Facing My Fear of Being Alone

Even writing out that title, The Fear of Being Alone, brought the dreaded tight feeling of anxiety to my chest.  I have never liked being alone. Of course, I enjoy my alone time and need it to recharge. The fear I am talking about is the feeling of being alone; the feeling of being unwanted.

As a little girl I would ask my mom to stay with me as I fell asleep. I was afraid of being alone on the second floor of our house. This fear of being alone was one I seemed to have been born with. This fear seems to be a battle that chose me. And now I am working on winning the battle.

I have known for some time I have self-esteem issues, insecurities, doubts, and on and on. There is a reason that self-help books exist. It is human nature to experience our own inner doubt. I see it now in Owen even as a toddler. Before he can even speak complete sentences, he is experiencing his own doubt and fear. If he hears a loud noise, he jumps into the closest adult’s lap. If he thinks a situation might be dangerous, he tends to approach it with caution.

I guess it is healthy to have doubt and fear; it makes us cautious and question, which isn’t always a bad thing. But I am realizing it is not so healthy to let those fears take over.

Since being left in my marriage (such a hard sentence and truth I have to acknowledge), my fear has come front and center. My worst fear happened: I was abandoned. And it feels as bad as I thought it would.

And to make matters worse, I am forcing myself to face the fear publicly by writing about it. Being this vulnerable and exposed to the world through words is exhausting sometimes, but I know for me it needs to be part of my healing.

But what I didn’t expect to happen when forced to face this fear of abandonment is that healing might slowly leak out as I breathe into the fear.

No one wants to admit they are afraid of being left. If you admit that, then it feels like you admit that you are worth leaving. It feels like you admit that you are not worth staying.

Tears stream as I write this. I have felt for so long that I was not worth staying for. But that wasn’t an issue in my marriage. It was an issue with myself.

Yes, being left was a fear. But the real fear came from within. It is and was the fear that I am not worth it. I am not worth it because I am too much. I am not worth it because I am not attractive enough, or loving enough, or gentle enough or fill in the blank enough.

Here is the beautiful truth: every single one of us is enough. It is the most freeing truth, I think simply because it is such a pure and honest truth.

All of us are enough. Each individual person breathing the air right now is enough. Even the ones that have made major mistakes. Even those of us that have been left. We are all enough.

I repeat that to myself daily now. Maybe this person and I didn’t fit so well together so they felt they had to leave. But that doesn’t make me any less lovable. It just means I am that much closer to finding the right puzzle piece.

But even when I find the right piece, I have to believe I am enough. Sure it is important they believe it too. But it is more important that I believe it first.

Because as soon as I start believing that I am truly enough, then I will stop being so fearful. Being alone isn’t so bad once you like yourself. I’m getting there. It is a hard and painful journey but it is pretty amazing to watch myself gain strength and keep on fighting the fear.

Yes, technically, I am alone right now. But I’m really not. I have so much love surrounding me with all of my people.

And as I learn to accept myself for who I am, who I was made to be, I am beginning to accept what my loved ones have been telling me all along. They have told me they aren’t leaving me. My people have told me I am not alone and never will be. I am just now slowly learning to trust them.

I trust them because I see what they have always seen; that I am more than enough.

 

photo by robert piretti
 
 

 

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