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Old 04-19-2013, 11:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
Jil
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Overcoming Loneliness

Hello,

My feelings of loneliness have gotten much less frequent over the last two years since I quit drinking. However, I still can't quite seem to shake the fact that I feel as though something is 'missing.' It used to be alcohol, then it was my (ex) boyfriend, and now I feel like I have nothing to turn to. Which is obviously a healthier approach, because I shouldn't need a crutch to make me feel less internally lonely. I have basically discovered the root cause of my loneliness, but circumstances won't change so I need to find out how to be at peace with my current situation.

I guess I would just like to hear your stories if you have had a similar experience, and the steps you took to overcome this need to always have something to rely on (in an unhealthy way).

Thanks
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nothing filled that whole deep inside of me until I cried out to God. Not a big house, not a hot truck, not a boat, not sex, not food, not stuff.

Only God and now all that other stuff doesn't matter anymore. I lost everything and I found God and I am filled to the brim. Cry out!


The search for things to fill your time and that whole stops when you find God.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Jil,

Something that helped me was doing volunteer work. I met people, made friends, found out about interesting events in my community.

What do you like to do? I love to read. I enjoyed going to the free lectures and book reviews at the local book stores. I took some classes for pure enjoyment and then found out about more interesting events from the community college.

I know it's hard to put ourselves out "there" but as you grow into sobriety, it gets easier, I think. For me, finding something I was passionate about helped fill the void.

Love from Lenina
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks Lenina

I just wonder if feeling lonely from time to time is actually normal, and if everyone experiences it. I have hobbies; I love to sing, play the guitar, paint my nails. It just seems that I still have that feeling that I'm missing something.

I like your volunteer work idea! I would love to meet new people through a positive experience like volunteering. Thank you for your suggestions.
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think the only antidote is a focus on 'non self' somehow
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Jil, I'm sorry to hear you feeling that void. My 1 glass of wine progressed into 1 bottle every night. I've always felt a void/inner loneliness my whole life, and during that drinking period (6 years) it was continuous and more prevalent. Sober now 2 months, I attend LR meetings and joined meditation class. I have experienced a shift that I cannot explain. I no longer feel that deep painful void. Maybe because I'm making new friends just like me (alcoholic) and friends through meditation class (same interests). I searched many ways to resolve that lonely feeling to no avail and now suddenly...

I just wanted to share my experience with you, because I so understand your situation and I hope you find your niche. Best wishes to you.
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi Jil, I can also totally relate, as I experienced a great deal of loneliness (including deep depression) for so many years of my life. I haven't been in a relationship for 4 years, nor do I have children, nor am I close with any of my family. My previous alcohol experience was very similar to Tammy47, in that I went from 1 glass of wine to 1 (or sometimes 2) bottles of wine per night. I feel profoundly better after quitting alcohol and as time progresses I continue to feel better. I also found that meditation helped with the loneliness, and allowed myself to enjoy alone time and find ultimate peace with it. I discovered a deeper love within that I didn't ever realize was there before. I now really love my alone time and prefer it, ...and I do spend a lot of time alone. I protect and cherish that time.

I agree with some of the ideas in doing things that you really enjoy and/or volunteering.

One thing I realized is that we're never really alone. Coming here is also a wonderful support system for that.
Please keep us updated on how you're doing. We're all in this together.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm rarely lonely. I have two dogs and a cat. Their love and devotion keep me afloat in the stormiest of seas. I replaced my unhealthy needs for a healthy one: my animals' love and my desire to give them the best possible life. Works for me.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeker View Post
Nothing filled that whole deep inside of me until I cried out to God. Not a big house, not a hot truck, not a boat, not sex, not food, not stuff.

Only God and now all that other stuff doesn't matter anymore. I lost everything and I found God and I am filled to the brim. Cry out!


The search for things to fill your time and that whole stops when you find God.
"I had a god sized hole in me and I tried to fill it with booze"

also helping others. Help at meetings, soup kitchens or the human society.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by least View Post
I'm rarely lonely. I have two dogs and a cat. Their love and devotion keep me afloat in the stormiest of seas. I replaced my unhealthy needs for a healthy one: my animals' love and my desire to give them the best possible life. Works for me.
I can totally relate. My cat brings immense love and joy to my life. She's so full of love, confidence, spunk, independence, curiosity, silliness and snuggling etc.- my love cup overflows.
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have cats and a kid and family to visit nearby in case of loneliness, but I get a decent amount of socializing at work. When I was lonely 7-8 years ago I played MMOs. Fifteen bucks a month and you can talk to all sorts of nice introverted people all over the world who share your interests (assuming you are interested in MMOs, of course)
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi Jill

I am 12 days sober: not a huge amount but I've drunk regularly for 20+ years, since I was v young, so it is changing the habit of a lifetime.

Although I can refuse booze by will power alone I am slowly facing the painful realisation that alot of the time I drank was to escape reality and the emotional hole of never having being loved unconditionally. Unfortunately that's not something I can ever change, and with my mother now passed away, I have to accept that our relationship cannot improve in the future. So there's always part of me that is that lost lonely girl who is never good enough for her demanding, distant, alcoholic mother. I have to accept that loneliness is always a part of me. But it is f*cking hard acknowledging the hole and ache and loneliness and just having to accept that this is my life. It has made it hard for me to trust or get close to anyone else : 'what's bred in is hard to breed out' etc as I never think I'm good enough and don't have that grounded confidence of knowing your mum loved you just as you.

