Recovery, Relationships

My Journey of Living Alone

In this post I wanted to discuss my experience of living alone for the first time. To document the transition of sharing a home with somebody to reclaiming the space as my own. It has been such a rich and full experience; at times agonizing and others truly liberating. Here are some of the things I am learning along the way:

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY

It has taken me a while to adapt to living alone. One of the biggest hurdles became apparent quite quickly; being solely responsible for all decisions, choices and chores around the home.  If I left unopened mail on the side, it would remain there indefinitely. The grass did not cut itself nor the broken blind fix itself.  I have had to deal with things I would rather avoid; managing finances, dealing with disputes with neighbours, tackling a large and wild garden single handedly. At times this has become really stressful and  overwhelming. I have missed having somebody to turn to, to share in the decision making process, back up my choices or let me off the hook when there was something I didn’t want to do.

Living alone has forced me into taking more responsibility for things in my life.  I have survived and definitely feel stronger and more self sufficient as a result. I have also learned to ask for help when I do need it and am lucky to have an amazing tribe I can call on from time to time (especially when putting up picture frames!)

GETTING TO KNOW MYSELF

I still remember the first time I changed my living room around. It was only a couple of months ago actually. I sat there one evening and thought ‘why do I still have the sofa this way round, I always thought it would look better away from the wall.’ From making the decision, to carrying out my shift around was empowering. It made me think about other ways in which I had compromised my space and time. From moving around my living room, buying new bed sheets and adapting routines that no longer needed to revolve around another’s schedule. Living on my own terms has helped me to get to know myself more. What do I really like, how do I want to spend my time, how do I want to do things? This may sound simple to some, but I am a person who sometimes finds her inner voice drowned out in a relationship, so listening and learning from myself has been helpful.

MAKING A HOME A SANCTUARY

There were times when returning to an empty home did not feel appealing in the early days. I spent a lot of evenings visiting friends and family. Over time I decided that I would have to work a little harder to bring back some of the comfort and love I used to feel in my home. I started by putting up some of my favourite quotes, photos and adding my favourite colours wherever I could. I stocked my cupboard full of my favourite teas and created a beautiful space for yoga and meditation. My home became more thoughtful. Fresh flowers from the garden, my favourite playlist, a sacred space created just for me.

A year on, I will go as far as saying that I am really enjoying the process of living alone. It has taught me lots about myself, helped build my confidence and strength and in turn I have built a space I love to call my home. My sanctuary.

I would love to hear about your experience of living alone or creating your own sanctuary, feel free to leave comments below.

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