I NEVER IMAGINED
I’d ever be this comfortable!
PREVIOUS: Loneliness in Recovery (Part 2)
SITE: The GIFT of Loneliness ~ Dr. Chip Dodd (scroll down)
RECOVERING from childhood Loneliness (cont.)
SHIFTS: Sometimes those bigger ‘change for the better’ situations are hard on us emotionally, as another layer of the old pain surfaces, but we know how to deal with it because the UNIT is now in charge, & we’re happy for the chance to clean out more of the old gunk.
AND, we DON’T feel deeply, hopelessly L. because:
● the L. that was based on S-H & hopelessness is (mostly) GONE
● we know it’s OK to the alone when we want to, & it’s not isolating nor an indication that we’re unwanted & unlovable
● we are more likely to find a healthier life partner, if we want one, not out of loneliness but to share our principles, goals & dreams
● we’re living mainly in the positive present, & enjoying it
SO we don’t suffer that way any more (most of the time), since:
1. We have found our True Self. Our goal is to be whole inside of ourselves, not fragmented in compartments that don’t communicate or that are always at odds. When we love ourselves, even the imperfect & still wounded parts. The PP & WIC voice lessen over time, which fostered the internal loneliness.
2. We’ve come to willingly accept ALL of our emotions, having learned to comfort ourselves when stressed or in pain, and allowing ourselves to revel in the pleasant or joyful ones, becoming the Positive Parent we never had
3. We have internal permission from the Loving Parent in the form of Healthy Introject to receive respect, attention, validation, love…. For some of us this will take a great effort – to overcome the deep fear of taking in positive regard form others, because it forces us to feel the contrast with the enormous emotional & psychological deprivations of our childhood.
4. We don’t have to hide from others, since:
● we’re not afraid of our anger, & are in charge of our rage
● our wounds are no longer raw & over-sensitive. Fear of abandonment no longer rules every decision or action
● knowing who we are, we don’t have to depend on unreliable others to tell us how we should be, what we should feel or do
● we’ve developed reasonable boundaries so we know where we end & others begin, which makes us feel safe
5. Because of Points 1-4, we are more comfortable being visible & able to take appropriate risks, so we can be more active in connecting which individuals & groups, sharing our thoughts & talents – without feeling self-conscious or worrying about being judged
6. We know what we like, want, have a right to, & what we’re good / great at.…so we can:
● ask for as much help as we need, since we can’t possibly know everything, and don’t have to do everything alone (or go without)
● go to the right people for those needs & wants, knowing who to go to, & for what. We have a large enough pool of support & resources to draw from so we don’t feel bereft, even when we faced with life’s difficulties.
● follow our dreams & freely express our creativity
7. We can leave unsuitable people & situations much sooner, by picking up many large & small cues (from them & in ourselves) that something isn’t working. We don’t have to be bored, uncomfortable or annoyed by places that are not a good fit for us, AND keep looking until we find the ones that do!
8. We don’t spend much time worrying what others think of us, want from us or if they’ll reject us as some point, because we’re no longer desperate to stay connected,
NOR do we waste our energy obsessing about others who are NOT taking care of themselves, and don’t have to actually rescue them by doing for them what they can do for themselves
We can think of Recovery as progressively healthier Dependencies:
NATURALLY – we need to keep in mind that no Recovery process is ever complete or smooth. The list above is a general outline of a healthy person, but as ACoAs we all some regressions, occasional depression & loneliness. These emotions can be circumstantial or from the past. In any case, we are responsible for creating a safe environment for our Inner Kid.
We are NOT looking to get rid of that kid, but rather integrating him or her into a good Inner Family that works to help each other – Good Parent, Skillful Adult & Happy Kid.
NEXT: SITE MAP of ACoAs website