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The Difference Between Being 'Alone' and Being 'Lonely' as Someone With PTSD

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Am I learning to be alone,

or am I drifting into silent loneliness?

Are my mindful days, lack of thoughts and constant urge for change considered “resting,”

• What is PTSD?

or am I flowing into an abyss of blackness?

Is my contentment to be OK with a sparsely-filled calendar,

an awakened new period of self-discovery and growth?

Or am I retreating into stasis?

Is my lack of desire to control the dust on my shelves,

or obsess about the number of times I exercise, “living with ease?”

Or am I lazy?

I wasn’t well enough to be alone the past nine years as I was combatting my symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Now, I’ve been allowing myself to be unscheduled, rest, write, read novels, look forward to things and finally acknowledge how hard I’ve worked to get to this place.

• What is PTSD?

I yearn to be alone for long periods during the day. To sit, rest, and if it happens, deal quietly with the triggers when the skeleton hands of the past try to pull me back down.

Yesterday I wondered aloud if, although content, I was feeling lonely. Today I wake up and understand that yes, I’m content, and also for the first time I’m learning to be OK with being alone with myself.

Thinkstock photo via AnkDesign.

Originally published: August 1, 2017
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