on tuned to tivoed talk shows for human sound and distraction…and i have talked to about 12 people on face book and other online forums today…so is that even really alone. even without the wonders of the modern day i real when i am alone…..

    growing up i was never the most popular…i would cry and cry that i was alone. i would hang out with people i thought below me…people i thought were stupider than me….or uglier than me…or mean…ect ect becaues i would rather put up with their friendship than be alone. In college i surrounded myself with people that used me for my house…my money….sometimes my body….but it was better than being alone.

    Finding my fiancee and realizing that he likes me as much as i like him has been eye opening. its odd to have someone that i really like actually like me back. and having that love that friendship is sort of helping with the alone thing… because i am alone not because i am forced too if that makes any sense…. he even seems to like my hyperactiveity

    i guess that is why i like yoga…i do it alone…sometimes to a tape but as i feel more comfortable i do it as i need to alone and silent….its helping me with my fear of silence, of loneliness. its an active sort of meditation.

  2. On May 26th, 2011 at 9:17 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this with me. When you said that you do yoga to help with your fear of silence? Whoa! That rung my bell! I freak out when it’s too quiet, no matter where I am. I get fidgety and spazzy and must turn on music or sing or whistle or something!!! I have tried yoga, but don’t care for the format of most tapes and classes generally aren’t my thing. Never been to a fat-yoga class, but mostly because I’m broke. But you made a great point about it being voluntary. About having someone like you for you? Yeah, I’m with you on this, too. And sometimes talking with friends online can be just as good as in person. There are people I chat with on FB that soothe and heal me. Other times? Not so much. Ha-ha! Thank you again, you’re brought a lot of stuff up for me I hadn’t addressed. Woo! =0)

  3. On May 26th, 2011 at 10:24 am Ashley Says:

    So, my husband works out of town three days a week, so he is gone every week from Monday night to Thursday night. (And yeah, that kinda sucks.) I can’t STAND just sitting at home alone after work and if I do, I literally sit in front of the TV all night long. The only solution for me was planning regular activities where I would always have stuff to do. So now I have running club on Monday night, volunteering on Tuesday, and dog play group on Wednesday. I realize it might have been a little excessive to sign up for stuff every single night he’s gone, but I’m a really social person and I enjoy it. Plus, we are new in our city, so it gives me avenues besides work to meet people and make new friends too. So maybe you could sign up for a class or something to occupy a night or two of the week? It’s really helped me a lot.

  4. On May 26th, 2011 at 10:25 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Those are fab suggestions! Thank you!

  5. On May 26th, 2011 at 10:39 am Twistie Says:

    It’s a good thing you’re getting such great advice and solidarity from others, because I have to admit I’m absolutely feline. I want attention and affection when I want it on my terms… and then I vant to be alooone.

    I had the opposite problem when my brother was living with us. He couldn’t do quiet and he was always in. I got used to turning the TV on the moment I got up in the morning and leaving it on until my brother went to bed so that I could drown out at least a little, tiny bit of his constant humming, whistling, rapping out what he thought of as rythyms, etc. upstairs. Alas! it didn’t work when he came down for one of his three dozen cups of tea per day and insisted on talking at me about whatever interested him no matter what I was doing. I have never in my life felt both so trapped by and so unwelcome in my own home.

    Now I wake up and still usually turn on the TV from force of habit… but at least if I find there’s nothing on that interests me I am no longer afraid to turn it off. In fact, I’m sitting here in silence right now wondering if I want to put on an album or if I want to see if I can go further into my own brain and write something cool. Or, indeed, if I want to turn off the computer, go to the grocery store and see what wonders I can find for dinner.

    Then again, I may just sit down with a cookbook or two and start planning out my celebratory dinner for when my new stove appears.

    Can you tell I’m looking forward to long hours alone with my new gas stove? And not in a Sylvia Plath way!

