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    undecided
    Participant

    Hey all 🙂
    I’m wondering if anyone has any advice about this…
    I was in residential treatment for an eating disorder this past year for a bit, and have been in PHP/IOP for the past couple of months.
    I haven’t been in treatment with anyone frum, so while I can chat with my res friends in general, there are certain things they don’t get. But y’know… there are so many things that don’t make sense to people who haven’t been in that kind of treatment, and I’m still struggling a bit to acclimate/find myself in regular life again.  Very few people know that I’ve been in treatment to begin with, and those that do, while they try to understand and I genuinely appreciate it, don’t really get it. And it makes recovery that much lonelier; I can’t discuss the way it intersects with Judaism with my res/treatment friends, and I can’t discuss treatment with my friends for the most part.
    I’ll beH be going back to work soon, and will then be pretty much back to regular life, which I’m excited (if a bit scared) about. But that loneliness… Even wanting to tell stories or jokes from my time there- yeah, I get that it sounds a bit crazy and dark to people who haven’t been through it. Or stories from IOP (confidentiality rules upheld, of course), or even just being able to talk about what I’m learning/doing/etc.
    I guess this post was a bit all over the place, my apologies.
    TLDR-any way of mitigating that loneliness?

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    splitandtrying2bme
    Participant

    Hi!

    I have so much to say about this. First of all I relate and know exactly what you are talking about. That in between place where those regular life friends don’t get treatment life, and treatment friends do not understand your real life since they are so different. It’s really hard and I have been working on finding connections and building relationships the past few years with people more similar to me- in the Jewish community who have been through treatment!
    I am so extremely grateful to say that I have built myself a team of many people by now who really get it! Some of them have been to treatment themselves and some are those that through me being super vulnerable and open about my struggles in a slow and gradual way- have become supportive and sensitive to my type of struggles. Every small tiny step towards letting the people close to you into your world (in a way that feels safe and at your own pace) is worth so much.

    I would love to be able to provide resources and contacts of people who are people just like you- in recovery and need more Jewish/ religious treatment friends.  No one wants to be alone and it makes the whole journey more bearable…

    Let me know if you you want some resources and connections to other people.

    keep up ur recovery!! And you are SO NOT alone!

    (whoops I didn’t even answer your question about how to deal with the loneliness lol cuz I don’t think you have to stay lonely:)!!)

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    undecided
    Participant
    Topic Author

    In response to splitandtrying2bme's post #12213:

    That was a perfect reply, made me feel less lonely just by hearing that someone knows what I’m talking about-and articulated it far better than I can 🙂
    And it’s helpful to know that there are others and there are ways of finding those people, and to have that hope to hold onto, so thank you so much!

    I would love to hear about resources if possible, if it’s not too much of a bother. Thank you!

    Thank you both for connecting so kindly and brilliantly. Reading this makes my heart swell with joy. I am rooting for you both!

    X

    Fay

    Also, just another thought.

    I completely agree with splitandtrying2bme that there are resources and measures that you can take to build a network of people you can relate to and who can relate to you.  I hope you can pursue that slowly and patiently.

    To address the loneliness piece: I want to point out that the feeling of loneliness is a feeling like any other feeling and it doesn’t have to be feared and avoided.

    Just like we learn to embrace anxiety, sit with it, and even go towards it, loneliness is a feeling that we can also learn to embrace, sit with, and even come to appreciate on some level.

    In the space of quiet and alone time we can hear our thoughts, discover new ideas and interests, and understand our inner world in a way that an over-busy or over stimulated life doesn’t afford.

    Balance is key – so my message is not to surrender to a lonely life – G-d forbid!

    Rather, take steps to finding, connecting, and building meaningful relationships. And, when you find yourself lonely along the journey (even when you have a network – loneliness is a feeling that can surface), challenge yourself to view it as an opportunity for self discovery instead of a signal that something is lacking or maladaptive with you and/or your life.

    I believe in you!

    X

    Fay

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    splitandtrying2bme
    Participant

    Hey!!

    I’m so sorry I’m only getting back on here to respond now! Things have been very busy.


    @Fay
    – I love what you added here. That balance is so important, and to know that feeling lonely (cuz obviously I, and everyone may feel this at times) is not something to be scared of either.

    In terms of resources – I prefer sending them to you directly and not posting them here. If you click on my name profile there should be an option to send me a private message. Would you want to write me your email and then I will email you back?

     

    Let me know what you think.

    Hope your doing alright.

    Rooting for you♥️

    Dear Undecided,

    As you’ve heard here by now, there are many others in the ‘religious’ community who are or have been in a similar post-rehab, IOP, hospitalization, etc., situation, and have found connection and friendship in the Jewish recovery community.  While most of these people are also part of the greater recovery community, thanks to JACS, the network of  recovering Jews is a strong support system.  Many in recovery consider their ‘real’ friends and family of choice to be only  those also in recovery.  Only there, can they truly be and share their full selves, because of the mutual background.  The growth, the traumas, the current needs, even just sharing the raw humor you mentioned, are all important parts of what binds those with any type of a difficult shared history.  If you are still looking for fellow ‘landsmen’ try this groups listings: JAANetwork.org ; and Jewishboard.org  is the direct access to JACS (Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically dependent and Significant others) as they encompass the many types of 12 Step groups, both Jewish only and mixed.  They will also be able to more specifically or personally connect you to what your looking for.

    Don’t give up: “We got into this through (negative) relationships with others, and we can only get out of it in (positive) relationship with others”.

    Chava

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