PREVIOUS: Recovery Loneliness (#1)
The middle A : ACCEPTANCE (PART 3)
Recovery (Rec) Loneliness is part of the process, so it’s normal & to be expected (cont.):
4. Accept temporary Rec. loneliness of……
….. re-evaluating all our relationships. At first we just become aware of the problem, slowly we consider leaving the most blatantly inappropriate / abusive people, then eventually catch the more subtle ways people are harmful, unavailable or just plain unsuitable for us, no matter how good they look ‘on paper’
….. realizing that actual ‘leaving’ comes in stages too. Some people just drift away, some we have to have a talk with, 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’re 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 (being on the same page as the UNIT) – we move on, with little or no regret!
5. Accept temporary Rec. loneliness of……
….. an increasing Awareness (the first A):
• of anyone one who is not ‘all there‘, We may live them & they may not be a bad person BUT they’re shut down, distracted, narcissistic, not available – fir us. We are truly alone with such people & we don’t like that anymore! (YEAH!)
• that we get confused when someone tries to ‘help’ us, yet we still feel angry, alone, lonely, misunderstood.
— Sometimes this is because the WIC is still not allowed to be helped by anyone, BUT more often
– we’re legitimately picking up that the solicitousness to help is tainted, because they’re controlling, narcissistic, people-pleasing or a rescuer.
We come to realize that it’s being offered 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 experiencing 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 / can’t live up to our fantasies.
✶✶ However, for those of us with parents still alive – a very important & powerful Recovery experience is when we finally ‘get it’ that being with our unhealed family IS being mentally & emotionally alone – no matter how well behaved they may be with 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.
a. Too fast – re letting go
When we first truly see of how unhealthy / harmful many of our long-term relationships are, some of us will want to get rid of everyone right away, & may start dumping our whole phone book.
If the phone list is very recent, that may be appropriate. But it doesn’t make sense to compulsively throw the baby out with the bath water. Ending all old relationships at once – if at all – will be too jarring, leaving us bereft of any connections before we can replace them with more loving ones.
b. Too slowly : At the other extreme are those of us who procrastinate, taking too long to separate, especially those long-term relationships that were once important to us. We’re afraid of —
— being disloyal (even tho they are not worthy of it)
— hurting their feelings (even tho they rarely considered ours)
— losing some fun, good things about them
— the loss of our illusions about how badly they treat us, even tho we’ve always really known there was something wrong, but couldn’t admit it. It’s scary to realize how off our thinking has been.
NEXT: Recovery Loneliness – Part 3