alone · choices · keep trying · old maid · single · who are we

Birthday detox blues

On Thursday I will celebrate my 39th birthday. I say celebrate but that is only on account of the customary phrase; at the moment I certainly am not feeling particularly like celebrating.

I have been trying recently to really spend time alone, without the usual crutches. No television on constantly; no booking up lots of time with loved ones; no fooling myself or distracting myself. I have been spending time alone. The theory is that this is in probability what the rest of my life will be like, so I should learn to embrace it now and then I can live my life for me and more fully. Stop waiting for others to validate me and fill my time.

The reality is that I find the first two days hellish. I fall into a mild depression and have to use all my willpower to stop checking my phone and its many apps constantly; to persuade myself to resist sending out SOS messages to friends and family hoping they will want to meet up; to not eat every item in the flat; to put on clothes and get out of bed. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I may have been looking forward to my time alone when over-booked and frazzled from spending time with others, the reality is crushing. It feels like a triumph to just get through an hour and any lists of things that I might have concocted to keep myself motivated appear laughable. Time seems to reach out endlessly and two hours can seem like a lonely month of time when everyone else was living a real life and I am discarded in the gutter. No matter what I read, watch or journal it all confirms that I am doomed to live a lonely forsaken life.

The problem is that I know that if I can get through the first 48 hours I then hit a sort of wonder time. I suddenly remember, or rather believe, all the things that I have read and learned about the miracle of totally indulgent time alone. I enjoy the complete freedom; the time to be creative; the sense of empowerment and of time looking after myself for myself.

I am at the end of a detox 48 hours of solitude. In fact I cheated and met a friend for lunch today where I heard myself complain about everything and nothing. I was full of a litany of woes and self-pity. So, why does it currently take this awful time to find my alone time so good? I honestly feel like an attention addict coming down from a high that I didn’t enjoy much whilst on a bender. I find it so hard to change gears at the moment.

I mentioned at the start that I am days away from my birthday and I just can’t ignore that this fact is exacerbating things this week. The weeks before my birthday seem to be increasingly troubling as each year passes by. This year I cannot ignore the fact that I have but one more year until the four zero. I honestly have no problem with aging, really, but I can’t help to reflect on the differences between the life that I assumed I would have by 40 and the one that I am likely to actually be living. Hence the trying to force myself into embracing the reality if it all. I just wish it wasn’t quite so difficult.

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2 thoughts on “Birthday detox blues

  1. i’m 43 and i dreaded 40 but when it happened it was ok and nothing was mad, nothing fell off and withered 😉 I think we make a big deal about age because the world does but you are who you are and nobody changes that, i hope you have a really good birthday and know that there are so many brilliant things around the corner of every year and you’ll keep shining no matter what age you are because it doesn’t define you xo

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