When does liking being alone become a problem?

Something I have been wondering about lately is that I possibly like being alone too much. Sometimes I don’t even want to go to Mass on Sunday (one day a week!) but then I think "ahh, if only there was nobody else there, if only I could have Mass at home) I wasted most of my teenage years sitting in my room alone. I rarely went out and did anything (probably a few times a year tops) When I would go places (youth group, for example) I would wish I could go back home… I started volunterring because I really wasn’t ever leaving the house, but I found that even two days a week was a lot. So I do one now.
Of course, because of this I don’t have many friends, and didn’t keep any from school. Never had a relationship or anything. Sometimes I think Wow… if I died right now there would not be many people at my funeral lol
When I was 16-17 it actually bothered me a lot, I felt so lonely sometimes that I would cry. But I just got over it. I find that I’m really good at cutitng people out, because I just don’t want to make the effort to talk to them sometimes. I have mild Autism… I don’t like using it as an excuse but I suppose it might explain a little.
I don’'t know what vocation could possibly be for me if I’m like this, unless I change. I know I probably do not want to be a nun, though.
Is this possibly even sinful?

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I don’t think sinful, but maybe warranting a chat with a therapist. My rationale is that there’s nothing wrong with being alone, but your first sentence

doesn’t align with everything else you wrote in your post. The rest of this writing makes it sound like you really DON’T like being alone nor do you want to be.

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It becomes a problem for me when
(1) I’m avoiding people, rejecting healthy requests to hang out, etc
(2) Develops negative thinking (lust, addictions, etc) = idle time is devils playground
(3) I’m avoiding responsibilities I have (mass, work, groceries, etc)

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How old are you and have you talked to your physician about this. Seems you might have a bit of anxiety that needs to be discussed. Don’ t be afraid to go and see about this. Your whole life could change for the better.

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  1. If you need to leave your house, but can’t
  2. When you start to neglect your job or family.
  3. If you find that your desire to be alone is driven by anxiety.
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Yup, I agree with 4, 5, & 6. Also, have you considered having a pet (a very “connection-centric” one like a cat, dog, horse, etc)? Or even a greenhouse for plants? The desire to be alone doesn’t seem sinful per se, but might you enjoy the company of a less-demanding life form? I think it can be healthy (and satisfying) to be “stretched” a bit by creatures that depend on us & they can keep us from a certain depressing heaviness that can creep in when our lives are primarily revolving around meeting our own needs / wants.

Also, have you thought about ways to make a difference in others’ lives without going out much? Donating a genuinely sizable portion of your income to a charity where you can SEE the results? Crocheting prayer blankets? Or even rocking critically ill babies in the NICU so they experience the warmth of human connection (yes they are people - but probably sleeping ones!)

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@Jen7

Great ideas! —For anyone, but especially for someone who needs to slowly spread their wings! :heart::heart::heart:

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@sarah99

Welcome to CAF, Sarah! Lol! Just luxuriate in being the best version of you that you can be!

I’ll suggest our old “tried and true” advice here: Talk to your priest. He has dedicated his life to serving God through shepherding Christ’s flock, and you are a part of that flock.

Read about the saints and about people who’ve accomplished much for mankind with their talents. Maybe Father can point you to someone who can help you channel your talents into a line of work that brings joy and fulfillment to you and to others.

Although you don’t wish to join a convent, it’s entirely possible for you to have a career and be a lay member, so that you maintain your individuality and personal space—if that’s what you ultimately decide upon—but also devote a portion of your life to God. It’s a great big, beautiful, wonderful world that awaits you! Explore it!

Show Father this thread, if you wish. He won’t wave a magic wand, but he’ll help you know where to start in putting together the puzzle pieces that will form your life. :grinning: Keep posting! We have fora on national and world news, music, prayers, the nitty-gritty of Church regulations, etc—lol! Fun for everyone!

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I am 19 almost 20 which is what has caused me to start thinking about this. I’ve thought about how I spent my teenage years and I realised I wasted most of it. I have gone to the doctor, but not recently. I have been diagnosed with Anxiety before (probably 6 years back) but I don’t think that is the issue. I just find I don’t have much motivation to live life. I’m used to being a “hermit”. I do have pets which is great, they give me a little purpose. But I still feel like my life isn’t very useful being alone most of the the time. I don’t know if this is laziness or what?
I guess I “like” being alone but I don’t? I don’t know.
I could try talking to my priest but… I’m not great at talking to people. I feel pretty stuck

When it shows signs of being social anxiety.

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Is this because you wish you’d done more meaningful / socially-helpful things? Wish you’d studied harder / had career goals? Wish you’d partied more? Something else? Answering these questions might give you clues about your personality and provide a little help on how to proceed. I recommend taking a free Myers Briggs personality quiz online. The results might shed a lot of light for you on your strengths and weaknesses and a healthy path forward.

I will certainly advice you to do so, especially since you are concerned of whether this is sinful.

OP, have you considered you might have a vocation to be a contemplative nun?

I haven’t really thought about it! I read about another women that had Austism who tried to become a nun and she said it was very difficult. So, I sort of feel like it’s not for me

So there’s different kinds of nuns. The kind I’m thinking about don’t even speak to each other unless it’s necessary, and they like never leave their convent. Just wanted to mention it because it sounds like a glorious isolation to me and you can just be alone with God.

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Stop right there for a start! This is one of those specters that therapists have to quickly dispel. You are very young but it doesn’t matter how old a person is, there is always the future however long, to fill with good meaningful life.

Seems like you’ve resigned yourself to this existence and lost hope. I always pass on this wisdom that my husband gave to my son who had a similar experience to you. Do at least one thing every day to improve your life. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing but think about it the day before and force yourself to do it. There is a saying “God helps those who help themselves” and it is very true.

My guess is that you are focusing on justifying your isolation but really, you’d like to be living a fuller, freer life. I’d say today…think of a goal for tomorrow. Get started. God bless.

By the way, my son at 28 (diagnosed as a child, with Aspergers) has a degree in IT and is working a professional job with the Australian Government.

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Can empathize. I hated socialising when I was teenage/20s and only did it cos I thought I had to, people would think I was a loser if I didn’t…to be honest I could have dropped all that stuff and not lost anything. I found my best friend at work late twenties and have been friends with her ever since. No contact with those people at school and uni I felt I had to go out with to avoid loser tag…

My friends are mostly people at church now but even then I am not great at socialising unless I know people well.

I think, don’t panic. The right friends will turn up in time and in the right place! Try not to get anxious about it

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