Thursday, March 3, 2011
Loneliness' True Origins
Even as I have progressed with this last year in the
program of recovery, I have actually begun to feel more
My old friends don't understand or support who I am
becoming, which is of course a good indication that they
may not have been the truest of friends to begin with.
I think it's closer to the truth to say that all relationships
are fragile as hell, and with changes we see what people
are made of and what their commitment to us really is.
I get to feeling sad and hurt by people not calling and
checking on me, people not returning the level of affection
I have shown them, not being included in invitations, etc.
Whose fault is that? There are no promises on this planet.
No one has pledged themselves to me. There is no one
outside of me who is responsible for my happiness.
I have had to get honest with myself. I have an unnaturally
high neediness level of emotional gratification from OTHER
Part of my addictive personality, which not only includes
looking to outside sources for a fix, but includes a selfishness,
a sense of never having enough, a discomfort with being alone
in my own skin, hyper-sensitivity, woundedness, and much
more. As usual, most fault lies within me and my perceptions
and defects. (I am only speaking to myself here; not doing
the typical thing of projecting criticism!)
For me, I have discovered that I have such a high standard
of need for others--my expectations for their loyalty/actions/
lovingness/devotion/etc are just outrageous...according to
how other people in the real world live! That was hard to
understand and hard to take. I have been living with my own
fantasy of hand-holding and communal living and being one
another's care-takers for so long, and now I find out that
real people just sort of peripherally have you in their life,
even when they do care about your welfare.
Even in a program of recovery, where we are ostensibly
committed to the care of one another, I must accept that
people have lives of their own, that I will not always connect
with another alcoholic, that there are time restraints and
geographic constraints and so forth, and sometimes we just
don't get what we need.
Perhaps most significant; when we look to other tragic
and flawed creatures to be our sources of hope and
inspiration, there's a good likelihood they may not be well
enough to provide it.
Sometimes it's also a matter of "Am I guilty of the same
things I complain about in others?"
When was the last time I called a particular person?
When was the last time I checked on someone I know is
prone to depression?
Is it a fair assessment of the entire situation?
Sometimes others do 'let us down' or treat us poorly, but
if we keep the level of involvement with others at a healthy
level, and have no expectations of them providing us with
anything, then we won't face such disappointments.
This has all been a difficult discovery, but I am adjusting.
We are--as I see it--truly alone in this world. Other people
are a passing fancy, a distraction really, and that is neither
a burden or a despair; it simply is. It is my emotional
attachment to it that needs adjusting.
I grew up in a world of codependent love songs and
waiting for magical saviors to come in and hold hands
and save the day. That isn't reality. And part of my
recovery is coming to terms with reality and not needing
to drink over it. I can't change the world...only the way
I see it.
So, today, I view my loneliness (which is an emotional,
internal reaction to discontent, not a response to lack of
people) in very different ways. It is a personal problem
I must solve, not the failing of other people.
Not the inability of others to love me 'adequately.'
Not people 'disrespecting' me with insufficient phone
calls or attention or other availability.
As usual, I need to take responsibility, stop pointing
a finger, stop expecting, stop avoiding unpleasant feelings,
and let go of my old thinking.
Because the alternative to not accepting things the
way they are is that I am one step closer to a depression
and/or a drunk.
Sorry...I'm in a bit of a snit today myself. Didn't intend
to get so dreary. "Take what you like and leave the rest!"