  6. On May 26th, 2011 at 10:44 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh! I hadn’t even considered you wanting to go the Sylvia Plath route. And thank the stars for that! I don’t blame you one bit for being head over heels about your new stove, I would be as well.
    Yes, what you described about your bro is a lot like my roommate situation. They were geeky stoners, which I didn’t mind at all. But then it turned into meth-heads and I just couldn’t take it. I took every excuse to not be home ever! When they got us evicted (I don’t even know for what specific thing) I was relieved!

  7. On May 26th, 2011 at 10:40 am Rachel Says:

    I definitely haven’t figured it out, but last night I actually found myself enjoying the alone time. I did a little organizing, a little decorating, rescued a painting of trees with an awesome handmade wooden frame from a box by our apartment’s trash bin…if my dude had been home, he would have had a say because, well, he’s pretty opinionated (but then, so am I). I like to use the time to indulge in things he doesn’t like or can’t have (girly movies and Ben & Jerrys-ice cream is L’s achilles heel).
    And it is a lot easier to strike up conversations with strangers here. I appreciate that….

  8. On May 26th, 2011 at 10:45 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh man, yes to the girly movies. Last night I watched 3 episode of My So Called Life and I’m soooo into it now. But I know he’d hate it. Ha-ha! And since yesterday was day 2 of my period? Well, many things were eaten in the name of comfort and craving! I’d love to hear about your songwriting process…and some songs from you! <3

  9. On May 26th, 2011 at 10:47 am erylin Says:

    ugh tweakers suck

  10. On May 26th, 2011 at 10:49 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh yes, they do! But you know, the one who offered to let me stay in his apartment, he saved my life! I want to thank him but can’t find him online anywhere. I have no doubt that he’s cleaned up by now. He was going through a divorce (he was 18!) and had never been alone either. We were great friends for awhile until the other guys moved in with the drugs and shit. So what can ya do? I could never harbor bad feelings towards him. <3

  11. On May 26th, 2011 at 11:21 am Rachel Says:

    I love netflix instant watch! (Since I’m guessing that’s what you use…) And period solidarity….day 3 here! First period since I went back on the pill, ugh…

  12. On May 26th, 2011 at 11:22 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Dude, are we, like, synched up? Day 3 for me today. Bah! Roast beef sandwich is in order this afternoon. Long day ahead and all. Yes, instant watch is the shizz!

  13. On May 26th, 2011 at 11:42 am Patsy Nevins Says:

    I have trouble with being alone too much. I always like to have people around me & I need to be needed, it seems, & I thrive on having someone to take care of. I had some tough adjustments when my younger son & a couple of his friends who lived with us for awhile finally left home & I depended a lot (still do to an extent) on people I met on the street while I go out walking & contacts on the Net. I became a grandmother & for about 4 years now, I have cared for my granddaughter while her parents work, & the adjustment when she starts school will be a big one. I guess a good part of it is that my abusive parents raised me to think I need to be ‘good for something’, useful, taking care of people, giving, or I am unworthy. I guess we all have to find our own way, one day at a time.

  14. On May 26th, 2011 at 11:52 am Not Blue at All Says:

    “a good part of it is that my abusive parents raised me to think I need to be ‘good for something’”
    That’s one way to look at it. For me, similar message received as a kid, I always feel the need to prove myself. And to provide for others. It is what makes being at the cafe all day with no pay to bring home so hard.
    Do you do anything to help yourself get through when you know you’ll be alone?
    Thank you so much for sharing your story here.

  15. On May 26th, 2011 at 1:44 pm catgal Says:

    I was an only child until I was 8. I spent a lot of time on my own. I considered myself lonely. I always have like one really good friend that I am with a lot (today that is my husband), I was never good in groups. I am much better in a one on one situation. My husband is a people magnet and has friends all over the world, and a large group here at home that he has knows since high school that I had to learn how to fit into. I don’t think I ever truly achieved that. I do like to be alone sometimes. When my husband goes on business trips, I would consider myself a “single girl” and go to the supermarket and pick up frozen pizza, chips and dip, and ice cream. Then I would spen the few nights watching movies or TV shows that my husband doesn’t like and eat “single girl food”.

