PREVIOUS: Loneliness in Recovery (Part 1)
SITE: ‘Will I go crazy?” re. loneliness
TWO STEPS FORWARD….
While all Recovery progress is positive, it’s never in a straight line & doesn’t always feel good – as much as we’d all like it to. Instead, we move forward at a slow pace, often falling back into old ways & sometimes feeling discouraged, like we’rel 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 Self-Hate into Abandonment pain) also applies to us individually on our journey thru Recovery. We need to feel old wounds – a little at a time, & that includes Loneliness. Is takes courage & perseverance. Recovery (Rec.) creates ‘opportunities’ for feeling lonely, which is a sign of growth as we leave old ways behind!
The following sources of Rec. Loneliness are healthy & to be expected:
1. Accept temporary Rec. loneliness of……
….. separating from childhood damage (our ‘story’). Any form of ‘letting go’ leaves a temporary feeling of depression & emptiness – as it taps into our childhood sorrow & rage, intense fear & emptiness.
• separation & Individuation (S & I ) from the PP voice & our resulting S-H, the Toxic Rules & Toxic Roles. These interlopers clogging our Inner Space have to be replaced with the UNIT (Loving Parent + Healthy Adult).
• gradually letting go of a variety of addictions. When we stop numbing the “hole in the soul”, the emptiness (lack of True Self) lets us feel how alone we’ve been
• outgrowing the compulsion to be symbiotically attached to someone, anyone, which lets us feel how lonely it is to be with people who are wrong for us. It’s 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.
2. 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.
The 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 a parental role. That’s for us to do, to become compassionate & dependable (trustworthy).
• Any form of dialogue with the IC will gradually fill the emptyness. Book-ending with the WIC helps shift its focus from past to present-day reality.
3. Accept temporary Rec. loneliness of..…
….. doing fewer & fewer self-defeating things. This can be very scary for a while, so we need 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 first stop obeying it we can feel confused & alone. We think: “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 the old familiar ‘self’, mainly made up of defenses. In reality we were born with a personality all our own & need to strip away the False Identity to find that out.
NEXT: Recovery Loneliness (Part 2)