Sunday, March 12, 2006

Some things haven't changed

I seem to be refining my ability to be alone. When I drank, it was no big deal. I would go to the bar to be by myself. I just liked being alone, with others around. In sobriety, the bar scene is not an option for me. So I just stay home alone with my cats.

I am going through another "valley" of isolation. It's a very tangible feeling for me, this being the fourth time I've felt this way in the past 2 1/2 years.
I have always had trouble making friends. Friends, at least, to hang out with. I know many people. People I like and who may even like me. But rarely has anyone been in my life that I do things with. So I've learned to enjoy being alone. Being with me.

But then there are times when I want to be with people. That's when the trouble starts. I haven't developed those few friendships during the good times so that they are there during the bad times. In my many attempts to over-analyze this, it seems that I want to have friends on my terms. I don't want them around when I want to be by myself, but they should be there at my beck and call, on a moments notice.

Apparently, that's not how it works.

I can only go to so many AA meetings every day. I've told you previously that I'm pretty well-known at my recovery center of choice. I spend 3-5 hours there every day. But when I leave there, I'm alone. Those people have a life and friends they hang out with. My feeling is that if they wanted me around, they would let me know. I feel like I'm imposing on people if I call them, even just to say hello. So the phone is off-limits. I am not able to invite myself to go eat or go to a movie with people. I have literally been standing in a group of recovering alkies who were all going to eat breakfast after a meeting. They all left me standing there, alone. This has been my "trigger" twice to re-enter that valley of isolation. I'm too afraid to take the necessary action. So I get what I deserve. I've pretty much given up on having close friends and an intimate relationship is out of the question. Why would anyone choose to be with someone who chooses to be alone 18+ hours every day?

This too shall pass. It always does.


Mary Christine said...

dAAve, This sounds like an old idea and I am sure it will some day be gone with the rest of the old ideas. They don't all leave at once - our brains would cave in if they did. You are one of my favorite people and you would probably be annoyed by my phone calls if you lived around here. :)


I'll fly down to Texas and we can isolate together.
I see you,

Scott said...

dAAve, Man can I relate to wanting to have friends on my terms. So many times the phone rings or the doorbell rings, and I get immediately annoyed by the "intrusion" into my space. But, I know I need to be with people, and have a close relationship or two in order to stay sober and sane. The most difficult thing I do on a daily basis is get along with (or without) others. I think relationships are the toughest things for alcoholics/addicts to be part of, successfully. Check out good old steps 8 and 9. I know there's a passage somewhere late in the 8th Step about "the end of isolation..."
Hang in there dAAve, while you might enjoy being alone (which, in moderation is a sign of excellent mental health), you are definitely not alone with the way you feel.

12StepSteve said...

Dave - Let me assure you that you are not alone in some of these feelings, especially thinking that people are too busy for you or might not want to be around you. I experience these, too. Of course the bad part about it is that it only makes the tendency to isolate worse. People might have come to the conclusion that you are busy or have an active life outside of AA. Or perhaps they are just too shy or insecure to suggest having dinner or seeing a movie. Believe me, the confident exterior that you project at Lambda does not match what yhou are describing here.

Da Gal said...


I don't know what to say beyond the other words I hear being said by everyone else. What would it take for you to join the alkies next time they to go breakfast? Consider it an experiment or assignment from your HP. I think you might be amazed by what happens when you choose to join them - just once!

Take care dAAve and know that you are loved! Meg

Ricky!!! said...

Oh Man Dave, I hear you on this. Finding that balance between alone time and people time can be so hard at times. We can be surrounded with great people in our life at times, yet feel so isolated and alone.
For me it has to do with letting my walls down.
Hang in there man.

Melody said...

If we were just the straight marring kind(ick) then we could be up each others butts 24/7
Since that won't work ,why don't we ,Scott,and whomever else would like plan a once a week eat out ....hang,study up or what ever..xoxoxoxoxo's

Robert said...

I guess it all depends on how badly you want it. Whatever it may be. Take care Dave. *hugs*

recoveryroad said...

Our drinking was pretty similar: alone.

I'm the same when it comes to using the phone or 'pushing myself' forward. I can't do it. I feel very lonely sometimes. But it's not as bad as how I'd feel if I were to get drunk, of that I'm sure.

AAwoken said...

I love this post. You and I share more than the same name. I have been isolating since I was six years old. I seem to always be the odd man out. THe breakfast thing has happened to me more times than I care to remember. IT has just "always" been that way. I have not known any other way. I think I'll expound on this further in a post.

Brad said...


As an only child (the son of an only child), I understand solitude in it's healthy and unhealthy manifestations. It's hard. I'm still dealing with many of the same things myself.

For now all I can say is I love you. And not just because you read my blog! hahaha You are beautiful.

Brad :-)

tbiscuit said...

Shit Dave, I bet half the people in there go home and think the same thing about you. "That Dave knows EVERYBODY and I don't know anyone."

I am the same damn way. And, Brad, I've got 2 brothers and 2 sisters. We all live within 30 or 40 miles of each other and see each other about 3 or 4 times a year generally.


Charlie said...

When I was reading your post, it felt almost as if I had written part of it myself. I feel exactly the same way as you. I'm comfortable being alone most of the time. And when I consider calling a friend I always think I'll be imposing on them. Its something I am trying to deal with. Sometimes from other people's point of view, it may seem like you are shunning them. Its important to make the effort to have even a few close friends. It will make a real difference in your life (and theirs too).

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