Loading...
Menu

About the Art of Being Alone: How to overcome loneliness and the fear of being a

 

 

 

 

 

Janett Menzel

 

 

About the Art of Being Alone

 

How to overcome loneliness and the fear of being alone while learning to love yourself

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Janett Menzel

13359 Berlin

 

Independently published.

 

ISBN: 1548945285

ISBN-13: 978-1548945282

 

This work and all its parts are protected by copyright. Any unauthorized utilization without consent from the author is prohibited. This particularly applies to its electronic or otherwise reproduction, translation, distribution, and provision to the public.

This too shall pass.

― Shakespeare

CONTENTS

[
**]

Preface 8

The Enemy in Your Head 18

Exercise: Me and my parts 22

Exercise: Decisions or what I did instead 27

Test: What type are you? 31

The Four Types of Being Alone 42

Do not fear yourself 58

The Nature of Things 62

Exercise: The poles and antipoles of my emotions 66

Inspiration and creativity 70

Why it is worth confronting anxiety 73

Finding Treasure in the Mud 80

The Basics Against the Fear of Being Alone and Loneliness 93

Blame, Shame, and the Need to be Welcome 102

Beliefs and life patterns 103

Anger and Fear as Substitute Feelings 104

What Science Believes 105

What is Hidden Behind the Fear of Being Alone? 107

Loneliness in a Relationship 111

How Silence Makes Partners Lonely 111

Strategies to Experience Relationships Together Again 114

Strategies and Methods for the Advanced 120

Tip 1: The step-by-step method 120

Tip 2: Ways of compensating for inner footing 121

Tip 3: Your voice against fear and sorrow 127

Tip 4: Build closeness to yourself 132

Tip 5: What would you have to do for things to get worse? 147

Tip 6: Let your “real” feelings out 148

Tip 7: Look in the mirror and recognize yourself in it 149

Tip 8: Feel the pain that you want to process 150

Tip 9: Forgive your feelings 151

Tip 10: Fall in love again – this time with yourself 152

Tip 11: Recognize that you get what you want in order to learn something 153

Tip 12: Take your shadow and go 155

Tip 13: Autogenic training 156

Tip 14: Take the worst and make the best of it 161

What Loneliness and the Fear of Being Alone Taught Me 162

You Often Find the Greatest Lesson Through Emptiness 176

A Distraction Please! 54 Impulses for Activities 179

 

WHY ME – WHY US

Preface

“[_I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.” _]

[
__]-[_ ]Charlotte Brontë, [_(]Jane Eyre)

All of us are familiar with the stifling feeling of fear when we are alone or faced with a period of solitude. This feeling looms at Christmas, New Year’s, on birthdays or holidays, while others are spending time with their families and partners, are surrounded by friends, or are feeling happy although they are alone. For lonely people, this feeling of fear and sadness can lead to so-called monophobia, the acute fear of being alone. But what do those who have learned to enjoy solitude do differently? Why are so many people able to enjoy the comfort of their relatives and loved ones, while others supposedly have to do without it? Is there something that we can learn from people who like to be alone? What can we do against the fear, loneliness, and the feeling of being lost and insignificant? How do we handle the desire for social contact, security, love, and friendship? Is it possible to overcome and unlearn one’s loneliness?

[*My experiences have shown me that this is entirely possible. These days, I love being alone. *]I have overcome my fear of being alone. Today, I need time to myself as much as I need the air I breathe. But this was not always the case. When I was suffering from panic attacks and agoraphobia in 2013, things were quite the opposite. Without a partner and cut off from the world by fear, I had to learn once again that I was important, that I love myself, and what I could do on my own to feel good. I began searching methods and techniques. This book is based on all my experiences and features backstories, strategies, and opportunities for rethinking. Because what the fear of being alone represents and what causes loneliness is a wake-up call from your heart and soul. They want to show you what lies dormant and triggers all your emotions. They ask you to understand instead of just listen. They beg for attention and ask for reminders of your true nature. They do not know guilt or shame, only truth and profoundness.

From my work as a journalist and coach, there is one thing I know: most people are lonely but would never reveal this side of themselves publicly. They cover up their insecurity and loneliness and try to distract themselves, for example, through phone calls, social media such as Facebook, mobile games, or by making appointments. Even going out, to be surrounded by people, staying in contact, being seen – these feel like the only ways to get attention. Only so that they can meet with supposedly happy people and because they are afraid of being recognized in their loneliness and looked down on. Sitting alone at a table in a café or restaurant, eating alone, going to a bar, the cinema, or traveling alone – doing so alone makes them unhappy. You see how others are not alone, are laughing, talking, and have someone to share their experiences and feelings with and to talk to about them. Human contact is also about being needed, having a purpose, being important, and being thought about. However, constant feelings of loneliness can create the impression that no one is interested in you, misses you, or wants to know about you. It is a terrible feeling, causing emptiness, anger, isolation, shame, fear, and, above all, sadness. It can often become an illness, whether emotionally or physically.

