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Ideas for a couple of months of "me" time for someone uncomfortable with that

(35 Posts)
Betty89 Thu 17-Sep-15 16:27:19


As a bit of background, I have some issues being an over-achiever, after a difficult childhood that might belong in the stately homes thread and have always felt subtly not good enough and like I have to be the best and prove myself.

I have some serious intimacy issues after a breakup a few years ago that really left me too scared to get close to anyone since. I haven't enjoyed living alone and got a flatmate who's just left so I'm lonely and not enjoying the quiet.

I throw myself into work and social events but am lonely and don;t really have anyone at all I am close to.

Due to curcumstances, I find myself with a couple of months off work and a bit of money and freedom and wanted to try and make this a turning point where I started to love myself a bit, be happier being alone and maybe get myself into a place where I might be ready to love someone again.

Does anyone have any idead of maybe some things that are really positive about living alone, or some fun experiences or challenges I could set for myself to maybe try and enjoy life a bit more instead of just working and existing? I never really relax and am always busy with some project or another but feel life is pasing me by and I am hiding from it.

Ideally what I want is a loving relationship, but don't feel ready because I am scared of being hurt again.


Lonecatwithkitten Thu 17-Sep-15 16:31:38

I would do what Elizabeth Gilbert did somewhere soaking up culture, somewhere peaceful and somewhere for fun.??After my divorce I definitely had to learn to love myself and enjoy my own company.

ToGoBoldly Thu 17-Sep-15 16:37:41

I don't have many suggestions but what you say chimes with how I feel.

I like the suggestion from Lonecat. If I had a chunk of time off (and a chunk of money, natch) I'd bugger off for a bit and do a course, completely unrelated to my day to day life. Either some sort of sport, language or cookery or something. I get a bit aimless if I don't have structure. But aimless can be good.

Betty89 Thu 17-Sep-15 16:48:01

Have to say, as I ommitted this from the OP, that travelling has been the one thing I have done since the separtation...but always alone, always sightseeing, always up to something and what I never do is just relax and feel comfy at home, or feel able to get intimate with friends and people.

I really wanted to do some stuff that would make me feel a bit more confident, bit more connected to people and maybe always find ways to put past pain to bed finally and start living again.

ChilliMum Thu 17-Sep-15 16:49:36

Yoga retreat, climb a mountain, volunteer holiday? All good if you are travelling alone.
for a more immediate start fill a jar in the kitchen with bits of coloured paper time coded eg white a few hours, green all day. Write on different activities eg visit a museum, see a movie, call a friend. Take one a day and do it.
you have an amazing opportunity that once your life is up and running again you probably won't have time for. Enjoy op and best of luck.

antimatter Thu 17-Sep-15 16:51:47

I would volunteer abroad for cause you feel passionate about.
To have chance to get into the spirit of the place and ideas behind charity I would support.

AnotherEmma Thu 17-Sep-15 16:54:52

How about going on a trip which involves being with other people? eg volunteering on a project as part of a team, or going on a language course in the country?

If you want to relax and meet people at home, you could also try volunteering or a new hobby. If you don't enjoy living alone why not find a new flatmate or a house share?

AnotherEmma Thu 17-Sep-15 16:56:19

Also having re-read your OP, I think what you really need is some good counselling.

ISingSoprano Thu 17-Sep-15 16:58:12

Do you invite friends to your home? Having friends see you in your own space, cooking them a meal is a good way to build closeness.

Do you do any crafts - could you learn to sew or knit or cook (see above grin ) - which you can do at home alone. Even just doing a jigsaw puzzle. Just to be on your own in your own home and start to enjoy your own quiet company.

ToGoBoldly Thu 17-Sep-15 17:00:19

I hear what you are saying OP. I like seeing new places but there is only so much trundling around beautiful cities or taking photos of beautiful scenery that you can do on your own, without having someone to share with. Travelling is nice but a distraction.

What about some volunteering closer to home? Or a course? Do you have a budget?

ToGoBoldly Thu 17-Sep-15 17:02:52

I have a lot of time leave left this year (not a luxurious two months though), and don't really fancy a solo holiday so I'm planning to do a big clean and maybe some redecorating. Maybe you could do something like that for a week or so, if you have your own place, spend a little bit of time changing it up, make it exactly how you like it. Change your environment a bit to make it more comfortable for you and clear some negative memories out with a lick of paint?

It wouldn't solve the problem of company but it's something positive to do for a little bit of time. Or maybe you could get a chatty decorator in to help you!

Betty89 Thu 17-Sep-15 17:02:59

These are all great ideas!

I know I need counselling...small steps though smile

I think as you said ToGoBoldy the problem with all my activities, such as travelling, is that they have been distractions.

