Many of us struggling with addiction are also grappling with unhealthy relationships, complex life circumstances and difficult issues we’re trying to resolve. We experience a great deal of conflict, misunderstanding and tension in our interpersonal relationships. When we’re living with addiction, we’re also often living with mental illness, which can greatly exacerbate the difficulties we experience with other people. Many of us tend to immerse ourselves in our problems, constantly trying to figure out solutions. We replay arguments and difficult interactions over and over again. We rehash details of the conflicts we’re embroiled in. We have a very hard time releasing our attachment to the issue at hand and letting go of our anger, resentment and bitterness. We have a hard time swallowing our pride. When we’re in this difficult place, engaging with the conflict more can actually hinder our ability to resolve it. We’re stuck in the problem rather than being open to the solution.
Sometimes one of the best things we can do for ourselves is remove ourselves from the turmoil and angst of the conflict at hand. When we create distance between ourselves and the issue, we create space to develop more calm, more patience and understanding, more compassion and forgiveness, both for ourselves and for the other person. We start to have a clearer perspective on the issue. We start to see the bigger picture. Giving ourselves time for solitude can actually help us to solve the conflict more easily than if we stayed caught up in it. We’re allowing ourselves the time and space we need to gain clarity and openheartedness, which allow for the solution to come to us more readily. When we’re too focused on the problem, our energy doesn’t allow for resolutions to flow. It doesn’t allow for forward progress.
When we’re in conflict with someone else, we might assume that giving ourselves solitude will worsen the problem at hand. The other person might feel abandoned. We ourselves might feel a sense of loss, rejection and abandonment, especially if the other person needs solitude too. We should try and see this time apart not as punishment for the conflict but as a necessary part of our healing. When we give ourselves solitude, we allow ourselves the opportunity to reconnect with ourselves and our truth. We’re far more likely to be able to return to the other person with love, kindness and supportiveness, and we’ll have a better understanding of what our needs and expectations are, so that we can communicate them effectively and make sure all parties involved are getting what they need.
Riverside Recovery understands all of the emotional challenges of addiction recovery and is here to support you. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.