It is natural to feel extreme loneliness when a relationship ends. Healing can and will come from such pain if you listen and allow this all important natural process to unfold so you can grow through loneliness to the stage of aloneness where you are comfortable being by yourself.
is a disease that grows slowly and undetected.
am experiencing this disease, and wish I could find a cure -
Working with people and listening to those going through this process as I did in my life we see various kinds of loneliness. There are the people who have withdrawn into their cave and just peer out sullenly, looking very sad and dejected. Then there are those who insist on being with someone else, so they always are holding hands or following somebody around. Then there are the busy people where they are always doing this and that so they never have to face their loneliness.
Loneliness is pain but in such pain we are being shown something that we have to learn. Loneliness can be like a vacuum where the person deals with this by sucking everyone around them in to fill their void.
It is not just people who have ended a relationship but for many it began in childhood and may be a stumbling block for years in their life.
The lonliness that comes when a relationship ends is often more intense that any emotion we have felt before. We have no one with whom we share meals, our bed, those special moments and now when they are gone we know nothing but silence. There is a strange emptiness and we can find no one in the whole world for us to see, hear or feel. When friends try to reach out they seem distant, even when we most need them to be close and real. Within us we hear 'Withdraw, withdraw, and you won't be hurt again!' and whilst this bring safe seclusion we at the same time crave emotional warmth.
Whilst many people were lonley in the relationship we find ourselves relieved to end the relationship that encouraged loneliness and many of the rebuilding blocks have a three stage pattern to them. For lonelness the first stage is withdrawl; one many withdraw or fantasize about it. Some hide in empty homes and brood so that other will not suspect our fear. Some may play the 'poor little me' game, hoping that someone will come along and feel sorry. The driving force is to keep others from seeing how much we hurt, while at the same time letting the former partner know what 'they' have done to us.
Withdrawl during this period may be appropriate because - let's face it - we are not very good company. The need for emotional warmth is insatiable. The need often stifles friends by engulfing them and so denies them the space to be themselves, to be friends.
Seeking ways to escape this loneliness causes many people to enter a second stage of becoming busyholics, with an activity for each night of the week and two activies for each night of the weekend. We work long hours at our jobs and find other excuses so we don't have to go home. It is also possible to find many workaholics who are married - perhaps to keep them from coming home to a lonely marriage).
Here we are running from ourselves as though a ghost of loneliness hides inside. We never take time to stop and look at what we are doing or where we are going because, yes you guessed it, too busy running so instead of moving on to the next stage we are busy going around in circles.
This busy loneliness varies in length and intesnity from person to person but eventually most people realise it must end and they slow down into the aloneness stage. Someone once called this aloneness stage the 'all-oneness' stage because you have reached a point where you are now comfortable by yourself. You have achieved this by accepting that loneliness is a natural part of being human. It also has healing qualities allowing introspection, reflection, growth and connectiion with part of inner self which have lay hidden until this point in our life leading for a sense of fullness and strength.
The following checklist is useful for us to work on in our next session. If you can answer yes to most of the items in this list you have a developed a healthy aloneness. If areas need work then we will do that work together.
1. I am taking time for myeslf rather than keeping too busy.
2. I an nt working such long hours that I have no time for myself.
3. I am not hiding from loneliness by being with people I don't enjoy being with.
4. I have begun to fill up my time with activities impportant to me.
5 I have stoppped hiding and withdrawing into my home.
6. I have stopped trying to find another relationship just to avoid being lonely
7. I am content doing thing by myself.
8. I have stopped running from loneliness.
9. I am not letting the feelings of loneliness control my behaviour.
I am confortable being aloneand have aloneness time.
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