Help Me to Feel Better About Being on My Own
December 12, 2011 10:32 AM Subscribe
How do I become more confident in my ability to be on my own again (and even enjoy it) after a devastating break-up?
posted by exploringoptimism to Human Relations (13 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I am a fairly accomplished woman in my mid-thirties. I have owned and operated my own Internet-based business for the past eleven years. I am a writer and poet, and I enjoy my hobbies. But my recent (2 months) departure from a serious four-year relationship with a man I wanted to marry has left me devastated and uncomfortable with being on my own. In the aftermath, I was left in my old hometown but without friends. (It was the kind of break-up where I needed to break up with our joint friends as well, and my work-at-home business and the amount of exhausting energy it took to maintain aforementioned relationship generally kept me from being able to devote the time to making friends of my own. Big mistake!)
Since the break-up, I have found myself having fears and anxieties and a general lack of feeling for how people are supposed to do this! We'd just rented a very large house in a not-so-great neighborhood, which I'm now rattling around in. I'm okay with this, as I've worked to make it my own and get along with the neighbors well enough. I installed a security system, so I feel a bit safer, but other anxieties remain. I have some minor to moderate health problems that sometimes lend themselves to panic attacks, and I seem to have this fear of becoming sick and there being no one to help me. This was compounded by a recent tooth extraction I had done, where I decided to drive out-of-state to my mother's so that I would not be alone during the procedure and recovery. But I can't anticipate and head home for every illness. I'm an adult, and feel that it's unreasonable to feel this level of anxiety about being on my own. I've lived alone plenty of times before in my life, but never in a town where I don't have easy access to family or friends. I'm also perfectly capable of changing light bulbs and furnace filters, and calling the landlord where necessary, so it's not so much about the mundane tasks.
I am working on making friends and have recently joined a poetry group that meets regularly, but of course, developing true friendships can take time. I realize that people in much worse scenarios and with far worse health issues are alone and seem to manage fine, so what can I do to help myself become more confident, feel more secure, self-sooth where necessary, and maybe even ENJOY the fact that I live on my own (and can, therefore, watch whatever I want on Netflix, in my ugliest pajamas, at three in the morning, if I so desire).
As an aside, I am really wanting to deal with this issue instead of just deciding to move to where I have family. My family lives in a small town where nothing much is happening, and I feel like this would really be a step back on my path in life toward developing a healthy mindset and growing as a human being. It would be easier to "give up" and move back to the familiar, but I want to try building a life for myself first--just one with a little less anxiety and visuals of someone finding me in my house with my face half-eaten by my cat!
Any suggestions, fellow Mefites?