Years and years ago, there was a time in my life where I had been so surrounded by people, hour after hour, day after day, that I really didn’t know how to spend time by myself. That may seem weird, but I just hadn’t been alone much. It was a little freaky to learn how to be alone, and how to enjoy being alone.
I didn’t know how to sit with just quiet. It felt weird to not have a million things going on, people pulling on me for this or for that. I didn’t know how to handle that aloneness, and it even felt anxiety provoking. I was jittery. I couldn’t sit still, had to be doing something, anything. I even felt a little tearful. I just didn’t know how to handle it.
That was years ago. Decades ago. I’ve come a long way since then. I love my alone time now. Now I go a little nuts if I don’t get a good chunk of time to myself.
Today is the kind of day where being quiet is a treat.
It’s cool and rainy outside, and sitting snuggled up warm inside is just the thing. I’m looking through my photographs and remembering some pleasant times in my life.
I have learned to enjoy nature when I have time to myself.
I specifically like trees, especially the weird trees. Have you ever seen a weird tree? Let me share a few of my favorite pictures of really cool trees with you.
Trees are interesting. They have stories to tell, I just know it. I don’t know their stories, but when I look at them, with all their twists and turns, I just know their life has been interesting. Probably difficult at times. But look at how those hard times created beauty in their being. I find encouragement in that. If a difficult life can make a beautiful tree, maybe it also does that for a person too.
Do you see that? What on earth happened to this tree to make it so sidewards? Did the wind knock it over? Was there a huge thunder storm or tornado? And can you see that it is still alive? This tree has clearly survived a lot of adversity, and still it lives on… that’s amazing, isn’t it?!
Trees don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. In fact, the more unusual they are, the more interesting they are. They absolutely fascinate me.
I love the complexities of the curves and the unique twists and turns. What happened to make all those turns?? Did the wind make that happen? Did the tree stretch those ways to reach the sunlight? Were the trees making cozy little sitting and nesting spots for the birds?
So interesting! The imagination goes wild.
The more unusual, the better!
And, I like bright colors. The brighter the color, the better!
Ever seen a maple tree in its full autumn glory? Is there any wonder why Canada picked this tree to be its emblem? What can be more vibrant than a big beautiful bright red maple leaf, eh?
Well done, Canada. Love the red.
How about a massive purple jacaranda or the royal red-orange poinciana in their full bloom? Any full colored tree is incredible and awe-inspiring, but the purple trees are just magical to me.
For me, there is something calming and soothing about a pretty tree. They spark my curiosity.
When I like to have time to myself, I enjoy sitting quietly with trees. They are just so peaceful. I am fascinated by even the tiniest of details in their design. When I am alone, I purposefully look for a pretty place out in nature – I like to find new places to go, new trees to see.
Being alone is easy for me now. It’s a treat. It’s refreshing. Good for my soul.
How about for you?
Is it difficult for you to be alone?
In many ways, DIDer’s are never alone. Trauma survivors with Dissociative Identity Disorder often have a lot of noise in their heads. Most systems fill jam-packed full with insiders, and internally, it can feel like there are people everywhere. A dissociative system life is full, and having a system of a few dozen people makes for a whole lot of internal chaos at any given moment.
Never being alone internally can make it feel weird or scary or complicated to be alone externally. Is it a relief? Or is it too starkly different?
When you have DID/MPD, being alone can be a real challenge. First of all, with all the other insiders, how do you find your own time away from everyone? I would guess that some peace and quiet would be a nice change for a lot of you.
Or, it may be the opposite way as well. Are you one of those insiders who has been locked up and left alone for far too long? Can you turn those scary dark painful places into a place of personal comfort?
Have you ever even seen something pretty from nature? You all just gotta let your locked up insiders see the beauty of nature — it really will change everything for them. When you see something cool in nature, call back inside and invite everyone to have a look.
Or, are you like me, where you may have to learn how to be alone, and how to be comfortable when life is quiet?
No matter how scary this may feel at first, learning to enjoy quiet solace can become a true refuge.
Do you know what to do when you are alone?
And just to be clear here, I am referring to helpful activities, of course. I’m encouraging positive, healing, healthy alone time, not alone time that is used for self destruction activities.
Where do you go when you need time alone?
Where do you sit? Find your own place — it will be there.
What do you enjoy, and what do you look at?
When life gets heavy, or too noisy, or too busy, we all need a place to be. And yes, it’s okay to get away from people. Relationships with nature, and animals, and beauty can be much more fulfilling than you might realize.
It’s okay to enjoy time with yourself. If you need a quiet, calming friend with you, maybe you can find a really cool tree too.
I wish you peace, calm, and rest in your healing journey.