One of the mantras of LifeStar is that “the antithesis of addiction is connection”. But it can be extremely difficult to experience that much needed connection during this time of social distancing and isolation. While it is extremely important to continue the social connection with others, I want to offer the reminder of 2 other types of connections that can be focused on during the time of isolation, and offer some helpful suggestions for that interpersonal connection as well.
Connecting with Other People
You might find yourself in one of two situations:
- You may be with your partner and finding “extra” time to connect
- Or you are single and finding yourself “stuck” with roommates, or even by yourself.
If you live with your partner, make sure you are both on the same page in terms of the type, frequency and intensity of the connection you have with each other. You might think it is okay just to watch tv together or to just enjoy sex together, but she might be asking for more social and emotional intimacy. Your addicted brain might find it difficult to access those underlying emotions and knowing how to remain open and emotionally available to your partner. But this type of emotional intimacy (connection) with your partner is essential to your recovery, so spend some time talking to your spouse about their emotional needs – and yours – and how you can set aside some time to enjoy that emotional intimacy together.
If you live alone, don’t let the physical isolation keep you from connecting with your family and friends. Take the time to reach out to them, especially when you feel lonely. But instead of the normal text messaging or social media methods, try video conferencing. You might find it difficult to carry on the conversation, but challenge yourself to go beyond the surface level pleasantries and check-ins and move the conversation to more meaningful things that are tied to your emotions. This type of conversation will feel much more fulfilling than the mundane conversations you might be used to.
Connecting with Your Higher Power
If you have become somewhat nonchalant with your personal connection to your higher power, now would be a great time to re-evaluate and rekindle the connection that you really want with them or it. If you are used to connecting with your higher power through prayer, make sure you are praying and not just “saying prayers”. You can treat your prayers as actual conversations with your higher power, including listening to their direction and input in your life. But like the previous point, if your conversation with them is mundane, you will probably not get much out of it. Your heart needs to be in the conversation- also use your heart to listen.
If you find your higher power in nature, you might be a little more restricted in how you can connect with your higher power, but you might also benefit from connecting with the close nature in your house or near it. Going for a peaceful walk during a comfortable time of day (temperature-wise) or even allowing yourself to focus in on the beauty of the grass, trees, flowers, air and other natural elements in your surroundings can be surprisingly refreshing.
Connecting with Yourself
Now would be a good time to start being more in touch with your mind, emotions and even your body. Take the time to ponder some of the meaningful things in life and right down the thoughts and emotions that are a part of that experience. Journaling is a good way to continue to practice good self-connection. Mindfulness and meditation are great ways to connect with your mind and body. There are lots of YouTube videos with guided meditation if you are not sure how to do it. Try some out and see what works for you.
Lastly, as you begin to connect more in these three different ways, pay attention to your body and mind and the type of connection you might be needing at the moment. You receive much greater benefits from using the three types of connection in a more intentional way, when you feel like you need one more than the other.
LifeSTAR of the Central Valley helps individuals, partners, and families to heal from the effects of pornography and sexual addiction. Complete our Self-Evaluation today to discover if LifeSTAR is right for you.