Isolation is a common topic of late, due to the pandemic and many whom had to isolate to protect themselves. This has had an impact on our collective mental health, and reminded us of how important connecting with others is. Even as an introvert, I was craving connection so badly, I almost hugged my UPS delivery person...LOL. Although this is what we all tend to think about when we hear the word "isolation". This was not the focus of our meeting, we focused on the act of avoidance whether knowingly or unknowingly.
How many of us feel it's better to be alone rather than risk the pain of rejection or abandonment? Isolation is more than overtly hiding, it can be camouflaged as working too much, taking care of "things" as to be busy all the time.
It can look like finding only emotionally unavailable individuals to spend time with, because they don't bring the risk of what an emotionally healthy person does...vulnerability.
The external world can reward this isolation and avoidant behavior...overtime at work, accolades for being an "over achiever", degrees, dedicated mother and wife, girlfriend, partner...all at the core showing us that we are preventing REAL connections and healthy attention with others.
Why is this a problem you say? Simple, you can not be PRESENT with others if you are in the active process of self-isolating either by limiting interactions with others and or emotionally isolating by erecting walls instead of boundaries all with the intention of staying safe. When we are not PRESENT with others we are not being authentic and therefore cannot have fully emotionally healthy relationships that create intimacy and build trust. Those we love are kept from every really KNOWING us because we are too busy hiding. This keeps us from growing and from receiving the love and care we deserve. This is NOT how we LIVE life, it is yet another way we learn to SURVIVE life. CoDA offers a foundation to building healthy relationships starting with the one we have with ourselves and a higher power of our own understanding.
CODA BOOK Page 113: We may avoid forming healthy and loving relationships by shutting ourselves off from authentic interactions. We may believe we created boundaries when we have actually created walls that impede our ability to have healthy relationships.
CODA BOOK Page 119: We become terrified of being discounted or abandoned. When we confront these feelings and the resulting progressive fears, we are able to soothe and possibly eliminate their intensity. Fear OF shame has a much greater control of our life than shame itself.
Did you miss our meeting on August 30th? It is okay...we have the topic video and slides presented on our website at codawew.org and lucky you...you can access it here after you join as a member! Email us for details firstname.lastname@example.org.