While people like myself like to be alone, go for walks alone, enjoy peace, pursue their activities in a café, go out to eat on their own, or prefer to work for themselves rather than for a company, there is a great sadness raging within those who are afraid of being alone. It is not just because they are alone, but rather because they feel abandoned, outcast, or invisible. [*They feel like a small child who has lost their parents in a department store. They feel like it is their fault, that they are not worth much, or even both. *]They lose themselves all too easily in the belief that they have done something to cause their solitude.

It reminds me of my childhood. Before I was seventeen, I had lost all my attachment figures except my mother, whether through divorce, death, or family quarrels. My mother was “only” a nurse, which – like all social occupations – was at a financial disadvantage. Her divorce from my father and, above all, his living situation meant that he did not provide us with any support. My grandmother, who had held our family together, died. My uncle died two years later. My mother disassociated herself from my grandfather because of irreconcilable differences. She was alone with her young daughter, went to work in shifts, and, in between, tried to be a good mother. In doing so, she forgot to be human and worked her fingers to the bone the whole day. I remember that she used to sleep a lot. But she never cried, at least not when I was looking. She was lonely, but her survival instinct would not let her grieve for the events in her life, the death of her mother and brother, the loss of her father and husband, and all the cares that came with these. She kept everything inside. And in the meantime, there I was, six or seven years young, needing attention, and hungry for love and life. Instead, all I had left was myself.

I spent a lot of my childhood waiting. For my mother and her well-being, time that she owed me, for my father, for my grandpa, for answers and activity, attention, and security. But none of it was to be. In all my sorrow, my brain decided on the clever move of acquiring substitute feelings. Instead of sorrow, which would have completely overwhelmed me, I became angry and anxious. Today, I know that anger is a smokescreen for sadness. It is supposed to protect us, while preventing repressed sadness from resurfacing or even more disappointment from spreading. Fear is a very dear friend that fights a tough battle. It tries to create a balance between protection and activism. Although it shows you what is wrong and what needs to be worked on, in doing so, it conceals the true wounds. One by one, it allows the hurt from the past to gradually heal. It knows that everything has its time.

With years of loneliness, my anger also grew. If I read my journals today, I am deeply saddened: There are almost no entries that are just cheerful or that do not at least express any anger about the circumstances of my life. You would think I had been an aggressive child. But I never expressed my anger out loud. It just bubbled up quietly inside me. I directed my anger towards myself. In my fear, I tried everything I loved to hold on by hook and crook. I discovered reading and animals for myself. Books gave me the feeling that I was finding out something about the world outside and, at the same time, that I could learn something from it. Animals allowed me to learn unconditional love and loyalty as well as responsibility for my own actions and foreign life. If I had not had both things, I would be a different person today. However, through my anger, I unknowingly laid the foundation for my later anxiety and panic disorders. Fortunately, anger and curiosity have a positive effect – they prevent moderate or severe depression as much as possible. Unfortunately, they do not protect from self-doubt.

And this is exactly what keeps us from believing in ourselves, standing by ourselves, and from seeing our goals through – come hell or high water – from separating ourselves from the bad, experiencing the depths of our feelings, and processing them. Doubts prevent us from making decisions, from having healthy self-esteem, and from wholeheartedly trusting that everything has a purpose.

It has taken me the past four years to understand this and to look into how our feelings and emotions work. Understanding is essential if we want to face ourselves. If you are now saying, “But I don’t want to face my buried experience at all!” then I can well understand you. Fortunately, fear is a sign that you are ready and that your head is now able to do everything necessary to assess information and to put it into a new context so that you are better in the future. Without fear. Without loneliness. Without powerlessness, defenselessness, helplessness, sorrow, and anger over being alone. Nobody has to take these steps alone. If the feelings are too big a burden, professional help is always recommended. I myself sometimes discussed it in therapy, but I took the essential steps single-handedly. I did not feel at ease with the thought of somebody guiding me in finding myself. I wanted my pace, my way, my method, and my objective. To do so, I first had to find out what had led to my feelings of loneliness.

When I had my first panic attack, I was alone. I had it as I was feeling left alone (professionally) and was reminded of the past: of my anger. A few years later, my agoraphobia spread. It was once again a time when I was on my own in professional life – partly voluntarily, partly under duress – and it would be there to stay. Interestingly, my body always reacted with fear and panic whenever I felt alone. There was nothing left for me to do except learn to be alone without feeling bad and to learn to enjoy my time to myself. What had made me so sad and angry that I became “ill”?

