Loneliness in RECOVERY (Part 3)

not lonely

I’d ever be this comfortable!

PREVIOUS: Loneliness in Recovery (Part 2)

SITE: The GIFT of Loneliness ~ Dr. Chip Dodd (scroll down)


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

6. Accept temporary Rec. Loneliness of…..
…. Shifting our dependence on to ourselves & our Higher Power 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.

NOTE: For those of us who have 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 from Governing Principle that will be a comfort to us. connect W.HP

TRUSTING an unseen Spirit Being or Force if hard when we don’t trust anyone or anything. But that can start the shift by learning to trust ourselves, AND by picking healthier more reliable people. Also, because Spirit is intangible, we need to be in touch with the emotions housed in the Healthy Child & Loving Parent ego states, which is our intuition or 6th sense.

Emotional feelings from leaving inappropriate people can be sadness & brief loneliness, OR relief and healthy self-congratulation (which we’re not used to & not ‘allowed’ – we think it’s arrogant & selfish!)

Practical outcomes can be:
• short-term isolation, which we need to process such big changes, but not from fear, guilt, shame or S-H
• that some people we distance from can’t tolerate their own abandonment pain, so will keep bugging us : ”What happened? Where are you? Are you all right”? even after telling them you need space, or ending with a final good-buy.  If you’re truly done, you don’t have to respond. We are not responsible for THEIR WIC, even tho we can understand & have compassion
• we’ll falone to thinkeel lighter & have more energy for our own life & pursuits
• having the space to add in more & more healthy suitable people/ places & things for ourselves

Keep in mind Al-Anon’s 3 As: 1. Awareness 2. Acceptance & 3. Action.
It’s never healthy to jump from #1 to #3, which is what most ACoAs do automatically. We need to spend as much time in #2 as our psyche /WIC needs. Then the eventual Actions will likely be much healthier.

Occasionally we’ll still find ourselves lonely, as when we’re :
• with the wrong people, which triggers old Abandonment pain
• outgrowing old ‘supports’, leaving behind (or limiting contact with) people & locations we’ve had in our life for a very long time, but were not suitable, or just plain bad for us
• moving on to each new level of personal growth, from :
“I don’t belong anywhere”—-> to —-> “I know who I am & I go where it’s warm”

With RECOVERY we don’t feel as deeply L. because:
• the L. that was based on S-H & hopelessness is so much milder
• we know it’s OK to the alone when we want to, & it’s not isolating, nor an indication we feel unwanted & unlovable
• we’re 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

These big ‘changes for the better’ can be hard on us emotionally, as another layer of old pain surfaces, but now we know how to deal with it because the UNIT is in charge, & we’re happy to clean out more of the old damage.

NEXT: Recovery from Loneliness #4

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

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

….. realizing 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 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!

5. Accept temporary Rec. loneliness of……
….. an 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 anymore! Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 7.57.56 PM
• that we get confused when someone tries to ‘help’ us, yet still feel angry, alone, 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 offered 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 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 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

a. Too fast: When we first truly see of how sick 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 can be too jarring – leaving us bereft of any connections before we can replace them with more loving ones.

b. Very 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’re not worthy of it) & afraid of feeling the loss of our illusions about them, since we always really did know there was something wrong, but couldn’t admit it.

NEXT: Recovery Loneliness – Part 3

Loneliness in RECOVERY (Part 1)

of loneliness because it’s not forever

PREVIOUS: Loneliness in Recovery (Part 1)

SITE: Will I go crazy?”  re. loneliness


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.
It means:S & I
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 notinner child 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 disobey rulesothers

• 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)