Leaving loneliness behind. Dismantling the barriers.
THE TWELVE DECISIONS
What is loneliness?
“Loneliness is the state of being cut off from other people, through fear of other people. Loneliness is felt as a barrier and an emptiness between yourself and other people. You reach out to other people but the barrier intervenes. You take a step toward other people, but there is no place to put your foot. People come towards you and your loneliness shuts them out.”
“It is your loneliness rather than the absence of other people that leads you to be alone.” Dorothy Rowe. Ph.D
The only person that is going to take your loneliness away is you. This is what you do. You make 12 decisions and carry them out.
DECISION 1. BECAUSE I VALUE MYSELF AND ACCEPT MYSELF I WILL END MY LONELINESS.
In our planned conversation about how to leave our loneliness behind, I have noticed my own presence, as at a Depressed Anonymous meeting, whether on ZOOM or Face to face, each of us is provided a way to risk telling others who we are and what we are not. This presence gradually instills in our mind the fact that “Hey, I feel more with others when I can share.” I no longer feel so alone now. After our sharing at a DA meeting, others in the group connect with who we are.This personal sharing tells others how we intend to live out our lives. We share how our lives were before coming to the meeting of others like ourselves.
I believe this personal sharing and risking things about ourselves, will carry out beyond this one hour of meeting, having a gradual and positive effect in our world where we live out our lives. Now, you are able to maximize a good experience (group sharing) being being accepted and loved. This online group or a face to face group, is like a surrogate family. Whereas, when you were born into a family–not of your own choosing, you make a decision to choose this DA group as your family. I make a choice as to who I share my life. By making the decision, you will begin to value yourself as a worthwhile person. At the meeting, people really listen to what I have to say.
It helps to get close to others by helping them tell us who they are. We will hear their stories. And to get closer to others, you can do this by asking questions, asking how they are, what they are interested in, and other areas of their lives. They will begin to let you into their private world. You will let them into your world. A barrier has been dismantled.
This sharing at our DA meetings, a place of feeling safe,I can allow myself to chip away the barriers that once made me feel alone and afraid. THe old thoughts that we once felt we had to defend ourselves against, by erecting walls, built during our childhood days, will no longer be needed.
It is this first decision that we make, to value and accept ourseves and risk sharing my story with others. This will be the start, for breaking down those barriers which kept me from telling others who I am.
Tomorrow, we will Share Decison 2: “I will take the risk of approaching others.” Stay tuned.
NOTE: Quotations are from Dorothy Rowe’s “Breaking the bonds. Understanding Depression, finding freedom. Fontana, 1991. London, UK.