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bee33
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22 May 2024, 2:44 am

There was recently a really bad storm where I live, lots of downed trees and damage, and I was without electricity for a little over two days. In spite of the inconvenience and the worry, the hardest part by far was being alone with my thoughts, especially at night in the dark, without distractions like TV or the internet or even reading because I was worried my flashlight batteries would run out, not knowing how long the electrical outage might last. I spoke to people a bit on the phone, but again I was worried about preserving the battery.

It made me realize that the hardest part of my life is being me and coping with my anxieties and thoughts. I hate being alone. I even have a partner now but he doesn't live with me and I don't see him all the time. But even then, having someone with me would make me feel a lot better, but underneath I would still be me and incapable of coping. Is there a way to work on that? Do other people experience this?



DuckHairback
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22 May 2024, 11:51 am

Hey Bee33. I don't have much to offer, because I find being alone essential and restorative, but I thought this:

Being forced into being alone by a power cut, on top of just not having things like lights and TV, is pretty extreme and I think most people would be uncomfortable with having that level of isolation thrust upon them.

Do you write at all? Writing out your anxieties and thoughts can put them outside of your head and give you a bit of relief from thinking about them. Pens work during power cuts too :)

Hope you can find some peace in your head.


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LittleBeach
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22 May 2024, 12:24 pm

I find it difficult to be alone at night. I am a very jumpy person and I think every creak of the furniture is an intruder. It’s strange, because when I’m with my partner I tune out to all the same creaks and noises,I suppose because something inside me feels safe and I don’t need to be on alert anymore.

It seems the company of trusted other people can provide a sense of safety, even if that feeling of safety is largely unconscious when they are around. It’s understandable that anxieties and fears start surfacing when that safety net is removed.



IsabellaLinton
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22 May 2024, 1:30 pm

I'm sorry about the storm Bee. I hope your property isn't too damaged and that everyone's OK.

The other day I couldn't find my phone, and I had my laptop but it was dead and I couldn't find my charger. I needed to do some non-WP stuff like banking and important emails but I couldn't do anything. I couldn't even listen to my playlists. It's weird how much we / I depend on technology for companionship or something to do. I need technology a lot more than I need real people around me but I can appreciate how unsettling it must have been for you given the circumstances and lack of power.


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bee33
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23 May 2024, 1:41 am

I think what the experience really brought home for me is that I always feel that way -- scared, unsettled, lonely, despairing, and always on the verge of spiraling -- and that the distractions I normally have like watching something online or on TV is a thin veneer that keeps me from my own troubling thoughts, but only tenuously.

I think I need to work on those fundamental underlying feelings instead of always needing something to reach for, whether a program that is distracting enough to take me out of my head or a phone call to someone I know I have already leaned on too much, like my sister. But I don't think I know how to work on them.



__Elijahahahaho
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23 May 2024, 4:16 am

I have never had a problem being alone with myself.
I am free of anxiety from performing for others, and I find ways to entertain myself by thinking of
jokes and puzzling through difficult problems, or reading a good book. There is always a lot to think about!



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23 May 2024, 8:47 am

I thought it was a sign of autism that I have no trouble being alone.
When everyone was shut in due to the Pandemic one neighbor said she was relieved to see me again as she hadn't seen me in months!
I record my outings on the refrigerator calendar to remind me when I last left the house.
If it went too long the car got hard to start! So I bought a special AGM battery for my car!



DuckHairback
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23 May 2024, 8:50 am

bee33 wrote:
I think I need to work on those fundamental underlying feelings instead of always needing something to reach for, whether a program that is distracting enough to take me out of my head or a phone call to someone I know I have already leaned on too much, like my sister. But I don't think I know how to work on them.


Perhaps just work up slowly? Try to sit with your feeling for a little while before you reach for a distraction. Follow them for as long as you're comfortable and when it gets too much, switch on the TV. It may be that you find you can do it for longer and longer as you learn you don't need to avoid those feelings so much? Just an idea.


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angelsonthemoon
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23 May 2024, 9:19 am

I have a good number of books and comics in case this happened. If the battery ran out on my electric lamp, I could at least read during the daylight hours outside.

I don't hate being alone physically, but I can definitely miss the internet when it's down for a while.



bee33
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25 May 2024, 7:22 am

I guess being alone in the dark all night just made me realize that my existence is unbearably painful and I can only cope at all with some weak distractions to keep my chin above water, but fundamentally it's always unbearable.



shortfatbalduglyman
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25 May 2024, 11:45 am

Being alone in a power outage makes me uncomfortable because I can't go on the Internet or read a book

However a power outage while not alone would be much worse. Really don't want to see or hear precious lil "people" being "true" to themselves.

Being alone with the power on is the best relatively



katebrownell86
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29 May 2024, 2:56 am

You're not alone in this. Feeling anxious and struggling with intrusive thoughts during quiet times is common. The storm likely heightened your existing anxieties by limiting distractions and increasing uncertainty. It's a sign that you might benefit from developing coping mechanisms for managing those anxieties.
There are many evidence-based techniques to help. Mindfulness exercises, relaxation techniques, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can all be helpful. Talking to a therapist can give you the tools and strategies to manage your anxieties and feel more comfortable being alone with your thoughts.