Those of us with a mental illness, addictions, or unresolved trauma struggle with feeling safe with other people and with building meaningful connections-when we aren’t in some form of recovery.
For 26 years of untreated Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism, I felt isolated, lonely, fearful, anxious, and ashamed nearly every time I was around others, particularly strangers. And I had no clue how to enter into relationships that weren’t toxic.
This excerpt from Women Suffer Too, a personal testimony from AA’s Big Book, resonates powerfully with me:
“My inability to accept the harsh realities of life had resulted in a disillusioned cynic, clothed in a protective armor against the world’s misunderstanding. That armor had turned into prison walls, locking me in loneliness—and fear. All I had left was an iron determination to live my own life in spite of the alien world—and here I was, an inwardly frightened, outwardly defiant woman, who desperately needed a prop to keep going. Alcohol was that prop, and I didn’t see how I could live without it.”
THAT WAS ME!
By the grace of God, I found a Recovery regimen that works for me. It has enabled me to have a life rather than waking up every day facing a grueling struggle to survive.
And God willing, one day at a time, I will continue doing what I need to do to keep experiencing comfort in my skin and meaningful, loving relationships.