I had to question everything, separate myself (from the old), and learn unconditional self-love. In order to love yourself, you have to know or get to know yourself. People who are lonely usually do not know themselves or do not know how to appreciate their positive sides. Everything looks like a bottomless pit. You feel like you are entirely dependent on the sympathy and permission of others. It is not uncommon to get the idea that sticking by yourself easily comes with loss. However, for lonely people, more loss means having less footing and security. This makes you afraid.

Back then, I did not know where to begin. Should I look for new hobbies, a new partner, encourage more activity within my friendships, learn new anti-anxiety strategies, or quit my job? Instinctively, I decided that I wanted to keep my fear as a shield. I rejected all notions for psychiatric drugs and set out to find myself. I discovered how few passions I still had and which ones I hadn’t acted on for years. I remembered everything and everyone that had unconsciously and unintentionally encouraged and demanded my self-alienation. I learned to look behind my own façade as well as that of others. I trained to be a writing therapist in order to expand my coaching expertise. I consumed every piece of literature on the subject of fear and the mind that I could find. I devoted myself to my dark sides (the mean or self-serving, unilateral, and partly hurtful intents of my ego). I cried a lot about everything I was missing. I let out my anger through sports, which I could “finish” in under 10 minutes at home. Agoraphobia and panic attacks come with the physical feeling that “outside” is like a war zone. Some people do not leave their house for years. But I forced myself because I had no other choice left. I had my anger. It allowed me to face my fear and people who are, well, not so much the pleasant type, but rather the people in whose company you can only keep calm if you have learned to be assertive or at least have inner peace. So, I learned both. I learned to accept help from people who knew better than I did. I learned to help others and, through my work, also to be able to be happy for others. I started to write again and got myself two female cats. I began to commit myself to other people and to use my abilities for the good of others. In short, I allowed myself to see my life differently, to fill it, and, in doing so, to fulfill it.

I learned exclusively through one motto that my therapist had once entrusted to me: Do it for as long as you want it, until someone says STOP or until you have found a different solution. Therefore, I learned to use my problem-solving capabilities and to live more according to the principle “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”. I made mistakes on purpose, deciding in the morning after waking up, “Today, I will let myself make five mistakes and see exactly what happens.” I learned that I did not have to be perfect and how to handle rejection and criticism. Above all, I learned that I was just as important as the rest of the world, that no one was “to blame” for my circumstances, and that no one could change the past.

I knew that if I did not start from scratch, my anxiety and anger would settle in my body and provoke even worse illness. We believe that we own our body and that we can direct our feelings for the most part. We are even more surprised when our body lets us know that it is an illusion and that it simply does what it wants at any time – even against our needs. It is exactly the basic feelings, such as disgust, shame, sadness, and fear, that often dominate us. We can however reduce them so that we are not unconsciously and helplessly at their mercy, but rather prepared and solution-oriented. We can accustom our mind to not experience certain situations negatively. Our brain allows it.

Behavior therapy shows us that short changes in our lives only work in the short term. However, those who want to experience an entire future full of satisfaction, whether alone or not, have to hold out. Balance and personal happiness are not a light switch. The light only comes on if many conditions within our responsibility are fulfilled and if there are lights that have the correct light bulbs, a paid electricity bill, etc. This is just a trivial example to invoke an even simpler one. At some point, everything is “empty”, like the good wine that you drink or the jar of Nutella whenever you want to indulge yourself. We have to learn to stand up for the fullness that we want in order to have a fulfilled life. And for that, we have to know what and who we need to be happy.

Today, I know myself. I experience every day consciously and decide precisely how I want to spend it. I no longer do anything that is not good for me or makes me unhappy. I do not have to use every possible contact so that I am not alone. I love just as much to retreat to my world and recharge my batteries. I experience my social contacts (friends, family, professional network) as safe and loyal. Christmas, birthdays, and other “social and warm” times are made for me. I no longer wait for the annual holiday abroad in order to finally get “out” or let go. Since my fear and panic, I ensure that I am relaxed and learning new things, feel good, and have fun every day. I have had to make cancellations and separated myself from painful relationships and friendships. I have found my ways for the times that make life hard.

This book is aimed at helping all those who feel alone to find themselves again. I wish you every success in the process and, above all, a lot of resilience with the necessary longing to one day achieve what makes you feel alive. Be worth it.

