Being alone is a state of being; loneliness is a state of mind.

As we get close to the festive season, it brings back memories for me, both good and bad. Christmas for me has always been about family and friends, sharing and caring, giving and receiving. It’s a time of fun, laughter and joy.

I still remember one Christmas day several years ago I saw my family for an hour or so, then for the rest of the day I was on my own. That was a very lonely day, and one I don’t want to repeat again. But having experienced it, I can empathise and understand. There are many who don’t have close family or friends and spend the day on their own.

For many people life is lonely, not just at Christmas time, but for most of the year. They can suffer anxiety, depression, and all the negative emotions that go with wanting to be with someone.

Being alone is different, I enjoy my own company. I enjoy going to the movies on my own, going out for coffee, spending time for myself, by myself, it is liberating and there’s a sense of freedom.

There are moments when being alone crosses paths with being lonely. It’s those times when I can’t help but notice couples hand in hand. I remember the days when I wanted that to be me, but it never was like that anyway (lol). My husband never showed any affection or feelings towards me, at least none that I can remember. When I see couples and families hugging and showing love and affection, for a brief moment that dull feeling aches in my chest, but it doesn’t stay.

Being alone is empowering and I’m grateful for the opportunity and grateful that I enjoy my own space and company. It is liberating.