What do people like me do?

Old 11-21-2016, 06:22 PM
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What do people like me do?

I think it's been several years since I made a thread. Mostly I just make one-off selfish replies to people's threads that are more advice to myself than they are the person I'm supposedly trying to help.

I know there must be people like me, who have very little trust in others, who feel abandoned, who don't have a support network and in general aren't excited by the usual social activities. With those characteristics, it's hard for us to meet each other and find people with whom we relate. But there's probably lots of people like this.

I find when I search for advice, or I reach out, I always get it from someone on the other side of the fence, who has just never experienced that kind of isolation for long. There's a kind of irritation to reading lists of things to do when x where most of the options seem unavailable to me, or were written for someone with a different personality.

So I wonder how people like me end up dealing with it. Quick learners, logical thinkers who just aren't getting anything out of the culture they're trapped in, and cannot find people they connect with. Is it just a matter of eventually gaining a kind of self-acceptance, and not worrying so much about the disadvantages of being alone? Or is it really a human need to bond and connect, and until we do we're doomed to keep trying to solve our problems in the wrong way?

I guess you might want to know what any of this has to do with alcohol. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Alcohol was just one of those wrong ways to solve the problem. I don't need to tell you why, or ask you to imagine how sick it made me. All I can say is if the core problem is self-esteem, it didn't do an ounce of good for me. Once I could see that, it wasn't that hard to give up. But I'm still waiting on the philosophers in my head to figure out what the actual answer is, and although I am continuing to try, I'd rather not spend the next 5 years or few decades floundering.

It's so easy for me to give a positive sounding reply to someone else, but when it comes to my own frustrations, I feel like nothing I try has a lasting effect. It's really one of the hateful things about painting myself as logical or quick learning, but all I want to say is I think a lot, I study a lot, and I can't lie to myself, not to say that I'm especially intelligent. I check this forum to remind myself how dangerous alcohol is. Since it's not just an ineffective solution, but an addicting one. But still I don't know what to do about my core problems as a human being.

This is just self-reflection really. But I've replied here on and off over a few years, some people may recognise my handle, and I figure a tmi share session might help some other people on this forum who are like me, whoever they may be.
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:43 PM
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I feel like this too.

I feel like I grew up with this idea of myself but I could never make it work. I'm still trying and still wasting time because I don't really see myself occupying life as much more than a fraud or joke. And I carry that not fitting in around with me.
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:53 PM
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None of us are different. Our perceptions of each other are different. And our perceptions of ourselves differ from the ways others perceive us. But we are all the same. You are not alone here.
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:57 PM
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sober style
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I suspect you're not as different from other people as your current feelings of alienation are leading you to believe.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:00 PM
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^ Not suspicion.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:12 PM
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I can relate to this very much. Since I entered recovery I have been in school and I just feel so alone because I really don't have what my peers have: careers, spouses, etc. If I remain focused I will get there.

Literature was always my way of understanding the world. Novels helped me feel comfortable. Your post reminds me that there are others like me. Sometimes I just accept the fact that most people I encounter every day are not interesting to me. Younger people especially appear very shallow and callous to me.

One reason I drank was that I felt so alone, ugly, and damaged. Now I understand that I have to love myself. But I have to learn and I have to make mistakes. Making my sobriety a priority is one way I love myself.

Maybe start a meetup group for misanthropes and loners!
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:22 PM
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I think we all have the power to change Che, and we all have barriers we need to overcome. Yours may be different from mine or someone else's, but there is always a way to make things better. Isolation is comforting to a certain extent but we are social animals by nature and I think we need to interact to survive.

I'm glad you shared what you did and feel just a little less alone by doing so.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:37 PM
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I'm like you, but I have come to know that human relations are very important to mental health and mind altering substances only alienate us more, especially if it is in your nature to be an "alien".

I make a commitment to loving others and cherishing my friends. But, it did take time and commitment. I had/have to trust that I am worth it and have something to offer. I'm still working on it and drinking stands in the way.

What it comes down to for ME, is that it is not all about ME. Truth be told, I feel much more authentic when I reach out and care for others.

That said, I do appreciate you expressing very real feelings for us "loners/misanthropes".
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:38 PM
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What are your hobbies/interests? Seems like there's clubs and groups for EVERYTHING these days.
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:12 AM
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I used to be a loner; even in a marriage with kids I felt alone.
Self-esteem was very low.

