Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between the two. Both require being in solitude while being comfortable and content within it. I think the main difference is in the intention and the perception. When I am alone, I am determined to spend time with myself. Sometimes it is by choice, but not always. I love taking myself to lunch, going to a matinee or staying home. I relish in this time to “date” myself. It feels more like a celebration. I perceive it more like a positive isolation. When I am in a negative isolation, I don’t want to see, talk or communicate with anyone (other than my husband whom I live with). I call it hibernation, another friend called it being MIA (Missing In Action). In those moments, I just want to shut the world out. At first it feels simply just a need to be alone but then in getting used to that, I realized I did not want to be social. I felt it became a ‘danger zone’, aka isolation. I didn’t even want to go outside. At all. Like stay inside the home and only get groceries because I had to, kind of way. It felt good for a while but I questioned my meaning and purpose. It became so dull and and monotonous. That is when I switched gears. My first move was texting my friends, just to let them know I was thinking of them. I didn’t necessarily want to see them but I needed to know I was connected to them somehow. *If you know anyone going through depression or anything like this, get in touch. Nothing sweeter than getting a message from a friend.* I’ve seen content that shares that isolation can be a silent killer. Like this TEDed with John Cacioppo, Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience. When you’re alone, you remove yourself from others that can help you grow, see yourself in a different light and all the other benefits of connecting with others. Being alone, however is an opportunity to discover yourself. Sometimes it is hard to tell which one you really are. So ask yourself these questions: What do I intend to do with this time? How long do I intend to be in quiet? There is nothing wrong with wanting to be alone, escaping the world a little but it is important to rejoin so we don’t lose too much of ourselves.