    I think you should start with baby steps. You mentioned a lot of things in your original post that you liked to do on your own when on trips. Try to do some of these things in your own home town, or the next town over…

  16. On May 26th, 2011 at 2:29 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Ohmigosh! You’re so smart! I did mention those things and then wonder what I should do with myself at home. Duh-me! Ha-ha! Thank you!

  17. On May 26th, 2011 at 7:05 pm E Says:

    I actually love being alone, which may explain why I haven’t had many romantic relationships–I’d rather be alone unless I REALLY like someone. However, when I’ve been in a relationship and was spending a lot of time with the other person, longer stretches of time alone were definitely not as naturally fun as they are when I’m single and used to it, so I can see how it might be difficult for you. One thing I tended to do during transition times when I wasn’t as used to the quiet was that I’d play podcasts or just keep the tv on in the background while I did other things, just for the talking voices of other humans. If you venture out of the house, a nice evening trip is to a bookstore, because it’s fun and keeps your interest, but also because you get to see other people who are “alone” doing something on their own. It makes solitary activities seem more normal. Another idea (if you’re interested in it, of course) is some sort of craft or knitting, because I find that keeping your hands busy seems to keep you from being too bored or unsure what to do with yourself…maybe even learning to play an instrument? I thought yoga was a really good idea too.

  18. On May 27th, 2011 at 8:28 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thanks. I do crochet, but only in the winter (too hot otherwise). But I love the bookstore idea. Why do I never do that on my own? Hmm…All great stuff. Thank you!

  19. On May 26th, 2011 at 8:55 pm E. Ai B. Says:

    When I was younger, dad used to tease me about how he thought there was no way I could ever live alone (it was something a great deal of married and older women tell young girls to do here) but he was right. I don’t do it well. Having children is a lot of work, but there is always something going on, something to do, someone to talk with. There’s a comfort in that for me. lol. But if I got a handful of hours to myself…I would….
    1.) go for a walk. I might make a fitness sort of thing out of it (not for WL, just for physical strength) walking is one of those things I can either do mindfully or mindlessly. And I usually run into someone to talk to along the way.
    2.) Decorate/design/upkeep of the house
    3.)write or other hobby
    4.) read library books
    5.) take a class somewhere, anywhere. Or teach myself how to do something I’m clueless at…

    That’s just my list. lol. I think that kind of “me” time can be a gateway to a lot of things…

  20. On May 27th, 2011 at 8:29 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Great suggestions! Thank you!

  21. On May 27th, 2011 at 4:21 am Veronica Says:

    I really wish I could help you with this, because I really do believe it’s good for us humans to be alone every once in a while, but I have just always been very comfortable in my own company. It does seem to me that, at least part of it, is that you’re afraid when you’re alone. Somehow working through this fear seems to me like the only way you’ll ever be completely comfortable with being alone.

  22. On May 27th, 2011 at 8:33 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Nail on the head, my dear! I still have lingering PTSD symptoms and I am working on them. I think being alone triggers a lot of those old fears for me, too. I will have to see if the library has anything on the subject that might help me out. I certainly can’t afford therapy or I’d have been in it for ages by now. Ha-ha! Oh well. Thank you so much. You’ve made me realize that it’s not just being alone that is the problem. =0)

  23. On May 28th, 2011 at 12:33 am Kath Says:

    I’m really happy to spend time on my own. That doesn’t mean I don’t love company, and there aren’t times where I really need company, but mostly, I’m really happy in my own little corner, with my own company. I think it’s because I’m never bored. In fact I don’t have enough hours in the day to do all the bits and bobs that I want to do. Finding peace with my own company is one of the best things I’ve ever learned – mostly because it makes me truly self sufficient. Especially as a single woman.

    I guess the best thing to do is fill your time with things that make the time disappear. Then you don’t have time to let your head get into weird space.

  24. On May 28th, 2011 at 8:45 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thanks, Kath. I think you’re right. I admire your self sufficiency.

  25. On May 29th, 2011 at 12:39 am Veronica Says:

    I’m so glad! Good luck in the library, it’s always come through for me:=)

  26. On May 29th, 2011 at 8:52 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thanks, will do. =0)

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