We’re continuing to work through the four weak areas for women who struggle with lust.
As I thought about “lonely” I realized that it probably would have been better to say “alone.” The reason is, there are two types of lonely and each is unique and says something about your struggle.
Loneliness is a feeling. Typically, it is a feeling of self-pity. If we feel lonely, it usually means we are feeling sorry for ourselves. Perhaps we were supposed to go out with friends, but they cancelled. Now, we’re lonely. Maybe you just had a fight with your boyfriend and he just isn’t talking with you right now. You’re lonely.
Being alone isn’t a problem it’s the reasons behind why you are alone– those are the problem. If you had planned a night to study, being alone would have been a great thing. However, you had other hopes and plans, but now they’re spoiled. That’s loneliness.
It’s an emotional struggle, which leads you to be discouraged and frustrated. So, to make yourself feel better or to escape the frustration of the moment, you fall to lust. That is the path of loneliness– and if that’s you, then I would really encourage you:
Be flexible. Stuff happens in life that we just cannot change. Don’t take cancelled plans personally.
Don’t become emotionally dependent on people. If people are the hingepin of your life, you need to rework your priorities. I know some of us are social butterflies, and that’s fine, but your first and foremost confidante should be Christ. Do we need people? Sure. Every single day? Not so much. Check your attitude- and if you’re being selfish, seriously, knock it off.
Communicate. I am a huge time person. If we’re looking at a list of love languages, I might be as quality time as they get. I don’t need people often, but when I am with people, I need quality time. I could stay with them all day, but if I don’t have deep, meaningful conversation, a day’s worth of time is nothing.
That’s how I’m wired. It’s how I work, and no matter how much I try to change that, I can’t. The need for quality time and connection is part of who I am. It doesn’t take much- just 10 minutes fills my heart for days, if not weeks. I can go months without talking to my best friends because I know that when I do talk to them again, we will talk.
Here’s the thing. Not everyone operates like that. Some people get their kicks out of a family game of UNO. That type of stuff drives me crazy. It’s not that my needs are wrong, they’re silent. If I don’t communicate my needs, I can’t expect other people to meet them.
Same with you. If you truly need time with people, then you need to tell people that. They are not mind readers, and when you slap silent expectations on them, of course you will be frustrated. If they cancel a dinner date and that crushes you, be honest with them. Maybe you need to knock it off (a good friend will tell you that) or maybe some adjustments need to be made.
So, there’s loneliness.
Then there’s “Alone.”
Alone is a big problem for an addict. Where there are no people, there is no accountability, and where there is no accountability, an addict will fall. Fantasy, masturbation, porn– doesn’t matter. Stick an addict in a room alone under good circumstances or bad, and failure is almost guaranteed.
It’s terrible, really, and if you have never experienced this, let me let you in on something:
Addicts are scared to death of being alone with themselves.
I know that sounds stupid, but it is true. We know a fight is coming, and we know that, odds are, we are not going to win. Like a child might be afraid of the dark, we just really really really don’t want to be by ourselves, especially those who are trying to get out. We fall when we are alone; that’s just the truth.
The problem is, life requires us to be alone! We go to the bathroom, alone. We take showers, alone. Most of us sleep, alone. We “study” alone. Some of us live alone.
Many women will testify that these are times of weakness. We don’t study; we fantasize because there is no one there to keep us from fantasizing. We might even be fantasizing about studying, but we’re still fantasizing. That’s the life, mind, and inner workings of an addict. We just hate being alone, but we also can’t avoid it.
So, next to signing yourself up for a reality TV show, what can you do to combat the battles fought when you are alone?
I’ll answer that in the next post.