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Alone With My Thoughts…

Posted on Aug 7, 2015

You can be lonely in a crowded room; you can feel detached in a marriage; you can be cut off from your friends, you could even choose to be a shut-in. But these are all experienced while life goes on directly in front of you – on the tv, on your computer, in the hospital bed next to you, in the apartment below you, on the street outside your window. You can access the world if you want or need it.

How many of us can say that we have truly, truly been alone for more than a few days? Some of us not even THAT long! Unless you’ve been stranded on an island or lost in the forest for weeks, it’s unlikely that any of us can claim we know what it feels like to be “alone”. 

The only time I was actually alone was one summer, doing forestry surveys up in northern BC and Yukon. We would get dropped off by helicopter in a forest in the morning, and we got picked up in the afternoon at the same spot. Our plots were laid out in one direction, and then you backtracked and collected your information from each plot on the way back to your pickup spot. Usually we worked in teams, but this particular week we were doing individual surveys. We were so far apart that our radios didn’t work, so if you were in trouble you were SOL. All you could do was hope like hell that you didn’t run into any large animals, and that your work was done by the time the chopper came for you.

Those were the longest hours ever, hunkered down in the spongy moss beds with mosquito netting covering every exposed surface, ears alert to every squirrel squeaking, every pinecone falling, every grumble in my tummy. And the sudden relief when I heard the whup whup whup of the helicopter from far away, and the panic that rushed over me when I actually saw it. All of the fear and anxiety of the day rose up as a whimper in my throat as I trudged through those swampy forests in my cork boots, racing to the helicopter. Seeing another human being after only 9 hours of being alone filled me with such joy and gratefulness that I grinned despite my exhaustion!

I was truly alone for 9 hours. Nine. If I had to be alone for 34 days, as these last 4 guys on Alone have been so far, I would have LOST. MY. MIND. And I fear they are about to do just that, these last 4 standing. They have survived the rain, the 100% humidity, the hunger, even wild animals. But they can’t escape themselves. As my wise (and a little bit crazy) brother once told me: wherever you go, there you are. No place has this been more apparent than in this show!

Lucas has built a canoe, a yurt, and even a musical instrument! He is creative, clever, and incredibly resourceful; and oddly, the most delicate of the bunch. Emotionally, that is. He is the only one there without children (at least, he hasn’t mentioned any), and speaks mostly about his mother when he is reflecting. He has a soft, sensitive soul, and wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s also impulsive, and he’s the one we worry about the most at the beginning of each episode!

The other three men that are left are married, and have strong emotional ties to children. These men are also resourceful to the Nth degree, and have made impressive shelters and found unique food sources (periwinkles, mice, duck). These men have an inner core strength and determination that comes from having your feet firmly planted on the solid ground provided by stability and family. They know who they are, and they know what it means to have people relying on you. It’s almost like they are lost now that there’s no one to worry about but themselves.

Mitch put it best when he said something like “it’s amazing what you would do for yourself compared to what you would do for the ones you love.” Truer words were never spoken! We all know what it’s like – you’re hungry but you will feed your kids before you even take a bite; you’re exhausted but you will carry your kids in from the car, and tuck them into their beds before sitting down; you have to pee like a racehorse but you will stop and pick up that 6 pack for your spouse because you know how much they will appreciate it (that, and you don’t want to have to go back out for it later!) But if you were single and/or alone, you would go to bed hungry or just pee out the window and sleep in your car!

Poor Sam has eaten too small, bony mice. He has lost a lot of weight already, and that may contribute to his recent bouts of sadness. Little to no food means he’s running out of energy to hold himself together. Even so, when he smiles through his tears you can see his determination. I’m not counting him out yet!

And Alan. Sheesh, he’s been even-keeled for the most part – how does he do it?! He had one day when he was in a pissy mood, but otherwise he just rolls with the punches. He adapts. He’s an adapter. LOL! We haven’t seen or heard about any wildlife encounters that he’s had – have there been any?? What would happen if HE was the one stalked by bears or cougars? Would he still be as calm and cool, or would there be a crack in the armour? 

We may never find out, as it looks like things are about to get ridiculously hard for these 4 guys! I don’t see how they can carry on much longer – it’s freaking SNOWING!!! Good GAWD! It’s hard enough to think straight when you’re hungry – imagine being hungry AND frozen! YOIKS! I have no idea who is going to be the last man standing, but I wonder what happens after the 3rd guy taps out – do they go tell the 4th guy that he’s won? Or do they just let him keep living out there until he finally taps out?? Ooooh, the suspense is killing me!!!