Conor - Sterling, Illinois
Entered on September 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

My greatest highs come from no drug, nor could they be matched by any drug. I experience complete happiness in solitude. When I completely immerse myself in my obsessions, I withdraw my mind from the complications and stress of everyday life—from the relationships and anxiety surrounding me.

One of these obsessions is music. The chill I feel up my spine when I hear something extremely beautiful or intricate can hardly be matched. When truly listening to music, my surroundings become secondary and my mind is free to wander. I listen to every aspect of the music: the melody, the tone, the chord changes. Even when the music doesn’t connote a positive feeling, I can find joy in the musical aspects of it.

My hobbies are capable of taking me to a point of mental solitude as well. When playing my guitar, figuring out new songs, riffs, scales, or techniques, I free my mind by focusing directly on the task at hand. Skateboarding allows me to do the same. When I devote hours to learning new tricks, I’m put into a near-meditative state of concentration.

With skateboarding I can also remove myself from the company of others physically. Some nights I ride my longboard for hours on end. I usually ride about five miles before I quit, but one time I kept myself going. My mind was cluttered with stress that night, and I was feeling restless. I had started riding with a friend, but towards the fifth mile he went back home to sleep. I continued on. I explored roads that I had never seen before in a subconscious attempt to get myself lost. I was feeling motivated and focused, and truly appreciative of the solitude of the country. I could hear only the insects of the night and my urethane wheels on the pavement; I could see only city lights on the horizon and the dimly lit road. Rather than making a fool of myself at some party like so many others were probably doing that night, I was feeling completely euphoric in sobriety. When I finally arrived back home after my thirty-mile, three-hour long journey, my endorphins were still pumping and, despite my aching muscles, I was happier than I had been in a very long time. Reflecting, I thought it was amazing that I could experience such bliss in complete solitude.

Not to say that I don’t enjoy companionship, but so far throughout my life I have always found more satisfaction in being alone than being in the company of others. It could be some subconscious fear of mine, a manifestation of mild OCD, or just my personality, but it has consistently held true. Perhaps this belief will change in the future if I find some love who can elevate me to greater heights of emotion than those brought on by the freedom of solitude, but for now I am content with myself.