 

All the best on your journey,

Janett Menzel

THE NATURE OF LONELINESS

The Enemy in Your Head

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

 

- Marianne Williamson (A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”)

The fear of being alone and of loneliness, together with sadness, are extremely paralyzing feelings. We are ashamed of our neediness, do not want to bother the lives of our friends and families, or we have had experiences that make it difficult to trust people. For many who are alone, because their partner has died or they have separated from them, a sudden, unfamiliar emptiness is the order of the day. This can quickly turn into the thought of supposed uselessness and, not uncommonly, depressive moods. People without partners, whether wanted or unwanted, experience loneliness in a similarly desperate way. They all associate with a basic feeling, which is often called a “belief pattern” in psychology: Something is wrong with me, because…

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I am alone.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I was abandoned.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I do not have/cannot make any friends.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I do not have any family.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I do not have any hobbies or passions.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I am different to other “normal” people, for example, not as social, not as happy, not as brave, etc.

 

This basic feeling shows three extremes. Firstly, as people, we like to be liked and, therefore, often orient ourselves around other people (and what they think about us). In order to not be alone, to be part of a community, and to be welcomed and valued, we are prepared to do quite a lot. Secondly, in doing so, we often forget our own direction in the flow of our lives. We hide our opinions from others or forget to have them. We adopt goals and values that have little or nothing to do with our own. Between these extremes, there is yet another component. Being alone, because you already recognized it. Just because you did not want to be like the others, you have distanced yourself so that you would not reveal yourself and driven yourself into a kind of social isolation. What was missing were similar people with similar interests and thoughts, as well as ways of distancing yourself while still being able to express yourself.

In my work, an extremely interesting fundamental conflict between these extremes quickly appeared. People who are alone and/or feel loneliness are more desperate for what others think about them or even their solitude than the circumstances that surround them. This is due to the effect described above. However, being alone is more difficult with all the associated feelings if we carelessly believe others’ thoughts about us.

If there is no one who affects our emotional state with their beliefs, then we look for titles and solutions for the problem within ourselves. However, consulting the ego and letting it decide has not just been difficult since Sigmund Freud. It either blames us, because we seem to have done something wrong, or we are so convinced of ourselves and our thoughts that we do not dare to look at countless possibilities and solutions.

In order not to see ourselves as separated, we often make one mistake. We do everything to be included. Within this goal, there is, however, a crucial problem that pulls everything difficult in an even more negative direction. We believe that we have to be different in order to no longer be alone and to be wanted, needed, welcome, important, and valuable once again. We ourselves grasp at the slimmest straws. This only happens because we remember times when we could share and others could share with us. We miss fullness, comfort, warmth, security, and contact. There will always be times when one or all of these needs goes unfulfilled. What can we do then?

What would happen if we remembered ourselves – in our true nature? I ask this question because the fundamental “problem” of being alone is not being alone itself, but rather the desire to take part. We give up something to reach this goal: US. We forget who we are, were, and wanted to be in favor of companionship. This is why people remain in bad jobs, one-sided or hurtful relationships and accept great pains and illness in order to be able to still be of use for others. Because they dread being alone and the feelings that come with it and because they have forgotten that every person contributes to the bigger picture and forms a part of the community. We decide what we do and do not give. The links in the chain consist of individual people who willingly share what they have plenty of with each other. Particularly, people who experience being alone because of separation or loss feel that way because they feel separated. They were used to sharing and being shared with. If one of these parts breaks away, then something is missing. This is because the formerly supposed whole smashes into its individual pieces. Suddenly, you see yourself again and do not always like what you see.

In order to keep this book as effective as possible, I would ask that you view the good and the bad as a whole and, at the same time, perceive yourself and the others as separate from one another. This perspective will help you to see yourself in your true nature and still get in touch with what you desire from and with other people. To support you in this, you will find a small exercise on the next page that should help to unravel the entangled thoughts.

 

 

 

Exercise: Me and my parts

 

What do you have to give?

 

 

 

What do you have in abundance?

 

 

 

What are your strengths?

 

 

 

When do you feel lovely?

 

 

 

What were you always able to do better than others?

 

 

 

Which of these would you like to share?

 

 

Exercise: What others could share with me

What do you admire and envy in others?

 

 

 

 

Why is it that others have/can do these things?

 

 

 

 

Since when have you noticed this?

 

 

 

 

What have you done to change this?

 

 

 

 

What do you believe you must do but shy away from doing?

 

 

 

 

Why are you afraid of it (e.g., an experience)?

 

What are you shutting it out for?

 

 

 

 

What could happen if you dared to do it (even with your future fear)?

 

 

 

 

What would have to happen for you to feel secure?

 

 

 

 

When do you feel loved?

