I CAN STAND THE DISCOMFORT
of loneliness because it’s not forever
PREVIOUS: Loneliness in Recovery (Part 1)
SITE: ‘Will I go crazy?” re. loneliness
TWO STEPS FORWARD….
While all Recovery progress is positive, it is never in a straight line & doesn’t always feel good – as much as we would all like that to be so. Instead, we move forward at a slow pace, often falling back into old ways & sometimes feeling discouraged, like we’re never going to ‘get it’.
John Bradshaw’s statement that a therapist’s job is to take a client “from their misery into their pain” (from our Self-Hate into our Abandonment pain) also applies to each of us individually on our journey thru Recovery. We need to feel old pain – a little at a time – as we progress, & that includes Loneliness. Is takes courage & perseverance. Recovery (Rec.) creates ‘opportunities’ for feeling lonely, which is a sign of growth as we leave behind the old ways!
The following sources of Rec. Loneliness are healthy & to be expected:
Accept temporary Rec. loneliness of……
….. Separating from the disease of childhood damage (our ‘story’), which is what all of Recovery is about. Any form of ‘letting go’ leaves a temporary feeling of depression & emptiness – as it taps into the old Abandonment pain, in the form of intense fear & accumulated loneliness. It means:
— S & I from the PP voice, S-H, the Toxic Rules & Toxic Roles. Our inner space has to be filled with the UNIT (Loving Parent + Healthy Adult).
— letting go of a wide variety of addictions, a little at a time. When we stop numbing the hole in our soul, the emptiness (not having our True Self yet) lets us feel how Lonely we’ve always been
— outgrowing the compulsion to be symbiotically attached to someone, anyone, letting us feel how lonely it is to be with the wrong people – for us. Accepting that we all have to live in our own skin (‘existential aloneness’), which is healthy & normal. We do need others, but not in a desperate, needy-child way.
Accept temporary Rec. Loneliness of…..
….. Getting to know our IC (especially the Healthy one) – & building the UNIT. We gradually become aware that we do not have a monster inside, but a deeply, desperately HURT CHILD. That WIC may always want to be taken care of by someone else, so there’s a loneliness in letting go of other people as potential parents. Guides, mentors, teachers, friends…. are appropriate & needed, BUT not in the role of parents. That belongs to us & we have to become compassionate & dependable (trustworthy).
— Any form of dialogue with the IC will gradually fill the empty hole in our gut. Book-ending with the WIC helps shift its focus from past training to present-day reality.
Accept temporary Rec. loneliness of..…
….. Doing fewer & fewer self-defeating things. This can be very scary, for a while, so we have to have patience & faith in the process because:
— it’s disorienting to function in a new pattern, until we get used to it
— disobeying the Toxic Rules can bring with it varying degrees of internal backlash, & sometimes very real punishment from others
— it leaves us wondering who we are. We won’t completely prevent the PP voice from whispering in our ear, but as we stop obeying it we can feel confused & alone. We wonder “Who am I without ‘them’?” if we’re not that Role or Persona we developed in childhood. The WIC is afraid we’ll have no identity without our familiar ‘self’, which is made up mainly of defenses. BUT in reality we were born with a personality all our own & need to strip away the False Identity to find that out.
Accept temporary Rec. Loneliness of…..
…. Shifting our dependence to ourselves and to a Higher Power or Spiritual Discipline as the Good-Parent we never had. Humans will always let us down, even the best ones, but “God, as we understand Him’ never will.
— For those of us having trouble with this (from lack of faith, anger at the God of our childhood, or not having a concept of a H.P. greater than ourselves…) we can ask for guidance to a Governing Principle that will be a comfort to us.
TRUSTING an unseen Spirit Being or Force if hard when we don’t trust anyone or anything. But that shifts as we learn to trust ourselves AND pick healthier people who are more reliable. Also, because Spirit is intangible, we need to be in touch with, the emotions housed in the Healthy Child & Loving Parent ego states, our intuition & perhaps 6th sense.
NEXT: Recovery Loneliness (Part 2)