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Loneliness a test of fire and water

Loneliness is something I used to embrace. I truly enjoyed being alone as I could do what I wanted without concerning anyone around me. Why else would I want to lose friends and alienate family if I could so cleverly disguise myself leaving no one the wiser. Loneliness became my trigger and I longed for it because I knew that I would use and all my pain and issues melted away. I grew to love my alone time until everything came crashing down and the full weight of what I thought to be my safe place which I was in love with (yes, I fell in love with my loneliness or rather the drug of choice more likely associated with it) gave me a reality check which saw me get into treatment within 48 hours.

 

What are your thoughts on loneliness? Do you thieves in it? Do you try to avoid it or are you left with nothing but loneliness?

 

I have some writing I'll put up in time as I found myself developing an odd comfort with being lonely and chose it over my closest friends and family which I'm still learning about with my A&D counselor. (Clarification that I would be using during this time)

Re: Loneliness a test of fire and water

Hey there @4rentity, this is a beautiful and important post Smiley Happy You are quite self-aware, being tuned into the fact that you are connected to loneliness because you could use without being distracted, but then you became comfortable in the solitude itself.  Loneliness is a core component of the human condition, like joy, comfort, sadness and happiness. I definitely struggle in it but I know others crave it Smiley Happy 

 

Let me tag some members for their ideas.

 

@DruidChild @litgym @Bee @N1ghtW1ng

Re: Loneliness a test of fire and water

Hey @4rentity. I'm really glad you decided to make a thread - this is such an important topic Smiley Happy You sound like a very self-aware person and it really sounds like you're taking some amazing steps towards having a healthy life Smiley Happy 

 

The way you describe enjoying isolating yourself from family and friends as it allowed you to use in peace makes a lot of sense, I can understand how that would feel so much safer than interacting with others. In my experience people can be unpredictable and it's often easier to control things like substances than it is to control our interactions with others. 

 

For me loneliness is a negative thing that has affected my mental health a lot - although, I also believe that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely...you can still enjoy alone time and being independent while also sustaining relationships. I understand loneliness as being a lack of connection with others and often a lack of understanding and respect from the people around us. 

 

Has the support you described around substance use given you another perspective on loneliness? I wonder whether there is a way for you to still find joy in being alone at times without necessarily using during that time? Are there other activities that you enjoy doing alone?  Or alternatively, have there been times when you truly felt peace and happiness with others - maybe a close friend or a family member? 

 

I'd be interested to read some of your writing if you do ever feel like sharing it Smiley Happy 

Re: Loneliness a test of fire and water

@DruidChild thank you for the kind words and I hope this thread can bring some positivity to others that know what it's like living with this 'void'

 

I can definitely see how being alone and feeling lonely are very different actually (I read over that a few times in my head) - almost as if a yin-yang concept of the feeling in itself (I hope that makes sense!) 

 

I feel a different enjoyment now when I'm alone and the solitude can be dangerous in many ways - one being that having enjoyed it with substances in the past, making it a positive experience and now having that removed, I have found it hard to feel how I did, but it feels more wholesome and fulfilling without any guilt.

 

I'm currently dealing with a family emergency which has coincidentally come at a time of my life which has helped prioritise and realise that the synthetic high and pleasure I once felt, is nothing compared to the love and connection I'm witnessing from others and myself at the moment.

 

This definitely ties into your point about connection which I think is like a key we're searching for to open a door that's been locked for years. Whether locked out by others or locking ourselves. The connection, the key, can open the door but from there another internal battle begins - who can we trust? Do they really understand? Am I being used? On the flip side, just as many positive questions arise I've trained my mind to acknowledge at the least. 

Will I meet the love of my life today? What does today hold? What awaits for me on the other side?

I've never been the most optimistic, but having fed the wolf inside me that has left a trail of chaos and broken pieces behind - I now look to feed the one I've silenced, numbed and forgotten existed. The one locked behind the door perhaps?

 

Time and time I've been disappointed when I hope that those around me don't reciprocate the respect, understanding and time I have for them. So I looked to myself (you could say it's selfish even) but I noticed that I wasn't respecting myself or trying to understand who I am, let alone listen to myself. It's not that I don't help others anymore, but I started putting myself first (not at the cost or detriment of others) but because I realised that if I don't like myself or respect myself when I honestly think about it, then why should anyone else? - I'd love to know your thoughts on that, particularly what you think about how I expected those around me to reciprocate how I'd act.

- on a side note for what it is worth, I hope that at least here you feel less lonely. Smiley Happy

 

Re: Loneliness a test of fire and water

Hi @4rentity yes for sure - it's so important to talk about these things so others know they're not alone! I like the idea you've presented of loneliness vs being alone as a yin/yang concept! That's a nice visual way of putting it Smiley Happy 

 

How have things been for you this week? I hope your family is okay - it sounds like you've really found some joy in connecting to and helping your family recently, that's amazing. 

 

I don't think that's selfish at all. Self awareness and self exploration is really awesome Smiley Happy In my opinion looking to ourselves as you've described can actually help us have better relationships with others. If we understand what motivates us and we respect ourselves then it's easier to trust and respect others. What do you think?