 

 

 

 

Do these moments match the answers to the question, “When do you feel loving?”

 

For many of my readers, obstacles arise at this point. One of the most common obstacles is the following, in various versions:

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I am not concerned with giving. I would like to receive.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I have given for years. I am like an empty vessel. I need content.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. An experience made me feel like something was taken from me. I believe the world owes it to me to make up for this imbalance.

 

A second is this thought:

I no longer believe that I have anything to give. My loneliness gives me the feeling that I am not worth anything (to others), good for nothing (for others), and cannot do anything (in others’ eyes).

 

From the self-reflection questions, you will have noticed one thing: It is our thoughts about something that control our feelings. If we, therefore, work on our thoughts, we also change our feelings. If we manage to think fewer negative thoughts, then we have succeeded in having fewer negative feelings. And it goes a step further still. If we succeed in thinking positively instead of negatively, then we have also succeeded in feeling good instead of bad. Despite being alone. In doing so, we escape victimization, helplessness, and uselessness. By reminding ourselves who we are and reaching a decision to change a situation. Hence, in the following is another exercise that should help with this.

The difficulty of decisions is this: The word “decide” literally means “to cut off” in its Latin origins. When we decide something for us, we automatically make a cut with a person or something (e.g., a job, a hobby). In doing so, we reject it. The more conscientious we are, the more difficult it is for us to come to a decision for ourselves and against someone else. Those who often base their decisions around others will struggle more with loneliness and fear than with being alone itself. Hence this reflection exercise. Listen intuitively to your gut feeling when answering the questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise: Decisions or what I did instead

 

Which big decision that you were proud of can you still remember today?

 

 

 

 

 

Which big decision that you regret can you still remember today?

 

 

 

 

 

What made you regret it? Was it people or was it a feeling?

 

 

 

 

 

If it was a feeling: Where did it come from? Did it come from you?

 

 

 

 

 

Were you “given” and “talked into” it?

 

 

 

 

 

What big decision did you want to make but avoided out of the fear of rejecting or being rejected?

 

 

 

 

 

What did you do instead of this big decision?

What other steps did you always want to take in your life without doing it?

 

 

 

 

 

What did you do instead?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the benefit of whom or what did you do it?

 

 

 

 

 

What other steps did you always want to take in life without doing it?

 

 

 

 

 

What did you do instead?

 

 

 

 

 

What other steps did you always want to take in life without doing it?

 

 

 

 

 

What did you do instead?

 

 

 

In order to be able to make decisions, you have to know where you are coming from (start), where it should lead (goal), and how to get there (way). Therefore, I have developed a test that should show you what your type of solitude is.

Test: What type are you?

For each question, answer with the number of points that apply most to you. 1 represents a little, while 6 stands for very frequently. If you wish to give a question 0 points, leave it out. The question then counts without points. Please answer the questions spontaneously.

<>.
p={color:#000;}. 1
<>.
p={color:#000;}. 2
<>.
p={color:#000;}. 3
<>.
p={color:#000;}. 4
<>.
p={color:#000;}. 5
<>.
p={color:#000;}. 6
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.

Your total points:

On the next pages, you will find your result. Should your point total verge on another result, it will show your tendencies and possibilities.

Result and classification

0-24 points

It looks as if everything is wonderful for you. Congratulations!

25-50 points: Disoriented boredom

***

Visit: http://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/741485 to purchase this book to continue reading. Show the author you appreciate their work!


About the Art of Being Alone: How to overcome loneliness and the fear of being a

Do you constantly need people to be around you to feel fulfilled and satisfied? Do you feel empty when you have no one who is with you? Do you look for partners and lovers to feel loved, wanted and “enough” although they later turn out to be the wrong choice? Are you constantly waiting for partners who don’t love you as much as you love them, hoping that they will be ready for a committed relationship one day? Then you might attract them unconsciously because deep down you are afraid of being alone. This book is dedicated to all those who want to understand their fear of being alone and their loneliness and transform it into self-love. The author Janett Menzel takes the reader along on a journey of discovery: what type you are, where the fear and depressive emotions come from, what they want to say to you and how you can overcome them with self-recognition. However, instead of fighting it, she suggests examining it carefully, understanding the emptiness and lesson, and, finally, transforming it. With over 70 strategies and reinventions of your own character and life, the author helps the readers to expose and decouple old belief systems, recognize dependencies, and resolve blockades.

  • ISBN: 9781370053797
  • Author: Janett Menzel
  • Published: 2017-08-10 16:35:12
  • Words: 43017
About the Art of Being Alone: How to overcome loneliness and the fear of being a About the Art of Being Alone: How to overcome loneliness and the fear of being a