Dat Fifty Five

Dat Fifty Five

In week two we explored how we moved through the world as a friend, and I discussed how I felt like a bag of neuroses who was unworthy of friendship. This made me prone to isolation. I preferred superficial friendships with people who didn’t truly know me, and it created a challenge in the genuine friendships I had where I had to suffer the agony of being known and loved. I needed to feel worthy of being cared about.

I had felt lonely my whole life, even when surrounded by people. There have been moments where I was lonely due to my rejection of people’s love and care, but on the other side of the coin sobriety can be a genuinely lonely experience. Our friends who may not understand us, or who are too triggering to be around, may disappear for a while. This can cause loneliness to become a trigger in its own right. What is useful for me is to draw a line between loneliness and alone. When I am lonely I can reach out to people I don’t reach out to often, people who make me feel seen, or connect with family. Or, one of the most beautiful of all, I can connect with myself. Everything is cyclical and we will not be alone forever – even if our circle can get smaller periodically. If friends drift from me it can give me space to work on who I want to be in a friendship, that I can offer when they circle back around or to new people who inevitably come into my life.

My first reaction to FOMO is “Well, I never wanted to go anyway.” When I perceive abandonment I tend to declare myself a sovereign nation who doesn’t need anyone. This can cause me to lash out at genuine care – with mistrust or pessimism. I had a therapist who told me once that optimism isn’t weakness, and it certainly isn’t protecting me when I reject every hand of human contact – and he got me to consider what would happen if I trusted, after consideration, the good things people were reaching out to me with.

Writing prompt:

How do you deal with loneliness, whether it is loneliness we engineered or an unavoidable position where we are alone?

Three tiny things:

- If someone compliments you this week try not to bat it away, accept it.

- Make plans to meet with someone, whether from a distance or in person.

- Celebrate something about yourself today. I have started to celebrate my goofy qualities more, and every time I pass my bathroom mirror I do a wee dance into it. It’s a really fun way to trick myself into smiling.