Navigating The Feeling of Isolation in Your Journey
When going through the recovery process, you will be encouraged to share your thoughts and emotions. You will be encouraged to talk about what you have experienced and what is going on inside your head. You will (hopefully) share these things, comment on what you feel, question if feeling those things is okay, and express yourself in hopes that someone will understand you. But will they? Can anyone actually understand what you have gone through or what you deal with every single day?
Not truly, at least. But that’s okay. That’s great, even.
When someone sees another person suffer a cut, bone break, or any other kind of physical injury, it’s easy for a person to see it, assess it, understand it, and help it. As the saying goes: seeing is believing. It’s easier for people to understand something that they can see, that is tangential and right there in front of them. That’s just the nature of life. But when someone is confronted with something invisible, something they can neither see nor feel, it is harder to understand. You can articulately express your emotions with the perfect words, and yet, total and complete understanding isn’t possible. They just simply can’t feel what you feel, and that automatically creates a barrier. Just as we all react to pain differently, we all react to mental illness in our own way. Some people will be able to understand it better than others, but there is still going to be only one person that can understand, completely, what you go through: you.
But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There can be a strength in that solitude. In that solitude is the fact that you are the one who can overcome it. You are the one who will beat it. You are the chosen one. Okay, we know that is super cheesy but it’s true. Your strength doesn’t completely reside in others around you, you hold it in yourself. You can take those steps to improve yourself and the life you live. It is all inside of you. People don’t need to understand you completely, they don’t need to have experienced everything you have, the same way you have experienced it. Their empathy is enough to help you overcome anything.
Don’t let yourself fall into loneliness. You are not alone in any of it. Just because someone doesn’t understand something completely doesn’t mean that they can’t be supportive or that you are isolated. It just means that you are the one who has the strength to overcome it. That may sound like a lot of pressure but it’s not meant to feel that way. It’s not pressure, it’s just encouragement. You are in control of where you end up. It means that there is nothing stopping you from getting better that you can’t change right now.
This also doesn’t mean that any blame should be put on others for their lack of understanding. Though there are stigmas that exist around mental illness and these stigmas do relate to a large population’s lack of understanding these illnesses, there is some grace that must be given to others on the outside of our minds. As we said before, it’s difficult to truly understand something that we can’t see or touch or feel. What’s important is to explain to them to the best of our ability, use our words and connections to tell our story, and let others create their empathy for you. There doesn’t need to be judgment from either side for it, and if those people are truly there for you and are there to support you in any way they can, then they won’t judge you. Sometimes they may come up short in that support but that is also okay. Give them grace in those shortcomings, and continue to help them better understand what you need.
Never feel weak for being you, and for feelings things in a way that no one else could ever feel. Take solace in your solitude, and let it give you a new perspective on others, on how to interact with the people who are trying to help you. When you’re telling your story in your sessions, to people who have similar experiences as you, don’t expect them to know completely right then and there. You are not just a number in a greater whole; you are you, and you have your own unique and beautiful things that you go through. So keep talking, keep letting people listen to what you have to say, and keep feeling that strength inside of you grow. Hold on to that knowledge that no one else can match who you are. Love your uniqueness and individuality; that is one of the strongest gifts you have been given. Love yourself for who you are.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at TrueRecovery.com. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 and [email protected]