Then I heard that in order to increase self esteem, I needed to do more esteem-able things.
Turns out that for this loner, doing was far more effective than thinking.
Actions are far more important than intentions.
For me, the turnaround started when I followed some of the suggestions on The Just For Today Card.
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:24 AM
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Thanks for posting this Che, I share a lot of the sentiments you express here. If no place else at the moment, at least I can come here and see someone going through similar thought patterns and sharing such views here. I think there is no immediate solution, only to keep searching and the hope of obtaining a higher degree of self reliance and acceptance.
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:19 AM
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Personally speaking, I have this unnerving idea that once I wake up and want 'life', it has all passed me by already.
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:35 AM
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I think I'm super social if I've said hello to three human beings in a week. Which I kind of have to do because I work, because I have to.
I have no answers. But it sounds like if I did they might just annoy you anyway.
I getcha though. I really do.
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:48 AM
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I can relate to your post. I don't really enjoy socialising at all. I feel awkward, self-conscious and out of place. However one thing that was a huge characteristic of my drinking was isolating. I'm starting to see that there is a difference between just being my relatively anti-social, like-my-own-space self, and isolating which usually results in me feeling alone, unhappy and I usually end up using again.

I go to AA and the first time I went a few years ago, I didn't speak to a soul and kept my eyes down. I drank again. This time I've been in AA, I actually said "hello" to people when I first went in and somehow I've ended up with friends. Haha, I say somehow, because my social skills and just knowing how to communicate with people, sober, I think is somewhat lacking!

I guess what I'm saying is that for me, there's a time and a place for everything. I need a significant time alone each day in order to feel sort of recharged and happy. But I also know that if I don't give myself a nudge out of it, even for 10 minutes a day, then it could possibly lead to me drinking and using again because I'll get those isolating feelings back and spend too much time in my own head.

I'm not sure any of that makes sense!
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:53 AM
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I certainly understand what you are saying. The internet by its very nature is mostly introverts. I am very logical, and introverted. A scientist. I usually gravitate toward artists who bring a totally different worldview to my table.

First comes self-acceptance. Self-love. When I realized I needed friends, I made a logical effort. I worked the problem. Joined some groups. Met my wife and was deleriously happy. Then my wife died of cancer. My world became very small.

Right now, I am at the point I need to reach out to others, sober others, and that is one reason I am here on this board. Have you tried going to any AA meetings to find fellowship there?
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Old 11-22-2016, 05:15 AM
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This may seem like a random question: how are your organizational skills?

I ask because I can relate to your experience.

What I'm finding out for myself in recovery is that my sociability is directly tied to my mental filing cabinet.

When my cabinet is bursting at the seams with to-do items, I feel very disinclined to extend myself socially. All my energy is focused inward and feeling stressed-out from the disorganization.

However, there is hope! My husband gave me a book last Christmas titled, "Getting Things Done" by David Allen.

When I first perused it, my head was still cloudy. Rereading it this time around (almost 3 years clean) is having a profound impact on my mental state and the possibilities for achievement both socially and creatively. I have so many projects in my mental pipeline I need a way to organize, categorize and act on each of them. This book is a key.

Just throwing it out there.
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Old 11-22-2016, 05:23 AM
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I dunno i kinda had to get or well started to get more content with life and how things where more accepting of my alone thing. more at peace with it. then I started to notice others would come and go in my life. For a time for a season there might be someone else and I might feel slightly less alone then for whatever reason or aonther they'd go there seperate way again and i'd just keep doing my thing. I finally found some level of peace with this. But for the longest time I was mad mad it was like this mad people woudlnt stay mad i coudlnt find anyone else mad cuase how come it was like this for me etc...

So i dunno I guess acceptance came first and being ok with how things are. then I kinda just became the watcher on the wall of my life rather then the angry dictator about it.

