Living in Solitude: 5 Things you learn when You Spend Time Alone

Written by Nancy

Spending time alone is something that many of those recovering from addiction have found to be beneficial and healing. Even if you’re not someone who is working on past problems with substance abuse or another form of addiction, time alone is extremely important.

Why is Solitude or Time Alone so Important?

There are a number of reasons why spending time alone is important. One of the biggest things about solitude is what it teaches you. For someone who has recently pulled themselves out of the throws of addiction and is on their way to living a better and more fulfilled life, here are five things time alone teach you.

It Teaches You That You Are Enough

The first thing that spending time alone teaches us is that we are enough. We are often used to being reliant on others for all kinds of support. Those of us struggling with addictive tendencies may even have an inclination towards co-dependence which is harmful in any case.

Spending time alone helps us realize that for the most part, we are enough. It helps us realize that though human contact and being social is important, we can even take time out for solitude and continue to exist!

It teaches you Emotional Distress Tolerance

Emotional distress tolerance is a skill with which we might arguably have never ended up being addicted to anything to begin with. When we feel unpleasant within, our modus operandi is to make it stop as quickly as possible using any means necessary.


Even when we’re not using, we might become overly dependent on people. At the slightest hint of emotional distress, we might call a friend, head out to meet someone or immerse ourselves in an argument or discussion that serves as a distraction.

When we’re alone and those unpleasant feelings hit, there is nowhere to run or hide. Though this might sound scary and even seem so at first, it is all for the better. In being alone, we learn to sit with and hold our feelings and emotions – even the less pleasant ones. As a result, our emotional distress tolerance improves. When this happens, it takes a lot more than it usually would to shake or break us, which is why the same is so beneficial.

It teaches you to enjoy your Own Company

We might feel that we need people to have a good time. We might even feel that having a nice time alone or being in our own company is unpleasant or in some cases, unbearable. Spending time alone helps break these misconceptions. The more time one spends alone, the more one learns to enjoy and appreciate one’s own company.

As a result, you become less dependent on the external when it comes to having a pleasant time!

It teaches you to Love Yourself

Though the image here is lighthearted, self love is serious business! Spending time alone teaches you to love yourself and we all know how self-love is something many of us may have struggled with in the past. It is in fact feelings of self loathing that man in many instances contribute to the manifestation of problems with addiction.

Spending time alone helps you break that pattern. It helps you develop an appreciation for yourself and a love for what you stand for. This in turn, just makes you more emotionally robust as a human being.

It teaches you things about yourself you may not have Known  

Finally spending time alone can be quite enlightening when it comes to getting to know yourself. We often lose ourselves in the company we keep, the places we grow up and the people we spend most of our time with.

At times, we lose sight and connection with the people we are, becoming more and more immersed in the image we may have created of ourselves. Solitude helps us break such fallacies and reconnect with our true selves. The more time we spend alone, the more things we learn about ourselves that we may not have known. This in a sense helps build character.

The Upshot

Though alienation and isolation might not always be the way to go, there are times when we need to pull back and take stock. We might need to ground ourselves and recalibrate or simply just take a time out to get our heads together. Whether you check in to a sober living facility or simply spend some time by yourself away from your usual environment, time alone can be hugely healing and can teach us a lot.

Life Launch is a purpose driven transitional sober living home located in the north of Houston – TX offering those recovering from addiction the space and facilities required to make a full and long standing recovery.

About the author



I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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