Chcuking myself into work, long adventure holidays and outdoor pursuits and I spend time with people but often no intimacy and can't seem to just "stand still" because whenever I do I just remmeber how alone I am.

antimatter Thu 17-Sep-15 17:05:39

If you are keeping yourself to yourself then this will be the same in any setting.

I think that the poster who mentioned counselling first nailed it.

Cabrinha Thu 17-Sep-15 17:07:44

Forgive the armchair psychology here, but here you are with a space in your life, and straight away you're trying to fill it. You can't run from yourself.

I would suggest using the initial time for counselling, and maybe learning meditation. I was saying to a friend recently that meditation isn't for me, I can never really get into it. And she said that was exactly why it should be for me grin

So... intensive counselling (I'm no expert on that so don't know if there's a limit to how intensive is helpful) alongside learning to meditate. And also, I'd set aside a week to force myself to be at home alone. Like a flooding therapy! Realise that you can do it.

But with a good chunk of time, I'd definitely look into a volunteer placement. It's definitely also an achievement /project type thing... But would hopefully be more social than travelling.

ToGoBoldly Thu 17-Sep-15 17:09:09

I'm having counselling at the moment and talking about these very feelings of being alone and lonely and isolated (I started a thread about it a couple of horus ago, actually). It's really hard. I know how you feel.

I've tried all sorts of activities and volunteering, and am quite well travelled but I never bond with people. It's all very temporary and transient.

Cabrinha Thu 17-Sep-15 17:10:35

Sorry - I meant to also say - good luck! grin

But also... it's not a bad thing, being someone who doesn't stay still (well I hope it isn't blush)
Fine, if you think you're avoiding being alone or intimacy then you need to work on that.
But be careful not to undersell (to yourself) a fab part of you!

museumum Thu 17-Sep-15 17:12:20

I think you need to go on a silent or quiet meditative retreat... for a while, then come back and just 'be' at home for a while. doing nothing in particular. at least nothing planned.
start with a week or two at somewhere like Samye Ling

Cabrinha Thu 17-Sep-15 17:12:59

Finally, I'm going to be a bit tough...
You know you need counselling, "small steps though".

No. Big steps. Put on your big girl pants and get a counsellor booked. Stop (here comes the tough love grin) fucking around and do it.

Peniston Thu 17-Sep-15 17:16:09

I second volunteering, but rather than abroad how about in your local community to do something worthwhile in your neighbourhood and expand your social circle. Try to search for opportunities. There are so many options. Good luck!

purplemeggie Thu 17-Sep-15 17:16:48

After my divorce, I learned new fun things - like flying a glider and lots and lots of diving - partly because these are activities that you do with other people - and which require cooperation with other people - and when you live alone, you can get a bit too introspective.

And on the other end of the spectrum, I love yoga for sorting out my head, mind, body. With time and some money to spend, you could have lovely 1:1 yoga sessions, if you felt so inclined...

ToGoBoldly Thu 17-Sep-15 17:18:45

Yes Cabrinha is right, get the ball rolling with counselling. You'll probably have to wait a while anyway, I had to wait a few months even though I went private. But it might be easier to get started if you have a chunk of time when you can be flexible.

fearandloathinginambridge Thu 17-Sep-15 17:47:42

I would love two months off for me time. I would do yoga in the morning, have at least one massage or similar hands on treatment a week, potter round the shops locally and travel to larger towns/cities for a day out, go to matinee theatre or cinema, enrol in a basic dressmaking class I have had my eye on. There is also a week long cookery school I want to do if I ever have the time. There is a walking group I would like to join in my town one day so would do that. Netflix sessions and book reading in the evenings at home, dinner with friends etc.

AnotherEmma Thu 17-Sep-15 17:48:11

What Cabrinha said!
"Put on your big girl pants and get a counsellor booked."
You can't run away from your feelings forever. Now you have some time it's the perfect opportunity to find the right counsellor to help you work on those issues and emerge feeling better and stronger.

I also agree that mediation is a good idea, maybe look up mindfulness courses? And I love yoga!

AnotherEmma Thu 17-Sep-15 18:01:58

Would it motivate you to do counselling if I told you that it's the first step to a loving relationship? Atm, with your self esteem and intimacy issues, you're nowhere near ready for a relationship, and you won't be until you start working on them. No one else can fix you - you have to do it yourself (although a counsellor will support you obviously). You have the rest of your life ahead of you - don't put it off by burying your head in the sand.

getinthesea Thu 17-Sep-15 18:05:13

I had three years of therapy after an also, um, interesting childhood, and it changed my life.

But the other thing which was amazing, was going to Skyros. You'll find some mindfulness and yoga and all sorts of things there but also a chance to be an unencumbered version of yourself. I can't recommend it too highly.

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