Loneliness in RECOVERY (Part 2)

now that I have myself!

PREVIOUS: Recovery Loneliness (#1)

SITE: Stop being Lonely in Recovery

This type of Rec. Loneliness is healthy & to be expected (cont.):

Accept temporary Rec. loneliness of……
….. Re-evaluating all our relationships. First just being aware of the problem, then consider leaving the most blatantly inappropriate / abusive people, then eventually catching the subtle ways people are abusive, unavailable or just plain unsuitable for us, no matter how good they look ‘on paper’leaving

….. The actual ‘leaving’ comes in stages too. Some just drift away, some people we have to talk to, some will not accept the loss & pursue us. And then there are the relationships we’ll keep falling back into – even when we know they not healthy for us, because the WIC is not ready to let go of them, so we’re conflicted. When the kid is sick & tired of being sick & tired – we move on – with little or no regret!

Accept temporary Rec. loneliness of……
….. Our increasing awareness:
— when someone is not ‘all there‘ – shut down, distracted, narcissistic, not available. We are truly alone with such people & we don’t like it! Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 7.57.56 PM
— that we get confused when someone tries to ‘help’ us, but we still feel angry, alone, misunderstood. Sometimes this is because the WIC is not yet allowed to be helped by anyone, BUT more often – as long as we’re still dealing with anyone who is controlling, narcissistic, people-pleasing or a rescuer – we are legitimately picking up that the help or solicitousness offered is tainted. It’s being given for their benefit not ours. That leaves us alone – again!

— that in early Recovery we tend to idealize NEW support people or groups who are genuinely helpful, kind & gentle. This is the WIC seeing them as the Good Parent, rather than just healthier peers. As long as we idealize anyone we will be let down & disappointed when they don’t live up to our fantasies.

✶✶ However, for those of us whose parents are still alive – a very important & powerful Recovery experience is when we finally ‘get it’ that being with our unhealed family leaves us feeling very mentally & emotionally alone – no matter how nice they may be to us in the present. It’s not just our imagination or some flaw in us. It’s that they haven’t done the ‘work’ & are still shut down, still ‘active’, still self-centered…. so our connection is superficial. We want more but they’re simply not available.dumping everone

Too fast: When we first become aware of how sick many of our long-term relationships are, some of us will want to get rid of everyone right away & perhaps start dumping our whole phone book. If the phone list is very recent that may be OK. But we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water.  Ending all old relationships at once can be too overwhelming – leaving us bereft of any connections before we can replace them with more loving ones.

Very slowly: At the other extreme are those of us who take a very long time to process any decision to separate, especially regarding long-term relationships that were once important to us. We’re afraid of being disloyal (even tho they’re not worthy of it) & afraid of feeling the loss of our illusions about them, since we always knew there was something wrong but couldn’t admit it.

NEXT: Recovery Loneliness – Part 3


One thought on “Loneliness in RECOVERY (Part 2)

  1. I appreciate the comment “unhealed family leaves us feeling very mentally & emotionally alone …. its not our imaginagion or some flaw in us”

    Mine are gone but I was berated too often to “step up” and care for them, told
    they did the best they could”. I do not believe that is feasible or healthy in some cases. This applies now to my only remaining relative. It has been tough to admit to myself but however painful I feel acceptance about that reality. The fantasy “hope” I created is just that.

    I am still working on my friendships, I tossed the whole rolodex at once, LOL. Went back for one and working on another. Time will tell but so far so good. Not a perfect process in my case but I feel freer and safer these days after the shock wore off.

    Thanks as always


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