At the moment giving up the alcohol is being done by will power alone as the reality behind my drinking is too painful and I can't just rationalise it or soothe it with kind words or counsellor-speak.

I'm trying to like myself so I don't feel lonely inside then maybe I'll take baby steps in trying to connect with other people but at the moment they can stay at arms length and beyond as I feel far too emotional and vulnerable without the crutch/ escape of alcohol to fall back on when/ if it all goes t*ts-up.

Sorry if my response was more about me than you but this is the first time I've tried to express why I needed drink - and I didn't want to post a thread of my own.

Hope it's useful to you in some small way.

x
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I recommend forcing yourself to socialize - even if it's not fun, it's better than the alternative. In my experience, being alone for too long with my own thoughts creates problems. I need outlets, people to talk to, I have a lot of questions that need sounding boards.

Oh and when I say "force yourself" I mean it. I saw a total stranger at a cafe, she was reading a book, I thought she looked harmless so I asked about the subject matter. We ended up chatting for about 10 minutes, it was nice, and we both moved on. But it was better than nothing - stuff like that can build your confidence. It might be hard to take that initiative, but when you say kind words, you will get kindness in response, I can guarantee that. Another tip is next time someone asks you to join them, do it, even if you feel like staying home that night. A lot of this loneliness we force on ourselves, yet we have a hard time seeing that.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I just wonder if feeling lonely from time to time is actually normal, and if everyone experiences it.
I think it is normal Jil. I sometimes feel lonely, I live alone and have few friends. But I am beginning to realise that I am not an overly sociable person anyway. I am in a way but I need a lot of space to myself to do my geeky stuff. That said though I know a ton of people who are also lonely who have lots of friends and socialise a lot, but maybe don't have a partner, or they have a partner and kids but feel lonely because they don't have many friends, of they have loads of friends and a partner but feel lonely because no one understands them. Maybe we are all just searching for a missing something when we should be concentrating on what we do have.

I agree with Least though too, I feel a lot more happy since I got my dog. She's a good distraction and has me laughing out loud most of the time. Dogs are ace x
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:30 AM   #15 (permalink)
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The website meetup.com is a great resource to use for meeting people with similar interests.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I used exercise and playing an instrument to help me fill the void left when I quit drinking. It has worked very well.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:15 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I was thinking exact same thing today: we as species have been designed to long for something. Look at our history - as humans we always dreamed, hoped and created. The longing and the emptiness drove us to search , to fight, to get out there ... Evolution is us wanting/succeeding at obtaining that which was lacking. Lonelyness is just a drive/fuel/need to fill the empty place in our minds. Passion is what needs to settle in there. Sometimes it even turns into an obsesion. Look at scientists that spend their whole lives obsesing over a thing that most f us would find completely and utterly borring. In our cases the alcohol only temporarily filled that void. We all technically addicts. We jut filled that void with the wrong thing.
So my thinking is we need to find passion and fill the empty space in our hearts/minds.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I totally feel you, Jill. It's been just over a year into my initial sobriety (I say initial because as time went on and I started feeling the pressures of life sober, my doctors started putting me on other stuff, which I'm trying to come off now). I've had to drop so many people from my past. I've had to start a new life, almost in hiding because of a horrible relationship that turned explosively abusive in the end. I had to run away from people I realized were jealous of me and bitter that I was able to clean up and start putting the pieces back together. The scars from family issues are now exposed and dealing with it sober puts me back to the little girl version of me. I live alone now. Many people say you need to be alone sometimes to figure yourself out, but sometimes I think I should have held onto a few people because to be alone with my thoughts has been disastrous at times. You have to try to do something. I'm extremely shy and have never actually approached someone in my life. They always have to come up to me or smile, wave, something before I can even smile back.

If you have a little bit of an outgoing personality, I would say try to get out and do some healthy activities and don't fear "rejection". It's not about you most of the time, it's about the person rejecting. Trust me I know, because I have blocked people access because I was afraid of myself or felt extra ugly that day, etc. Try new things, try old things you didn't get to do because of the addiction. No matter what, don't let negative thoughts get ahold of you. You have to kick them out as soon as they try to enter. If you have to wear a bracelet or something to remind yourself, do it. Although I'm not in my ideal life situation I know I've been very lucky with the few blessings/people that came into my life. And I know that's only because there is a part of me fighting to be positive in my mind which is overridden with negative thoughts from childhood to now.

P.S. I got a dog when it was nearly a year of me being sober. Yes, he has helped, but it is a BIG responsibility! Definitely life-changing! I don't go out as much because of him. This is a good and bad thing. Good because I don't want to stay out late knowing he'll be whining by 6am, and bad because even little healthy things are hard to do now (like take public classes instead of doing stuff at home) because I don't want to leave him for too long. Definitely do your research first on that one I say!!! Good luck! Please feel better.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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You can be lonely with a person as well. I feel better when I'm at work.
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