If i want to change things and suddenly try and be that out going social person I can do so the opporutnities are there. I could easily be a social butterfly. But again i'm ok with how things are and that kinda life just isnt me so I dont bother.
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Old 11-22-2016, 05:27 AM
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Sounds like I am one of those people who might annoy you with any "suggestions," so here's one take away from your post I will share because I do relate:

Being all up in my head. You mention you "think a lot," study, etc. This penchant for being in my own head- often spinning, as my sponsor calls it- was a key crutch in my addiction. My base personality and the way my brain works still have this inclination, and I fight it as I work to live a better life emotionally (not just being sober-wise). I can't give into that way of isolation and stay in a mental quagmire. I work to get out of my own head; one way is finding even the smallest thing I can do to be of service to others (AA step 12) and get out of my own selfish sphere of operation.

Good luck.
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Old 11-22-2016, 06:06 AM
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I started this journey as a complete non-achiever. My life had crashed on take off. I could not point to any accomplishments, in fact I had lost the ability to think and reason. I was terribly lonely and afraid. I couldn't socialise. Even with alcohol I couldn't socialise because I was so anti-social in my behaviour.

So I eventually found myself in AA. For the first time I found some people I could relate to. And I think the connecting with others is an important human need which I had not been able to meet up till then. But I still wasn't suited to the real world.

I remember talking to my sponsor about it. How I found "small talk" difficult and boring. Just a matter of practice he told me. Rejoining the human race is what AA is all about, and that is true enough. In my early AA I was right into "deep and meaningful". Ok with another AA but enough to bore the pants off anyone else.

Then I think this thing we call a spiritual experience began to happen, and my outlook changed. New ideas took the place of old, and one of those was interest in my fellows. Socialising, with an actual interest in the people around me, actually listening to them and talking less about myself, seemed to help me feel connected.

Since then I have felt more and more a part of the world that I was once so afraid of. Now it is a warm and welcoming place with many nice people. Quite different to how I used to be.

I don't know what you should do Che, but what I did was work the steps and adopt the AA way of life.
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:38 AM
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Thanks for your replies.

I wrote a long response, but reading it over I saw it is too personally-identifiable. Suffice it to say I'm satisfied I'm trying, I push myself into all kinds of social activities, whether they are 1-1, small group, large group, internet, in person, for games or for mutual advancement in a skill. In my career I am creative and build tools that help people do real jobs that help yet more people. I'm extremely organized and get stir crazy if I'm idle for more than a day or two.

When I say I lack support I'm not saying I'm a loner. I treat people with kindness, and listen to their problems, ask questions about their interests, am genuinely interested in them, and give them advice and consolation they seem to like, and by appearance I'm fairly well liked. I mean it's not a two way street, even with friends of 5 or 10 years running, and it can make me really hate them and not want to see them anymore when they give a callous word or silence as I reach out to them, a perfunctory response just totally out of their scope. And alright if that was just 1 or 2 friends, but that is my experience with everyone I've met, with people I thought I could really trust before I shared anything sad. To not be able to get that 3rd perspective from a trusted person is what really kills me. And when I realise that's the case with someone, suddenly I'm not choosing to keep a burden away from them, it's a requirement, and I can't be open or feel free to say what I want to say. Which makes the conversation stilted, and me a little less than pleased when what they want to talk about is less than stellar, since they've shot me down. Or even if it's not about sharing something, it just seems way more convenient for everyone to make me do the transit than to ever let me play host, however many ignored invitations I give, and then to finally get them here, like I've guilted them into it. So I get very confused, because they wouldn't invite me if they disliked me, but I don't feel liked if they refuse invitations.

So it's still a long response, but I guess with less specifics. I like to deal in specifics usually, but there's this matter of personal safety on the internet.

Anyway, it doesn't invalidate any of your replies. The difference between no friends and no support is only very superficial. But I would like to clear up this idea that I could only possibly be where I am because I'm a thinker and not a doer. You can only get your heart so broken when you do things and don't get the results you wanted. Much easier to live in a fantasy land where you could do anything if only you tried, as I experienced personally when I found someone I liked a lot who I thought "I don't have to share anything sad because I already know it would be met with support," only to find out 3 years later the first such thing I shared would have the other party terminate our connection, much to my consternation. I had told myself I was learning from past mistakes of being overwhelming, but really I was delaying an inevitable disappointment, making it more potent as I continued to happily pretend I was doing well and had found someone who cared about me. Well, that's a little unfair, because people do seem to care about the sunny side of me, but I get so jealous of people who think you can talk about your problems to a close friend, cause so far as I can see I can't.
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