Me vs Me

It’s happened a couple of times now. I get a visitor or visitors at home. We hang out and it’s lovely. But after a while I am desperate for solitude again. I’ve lived alone for eight years now. My late boyfriend and I never lived together. We were planning on moving in together but as you all know by now that never got to be.

Anyway I LOVE being home alone. Someone has mentioned that they sometimes feel sorry for me cos they think I’m lonely. Jezus. That couldn’t be further from the truth. If I have to be away from home, holidays included, I cannot wait to be back home. Home is my safe space. Home is where I get to be my whole self. I know employers lie and say we can bring our whole selves to work but like I said, it’s a lie. Work has no space for my whole self. So I give them the self they expect and keep it moving cos I know come 5 o’clock, I’m going back home baby!

Anyway, recently I felt so horrible that I was grumpy cos someone had stayed too long in my space. They left at 9pm. I have a strict 10:30pm bedtime. So yep, that was super late in my books. After they left I felt so angry. The resentment had been brewing since about 6pm. LOL that’s when I expect people to start thinking of their homes.

I like to chill on the couch while listening to music. I journal or read during that time (I hardly watch tv). Then at 9pm I move to my bed to start getting my mind ready for sleep. 10:30pm, like clockwork, I’m out. That’s my routine. So if someone leaves at 9pm that means I must move straight to the bed. But I need some chilled time on the couch. The couch is Ry’s favorite spot so I like to hang out there with him for as long as we can. When we go straight to bed I feel like I’m robbing him of one of his favorite things to do and that upsets me.

Not everyone treats Ry the way I do. In some homes he’s not allowed on the couch or bed, others he’s not even allowed in the house. But we don’t own a freestanding house, we live in an apartment so Ry spends most of his time indoors. And while I’m working during the day he alternates between the couch in the lounge and his bed in the study. After work he’s on the couch until 9pm when we move to the bedroom and he goes on his bed.

So do you see that home is actually the ONLY place Ry gets to be as comfortable as he likes? At daycare/boarding these comforts don’t exist either. He’s highly adaptable but my baby LOOOOVES comfort. On the couch he wants to lie on a folded blankie or cushion for extra comfort. Have you thought of adding something extra like a blankie or cushion to sit on while on the couch?! Exactly. The couch is already comfortable. Just not for Ry.

So factoring in all those things home is the most comfortable space for him. Then there is me. I’m such an introvert. I NEED time alone to process my thoughts, understand myself better, make sense of life and understand myself better. I can feel it when I haven’t had quality time with myself. I feel drained. I struggle doing anything cos I haven’t had time to recharge. My batteries are recharged in solitude.

Anyway as I was busy judging myself for being mad at someone for staying over too long I asked myself why I felt bad. I didn’t just feel bad I felt horrible. Granted I had reason to feel bad. I had been passive aggressive and not turned on my gas heater (one of my comforts) scared they’d get even more comfortable and stay even longer. I know, I know. Horrible. But what do you know? I’m human.

I asked myself why needing time alone made me a horrible person. Then it hit me! I have an idea of who I THINK I should be but in reality I am me. Hence the ‘me vs me’ title. It’s the idea of who I THINK I should be vs who I actually am that I’m battling with.

In my head, just because I’m now a homeowner I should enjoy hosting. People should stay as long as they like cos then that means my home is a comfortable space. People can also change a day visit to a sleep over with 30mins’ notice because come on, what’s that other bedroom for?!

But then this is who I actually am:

I need a LOT of time alone to recharge. A LOT. I’m talking work from home on a Friday, knock off and spend the whole weekend home alone. No kidding. My favorite weekends are those spent home alone or now home with Ry.

I’m a chronic insomniac because of depression so I rely on medication to sleep. My 10:30pm bedtime is so I can get a full 8hrs of sleep. I’m usually awake by 6am or just after 6. But I like to stay in bed a bit and just clear my head before my alarm goes off. I also squeeze in some reading during that time. I also like to read before I sleep that’s why I’m in bed by 9pm. I read until 10:30pm or sometimes use that time to respond to texts. I don’t like chatting with people between 6–9pm. That’s my time to hang with myself. I’m very selfish with myself and I enjoy spending time with myself.

When I go out the schedule changes a bit. However to be able to sleep at 10:30pm I need to take my meds at 8pm and be home by 10pm. So no, I don’t want to spend all my life locked up indoors by myself. I’m not a serial killer. I do go out sometimes I just want to be home by 10pm cos the 10:30pm bedtime is critical.

I am so grumpy when I’m sleep deprived and also just generally unproductive. I function optimally when I get my 8hrs of sleep. So NOTHING gets in the way of that. I am certain at the end of my life I will not regret being so strict about my bedtime. I may miss out on certain “fun” that happens later at night but I am fully present in all my waking hours. And I wouldn’t trade that for ANYTHING.

So I am happy to skip any event to ensure I get my sleep. As someone who battles with depression and anxiety it is imperative that I get my 8hrs of sleep. I swear I’m powered by my sleep. I feel like I’m overstimulated during the day so I need “quiet time” before I sleep so my mind can rest and not struggle falling asleep. One of the reasons I struggle with sleep is cos my mind just never shuts down. So I’ve found slowing it down that way helps me fall asleep more easily. Yes, even with meds I still need to do all that. I’ve stayed up til midnight after taking my meds cos I didn’t give myself that time to slow down.

So when people visit and they want to chill with me until I jump into bed do you see how much I’m being robbed of? It’s unfair on me. I live with a mental illness I don’t expect anyone to care more about my health than I do. Me needing so much time alone is partly due to just my nature but also cos I am trying to survive depression. So it is part of my selfcare.

So yea. I would love to be everyone’s favorite host but not at the expense of my wellbeing. I am a much more fun, energized, warm person when I’m well rested and I’ve had time to recharge. So contrary to what I had led myself to believe, I am not horrible for expecting my guests to leave at a certain time. Okay maybe I am horrible for expecting my guests to read my mind. So this is me setting a boundary so that those who are for me can love me better. You love me better by leaving me alone. :)

I am no longer judging myself for being the way I am. I need A LOT of time alone to be my best self. It’s not wrong it’s not right. It just is. And I expect those who love me to know who I really am and love that version better.

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umzila kawulandelwa

I tell stories about my experience of being alive. Perpetually day dreaming of reading and writing by the beach