Sunday, February 22, 2009

So This Is Isolation

In OA, they talk a lot about how these addictions are diseases of isolation. We tend to use them to escape whatever it is from which we want to escape and to isolate ourselves from others. I've always scoffed inwardly at that last one. Me, isolate myself? Are you kidding? I love people! I love to talk! I thrive on social interaction, even though, as half intro/extrovert, I also value private time and solitude.

Only lately I'm realizing, I am isolated. I am. I've complained about it in the sense of feeling lonely, a common feeling for me, and telling my husband it's in part because many of my friends with whom I hung around in playgroups, etc., when Jefferson was little do not have young kids now and so have moved on to jobs or volunteering or just things that don't revolve around toddlers. With Eleanor I tried briefly to have a playgroup, but it seemed to fail from lack of interest. What I guess I didn't know was part of it was lack of my interest... with Jefferson I was bound and determined to get out and meet people, so I did - we went to the library, the children's museum, the Mommy and Me playtime at the gym, anything and everything. And I found a good playgroup and socialized regularly.

I'm not doing that now. And as much as I don't want to admit it, a big part of that is me. Yes, some of my friends have moved on. So I should make new ones. Yes, Eleanor is easier than Jefferson was and is happier at home so it's easy to stay at home - it doesn't mean I should. But the big question for me is, why am I isolating myself? Why am I not making an effort in so many ways to connect with people? Sure, I'm on Facebook all the time, and even chat with people there, but it's not face to face, not verbal, not intimate - and easy to walk away from.

I don't know the answer yet. I don't quite know why I am hiding. But admitting that I am is probably important, I guess. I know I feel shame from having gained a lot of weight in the last two years. When I think about the number on the scale I do feel like hiding - and escaping into food, as illogical as that seems to someone who doesn't battle food addiction. I guess maybe that shame is playing out into my real life... I want to escape what I don't like in favor of what I (think) I do: food and Facebook.

I know there have been times in my life when I have woven in and out of being more or less extroverted... long periods of really wanting to be out there, and others where I am more inwardly focused. But I want to acknowledge to myself that this one, this period of withdrawing and isolating, is not healthy and is not for the right reasons. Shame is weighing me down, and I need to let myself feel that, acknowledge that, and face it, so that I can let it go and reemerge into my own life.

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