After a good 5 years of sharing apartments, arguments with flat-mates and even squeezing into a microscopic apartment in Ibiza with about 6 people, no air con and a rotting pool – I decided it may be time to take the plunge and find my own apartment. After graduation, I moved to Leeds and found the perfect apartment for me, and moved my stuff in with excitement to live alone.
It’s safe to say that it was a shock to the system. After years of being surrounded with people and never having a moment to myself, I was finally alone and in probably the most silent apartment ever – I live in a block that’s full of NHS staff, PhD students and people who tend to either be out at work for long days or tucked up in bed asleep. This was a bit of a change already, as to go from the chaos of Ibiza workers accommodation to this kind of silence, was so strange.
It’s not all bad though, I love having my own space and freedom to be my weird self. As humans, we have three selves: the one we show to the world, the one only our close loved ones see and the one only we see. We are only completely comfortable and at ease when we are alone, and I need that time. I’ve always been someone who needed time alone to stay sane, socialising can exhaust me and sometimes there is nothing better than sitting in your own apartment, completely alone minding your own business – it’s bliss!
Living alone has really changed me as a person, and 3 months in I’m here to share my wisdom on why I think everyone should experience living alone at some point. I’m not the same person I was even 6 months ago, my growth game is strong af, and living alone and having this independence has played a huge role in this.
I’m My Own Rock
When living alone I’ve had the lowest times of my life, as this period in my life I’ve been faced with some mental health obstacles that I’ve had to overcome alone. When you are completely broken and there is nobody around to pick you up and tell you everything is going to be okay, you have to do it yourself. There is no other option. You’re forced to stand up, dust yourself off and put yourself back together. When we are surrounded by people, it becomes so easy to rely on others to help us in our time of need – we can even fear being alone because we don’t believe we have the power to build ourselves back up again. But since living alone, I am astonished at the states I’ve pulled myself out of completely with my own power. It makes me so proud. I have the most amazing family and friends, but they live a minimum of 5 hours from me and many of my friends are dotted around the country.
Living alone is almost like throwing yourself in at the deep end, where you strip back all of your support systems and put yourself in charge or your own happiness. I’ve done a pretty good job. Whether it’s quite literally giving myself a pep talk, putting on some music and dancing around like an idiot or doing anything I can do lift my mood, I’ve done it. I don’t believe I would have ever built such strength if I never lived alone, because our first instinct is to reach out for someone close by, but when that only person is yourself, that’s when the strength has to step up.
Before I moved in and during my time living alone and free, so many people expressed to me that they ‘couldn’t live alone’ and they ‘don’t know how I do it’. It made me so aware of how much people rely on others to even survive, I know many pampered people who wouldn’t last two minutes living alone in a city away from everyone they love. These comments are bizarre to me, I believe that we should always be comfortable to be alone as the second you rely on others to not only make you happy but to determine your existence, you lack the strength in yourself that you need to be independent.
There was a time where I was like this, I couldn’t have thought of anything worse than living completely alone and I relied on others to make me happy and to live my life. I am so much prouder of the person I am now, knowing that I can tackle pretty much everything on my own. I’ve faced some of the worst times of my life alone in the apartment I’m in now, and I know that it i can overcome these moments then I’m ready for anything else the universe wants to throw at me – please take it easy though, universe.
I am the most spiritual, mindful and aware person now than I have ever been. Time alone is time to put into yourself, and I practice self care every single day. When we live with others, it can be easy to live blindly in life – we work, come home, sleep, repeat. Living alone has allowed me to practice mindful living, there isn’t a single day that goes by where I don’t work on myself. Time alone is time to be selfish. I put work into my blog, I build new skills, work on my fitness, educate myself. My books are filled with self-help books.
I lost faith in the mental health care system a long time ago, and more so recently after seeing first hand just how much they can let people down. I invest my time into learning about my own conditions, building on my own mind and working on my own problems. You can take all the medication you want but if you don’t put effort into yourself, you risk fighting a losing battle. Living alone means more time to think and although this can sometimes be my worst enemy, it has helped me notice toxic behaviours and build a healthier lifestyle too.
Over the years, I’ve lived with many people. Some amazing, some kind of questionable. I’ve lived in some very toxic environments, whether around negative people or within a harmful place which encouraged seriously damaging behaviours – I’ve noticed that your environment and people who you live with have a huge impact on your wellbeing.
I would recommend everyone to read Vex King’s Good Vibes Good Life. It’ll put this into words better than I could ever; but basically, as humans we are all just a matter of vibrations made up of atoms. Every human gives off energy. Whenever you meet someone, if you pick up a feeling of them or get a certain vibe, it’s usually to do with the energy they’re giving off. We control our energy by our thoughts and perception of the world, so if someone is very negative and toxic, their vibrations can transfer to you and damage your peace. Do I sound like a full hippy yet?
I cannot even express how true this is. Living alone has given me time to reflect on the places I’ve been, the people I’ve spent time with and realise which situations were healthy and which potentially caused my mental health spiralling. You are who you spend time with, so I am extremely picky who I associate with now and how I spend my time. Nobody is worth affecting my inner peace, so if I get a bad vibration off anyone’s energy or if they influence my mental wellbeing in anyway – then, see ya!
Seriously, even if it’s for a week, spend time alone. Go on a holiday alone or move out, spend time by yourself and notice the silence. Reflect on your life, your behaviours and your environment. Distancing yourself from your life makes everything much clearer. I’m a different person now, stronger and ready for anything, because of the dark times I’ve faced alone. Although we have friends, family and amazing people who love and support us – nobody can help you like yourself can.