Table for one?
Few of us relish the idea of going out to eat alone. You need a book or a tablet to keep you company.
Going to bars alone? Ew.
Being home alone? Bring it on. Please. I need to be alone to work. I get mean if I don’t get my alone time. You don’t want to see me at the end of the Christmas holidays.
But I have a full house to leave and return to. (And I was raised in a full house, the youngest of five.) Alone time is a treat for me. I’d feel differently if I were always alone. I wouldn’t like that at all. It would be lonely.
(Or not – maybe it would be awesome. I might be like the guy at the end of that Twilight Zone episode who finally had time to read all the books he wanted – only I don’t wear glasses, so my ending would be happier than his. Still, after a month or so, it would start to feel pointless. Humans – you can’t live with them, you can’t live without them.)
If you have a yearning for company and a discomfort at being alone in strange territory, you are a normal human. But if you break into a cold sweat upon saying goodbye, if you follow people from room to room, if you try to be late so that you don’t have to wait one minute on your own, you might have autophobia.
You should know that people who can’t be alone are incredibly annoying. Conquer your phobia for the sake of the loved one whose leg you are clinging to.
This is actually a multiplicity of phobias:
Possible exposure therapy roadblock: If you’re autophobic, you might not have a friend to do these therapies with, since you probably drove all your friends away with your insatiable clinginess. But they might come back to help you face your fear. Worth asking, anyway.
We are alone, each of us muddling through our tiny lives, hurtling through a vast and indifferent universe, knowing it will all end in death, and that is terrifying. It helps to have a hand to hold onto. But let go every once in a while or it’ll get way too sweaty.
No one is ever alone in 28 Tricks for a Fearless Grade 6, because hanging out alone is not comedy gold. Leave a comment on this blog during Fearless February and you could win a copy and spend some time alone reading it.