Friday, June 19, 2015

Fear of Connecting

"We need to bridge our sense of loneliness and disconnection with a sense of community and continuity even if we must manufacture it from our time on the Web and our use of calling cards to connect long distance. We must 'log on' somewhere, and even if it is only in cyberspace, that is still far better than nowhere at all." ~ Julia Cameron, God is No Laughing Matter
This is a hard one. This is universal among parents of children who have fallen into addiction, or certainly seems it must be so based on personal experience. Fear is at the core of catatonia. Fear obstructs the journey, impedes striving or asking for or wanting more from life.

Fear of connecting takes this a step further and is a central roadblock to beginning and continuing our journeys. This fear can strike us when life seems to be coming together, a fear rooted perhaps out of complacency, or even the exhaustion of the journey itself. We pause. We cocoon.

The isolation may not have begun when Addiction first manifested itself in our children though isolation may have been a comfortable fall back for many of us at the onset of their spiral. For some of us fear of connecting began in early childhood. For others it is can be traced to the subtle onset of the addiction in our babies.

Whatever the origin, we curl up in a metaphorical fetal position, we seclude then disappear.

It certainly doesn't help that we all felt at some point a scarlet letter A had been tattooed on our foreheads, that guilt-by-association we felt even from the most well meaning of our communities. We felt ostracized, left out and abandoned whether or not this perception was real.

It seemed real enough at the time.

But we got passed that. We continue to move past that each day we decide to live our lives fully and passionately.

Certainly, the individual pathways we seek, find and journey upon are ours to traverse. Recovery, however, is a personal endeavor we cannot undertake unaccompanied. This is one of the contradictions of recovery that can so easily entangle us. Ours is a personal journey requiring connections on so many levels. We work so hard on ourselves we sometimes forget we cannot make it on our own.

Often inspiration may be found along the way from fellow travellers who will not show us the way but will remind us by their simple presence that we are not alone in our endeavor to be true to our truest selves. More often, validations we are on the right path may come from those who are not in any recovery journey. These may be friends, relatives and even acquaintances we have lost, pushed aside, or ignored. We determined these souls don't need our drama and burdens cluttering their lives. We have learned from experience to avoid connection with those who are not on similar journeys. (We even shun those who are travelling similar paths by the way, don't we!?)

How could these people love us, continue to love us, or rekindle their love for us?

This is when the Universe steps in. We receive a phone call, a Facebook friend request, an email or even one of those terrifying alerts that someone is looking for us. These are the gentle nudges from our Great Creator reminding us that we may be ready, even if we are reluctant, we are ready to accept the little bit of love, closeness and camaraderie we've denied ourselves.

We'll see an out-of-town area code on our cell phone - this happened to me. Our fear is replaced with perplexity that can be replaced with anticipation if we allow it.

"Who could this be?" we wonder.

Understand that we can replace the fear of connection with a sense we may be at the brink of a new adventure. This is the Universe at work, our Higher Power enjoining us to participate more entirely in life.

Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and take that call. Watch what happens. Let it take you. Relinquish your learned trepidations and let go as your new adventure begins!

... keep coming back

"Sometimes reaching out and taking somebody's hand is the beginning of a journey." ~ Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality." ~ John Lennon