Solitude is not a penance. It's a gift which permits reflection on where we want to go and understand better where we've been in our lives. If we cannot abide to be alone we should ask ourselves why that is so because it is during these times that our best self-analysis is performed. We have all known people for whom aloneness becomes synonymous with loneliness and they must distract themselves to avoid the unbearable quiet of their own thoughts.
I have been living alone for several years and one gets used to it to the point of preferring it. When the desire to reach out manifests, it can be satiated with the company of friends after which we can withdraw to one’s sanctuary. It becomes easier the longer one does it.
Having discovered that I am at heart an introvert, I can be very outgoing but then must retreat to recharge when I suffer overexposure to social noise. I must afterwards take the time to digest what I have experienced and process it to arrive at a concensus of how it made me feel. In that sense, solitude becomes self correction and adjustment prior to our next foray into the world.