Sunday’s daily meditation theme on my Calm app was Loneliness. I am absolutely petrified of loneliness. I don’t mean being on my own, I mean the feeling of loneliness. Some of the places I have felt the loneliest were when I was surrounded by people. The feeling that no one notices (or cares) that you’re there. The feeling of standing on the side-lines looking in to other people, their closer bonds, their total lack of interest in you.
Most of the time this feeling is created by my mind. I latch on to tiny details to prove the fact that no one wants me there. Them turning away. A (what I take as) awkward silence. Mental health does this. It makes us feel so alone. We are the only ones feeling what we are feeling. No matter how much you read/hear ‘you are not alone’ you don’t believe it. I convince myself that everyone else with mental health battles aren’t alone. They have support, they have people who get their pain, they have people who care about their pain (hell, I’m one of them!)– & yet I don’t. I am alone. Truly alone.
I feel like this with my drinking as well. I get so jealous of people who stop after two glasses of wine, who don’t drink on a hangover, who’s focus for any event – or day – isn’t when they are getting their next drink or line. I drag people I know into my drinking levels, so I don’t feel so alone in it. I need confirmation that my drinking is normal. When truly, I know it isn’t. I know it has a grip on me. A grip on me that isolates me. Mentally and physically.
I had my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting Sunday evening. I cried throughout. Oh my god. I am not alone. I’m not! There’s a support network out there who just fucking get it. There’s no judgement, no ego, nothing. The fear that has kept me drinking, secretly with shame for so long, can begin to be challenged. Begin to dissipate.
To be an addict is to be so full of shame. The addict in you wants you all to themselves. They want you to stay home and just drink. You and the booze. We don’t need anyone else. In recovery we need to ‘tell on our addict’ to break that shame. I’ve got so many secrets, so many consequences and events I haven’t told anyone because of that shame; shame that keeps me in the pocket of addiction.
It’s time to start telling on my addict.