In this straight from the heart report, Steve talks about the issues surrounding isolation and comes to the realisation that isolation and loneliness are two very different things.
“The isolation part, it’s a prison of the mind, isn’t it? Because, you know, like I said, you can be in a group of people and feel isolated, which is different than lonely,”
This is Steve Walker, it’s the 22nd of March 2021, and the subject is isolation. Yeah, something that’s quite paradoxical, really isolation because it’s something that’s a killer, but it’s something that I crave at the same time. I love it, but I hate when it does to me. But during this pandemic, there hasn’t really been much of a choice. A lot of the time with the isolation because, you know, I mean, the truth is, obviously, I can only speak for myself, I can feel isolated in a room full of people. I was going to say annoying people, but they only annoy me when there’s so much going on for me. And that’s when I want to isolate.
But it never, ever ends well, that isolation, because I’m just living with my own ad then. And how long have you met me? It’s not it’s never good. It’s never, ever good. And what I find, the longer the isolation goes on, the more necessary it is to break it. But also the tougher it is to break. You know, sometimes it’s like the phone weighs ten tonne because I just cannot pick it up, even though I know that, albeit temporary, but it’s a solution out of isolation.
But it’s an interesting topic, isolation, isn’t it, especially when it’s forced upon us like it has been this past 12 months? I often wonder how other people deal with it. You know, being an addict in recovery, isolation like I’ve just said is a dangerous game. I wonder how muggles coped with it. Yeah, it’s not not an everyday question is how would you deal with isolation? I mean, one thing that’s worked for me is work definitely, even though the isolation is kind of tied up in that because, you know, if you’re working from home, even though you, like I said, you can be in a room full of people, or in a zoom meeting obviously full of people, I can still feel isolated. And I don’t… It is similar to a lot of things isolation, it’s not in the moment, in the actual moment that you’re isolated, it’s what goes on in the head in that moment that then affects the future. So the future, the past and the present -You can tell I’ve been watching dark on Netflix – they’re are linked. You know, concerning isolation, because, you know, when you feel on your own, you can get a little bit pissed off, or I can start listening to my own thoughts and its sneaky that side of me because it’s got the same voice as me. So I think it’s me talking, even though it’s not, you know what i mean, it’s the enemy. It’s the dark side that can become quite enlightening.
And that brings me back right to the start to what I was saying about even though it’s really bad and it’s quite a sad state of affairs to be isolated, I can start to crave that isolation. So even at the end of any set period or any set time of isolation, I can say, oh, thank God, I just want to get home on my own, even though I know it’s bad for me. So where does that come from. Is that systematic to me? Is that part of me being part of the system? Is isolation part of the system? Is it a relief from the system? It brings up quite a lot of questions now, I think about it. It’s not a subject, like I just said, I don’t think it’s a subject I’ve discussed with outside of, say, a fellowship meeting where… What I’m saying is other addicts, they understand isolation, but it’s not a subject you hear much about.
I mean, fair play, there is a push on people’s mental well-being at the moment, isn’t there? And I think that can be linked to isolation. And it’s like I said, it certainly doesn’t do my wellbeing much good. Once again, why do I crave it then? Because there is a payoff for everything isn’t there, there’s a motive. Freud would say it’s a subconscious motive, I quite like a bit of Freud on a sunny Monday afternoon in Kingston.
Where does it leave me in the long term? In the long term, I suppose it’s a struggle to to break the isolation, because once you’ve got an awareness of where it takes you, then the task at hand is to reach out and break that isolation, because not only, not only are you doing something for yourself, you could be helping someone else who is feeling isolated. So it’s win win in it. So I think that’s the lesson for me today is.. what I’m trying to think of the word, altruistic, isn’t it? It can be quite a selfless act if there’s any such thing, which is another subject altogether, because I don’t believe there is, because, like I said, everything’s got a motive.
But If you’re helping someone else, let’s have it right, that’s definitely a good thing to do. You know, and if it’s a two way thing then it’s a win win. But all in all – I always go off topic – during this pandemic, yeah, I don’t think I ever spent as much time alone and isolated. Even in prison, you know, you weren’t really isolated because there was always some bastard you were locked up with. And it’s not like that now. So what I’m saying is. I’ve just come to this, I’m gonna wrap it up here, but I’ve just come to this conclusion. The isolation part, it’s a prison of the mind, isn’t it? Because, you know, like I said, you can be, sorry, I can be in a group of people and feel isolated, which is different than lonely, I can be at home and feel isolated. Or I can be in prison and feel.. so, you know, there’s so many arenas for isolation to descend upon us. And I’ve just realised there is a massive, massive difference between isolation and loneliness. There really is. I’m going to give that a bit of thought. Yeah, yeah I am