Dilemma I am a 44 year old unmarried woman, working in a pensionable job which I would rather not work in. I have my own house.
I had a problem with drug abuse in the past, but I was helped to overcome that and have been clean and sober for over four years. But my addiction history is part of my personal identity Meaning very few people know about it.
Since getting sober I’ve let go of friends I used to know for various reasons. I don’t have the patience or trust to get too close to anyone, I find relationships difficult.
I have been single for over two years now. The longest relationship I ever had only lasted a year before it fell off the roof and the man was gone as soon as he came here. An ex-partner keeps in touch. I am annoyed by his departure, especially since I wanted to have children. To be childless is to hurt a great soul.
It seems like I’m ruining my own life. I can’t relax, bend over and let people in. I don’t like myself or my body. I never thought that I would be lonely, lonely, have no close friends and have no family of my own, bar aging parents. I don’t know how to get rid of it or pull myself together and build an alternate life that would bring me fulfillment and meaning.
Philip’s answer I’m a little scared of you, because I get angry when I read your email. I wonder if I would be scared of you in real life too? I wonder if your impatience leaks through and does a good job of keeping people on guard? Often when we have a default mood like anger, it is working to keep other moods repressed. If this is you, I wonder what the hidden feeling is. the sadness? Fear? Changing mindset is difficult, but it is possible.
When I’m over-generalizing, I tend to categorize people into two mindsets: rigid and flexible. Resilient is when you are more likely to respond to people and events in the present with the evidence in front of you. Rigid is where you only view the present through the lens of the past. If you’re rigid, it’s because something big happened to you – or possibly your parents – that caused them or you to make a rule that was set in stone to help them or You may have survived the big things that happened in the past.
The rules could be something like this: Keep yourself to yourself; no one can be trusted; Relationships are very difficult; Whatever bad happens to me is someone else’s fault. Such rules or regulations may be right sometimes or even save you once, but they will not be right for every situation in your life and if you stick to them, you will reduce your chances of a good life . ,
If you’re rigid, you don’t need to be more flexible all at once, you can do a little at a time. You can write a few words in the middle of a piece of paper that represent your comfort zone, then draw a line around it. Then pencil the other circle and leave room to draw or write things that represent the smallest step you can take out of your comfort zone. Then, in your daily life, practice doing things, thinking things over, challenging yourself to move beyond that line. When this becomes comfortable you can erase the first circle you drew to enlarge the comfort area, draw a larger circle around the enlarged comfort area, and continue.
Reading your email, I think things outside your comfort zone that you can work to include: being compassionate in how you think about yourself and your body; giving others the benefit of the doubt a little more; the courage to unpack what angered you; seeing feelings of vulnerability beneath your anger; finding strength in your vulnerability; Being more comfortable with your feelings than hiding away and acting on them.
You’re going to be good at it because you’ve done it before – you’ve got to be cool. It meant practicing with a new way of life. You can do it again, only this time you’re practicing letting go of the rules that are holding you back. You’ve recognized that you’re destroying yourself, which is great, because unless you have that awareness, unless you know what you’re doing, you won’t know what to change. .
You want a child. This shows me that you have love to give. First, practice giving yourself love and encouragement, the courage to give yourself the hope that you can become more flexible, less rigid, and let people in. You need people. I’m not saying bring the whole football team in, but try Narcotics Anonymous And Alcoholics AnonymousMaybe online first, and see if you can make a friend there by daring to share, like you shared with me.
I’m not afraid of you anymore. I guess I was feeling the fear that you have of other people. It will take courage to let people in. I recommend reading this classic self-help book, Feel the fear and do it anyway by Susan Jeffers.
If you have any questions, send a short email to Askphilippa@observer.co.uk
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