It is a painful feeling. Feeling alone in a room full of people.
Before I got into recovery, my Bipolar Disorder, shame from my emotional wounds, and addictions left me feeling lonely and isolated much of the time.
Not only did my shame cause me to feel awkward and completely socially inept, but my illness and my past left me with mostly maladaptive coping mechanisms. It was as if I was absent the day they passed out life’s instruction manual. And many of life’s simplest tasks and interactions left me bewildered and anxious.
CBT, the Big Book of AA, lots of therapy, the Red Letters, medication, working Steps, meetings, a support network, and lots of practice have enabled me to “intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle me.” AND to “belong” as myself rather than contorting myself into a pretzel of perfect to “fit in.”
I do remember the loneliness and isolation. Thank God for Recovery.