It's been nine weeks now. Nine weeks of living alone with my dog. Nine weeks since I have had any human touch. Nine weeks of emotions and realisations. Time to take stock.
1. I can be happy with my own company for long periods
I have never before spent so long isolated from real life human interaction, but it's been fine. In fact, my concern now is how will I adjust to 'normal' life and interaction with people when things change.
2. Seeing people being together can trigger feelings of loneliness and separation
Where I am living there are no neighbours. It is remote. For me, this is a benefit in this time of social distancing.
I thought it was seeing others together that I find challenging but I realise it's more about connection, and if they are happy to take time to have a conversation with me, and I feel seen and heard, that feels good. If that doesn't happen, then I feel separate and alone.
3. I can be pro-active and create what I need
I have been learning, over the past year whilst immersed in the world of Akimbo Workshops, that I don't have to wait for permission, or wait for someone else to do something that I think might be needed or a good idea. I can start it myself. I can test things out. I can experiment.
I've recently started a Coffee with Alison zoom call three days a week - inviting people to pop in for 15 minutes to start the day with a conversation and connection. Again, it's an experiment. It has been wonderful to connect with people I haven't seen in ages. But for some reason it's not popular on Mondays when I could really do with the boost of connection to kick start me into the week ahead. Here's a link to my calendar if you'd like to join me tomorrow or Friday this week (book yourself in and you'll get an email with the zoom details). I'd love to see you.
4. Being around people without the need to do anything is reassuringly connecting.
What I do miss is the easy companionship of being with others, without the need to do anything. Just being in the same house, sharing a meal together, saying good morning. No requirement to have a conversation, to be engaging or even to listen to them. Just being around others going about their day feels like an important ingredient that's missing from my life right now.
I do have contact with people on-line or on the phone but it involves being engaged and paying attention, and that takes a lot of energy. Sometimes the simplicity of just knowing there is another human nearby is reassuringly satisfying.
5. I am resourceful
Despite being alone I have managed to get on with a lot over the past 9 weeks. I have needed to be self motivated as the only structure I have is what I create for myself (and maybe Murdock has some influence too). Yet, every day I have got up, got dressed, cooked myself healthy food and got on with something. I've worked out how to do things that have needed doing. I have noticed just how capable I am. That feels good.
What have you noticed over the lock-down period, whatever your own particular circumstances? Do you crave isolation away from the people you've been living with? Or are you too living alone? What insight about yourself can you take forward into whatever happens next?