We’ve probably all experienced feelings of loneliness and isolation. It could be that you are alone and craving a relationship or closeness to others. It could be that you feel lonely even when you are in a relationship or with a group of friends.

For many people in the early days of recovery from addiction, these feelings of ‘being different’ to others or struggling to connect to others can resurface. They are often feelings that have been experienced since childhood, but without being able to ‘escape’ these feelings with drugs or alcohol, it is often a temptation to ‘use’ sex or romantic love in order to bury them. Unsurprisingly, in the early days of recovery relationships can be especially tricky to navigate and very damaging to the whole process of recovering. 

In this podcast we take a deeper look at what lies beneath these feelings of loneliness and isolation; we take a look at the ideas around co-dependency and especially at the theories of psychoanalyst Karen Horney, whose ideas underpin much of what has been written on co-dependency.

Listen to the podcast link using the Spotify player above or by going to our Youtube channel

The handout accompanying this podcast can be downloaded as a PDF here or viewed as a webpage here.

Further Learning

The ultimate dysfunctional co-dependency film is, of course, Misery. Let’s just say it is at the extreme end of the spectrum... but it's a little less extreme than the other film we were thinking to recommend... which was Hellraiser.       

Below are some resources for those who are in an abusive relationship.

  • https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.ukthe national domestic abuse helpline. There is a free 24 hour helpline that can be contacted on 0808 2000 247
  • Nia is a great women’s organization based in London that has been delivering services for women, girls and children who have experienced sexual and domestic violence since 1975. Nia is run for women and children by women, providing services developed in consultation with women who have experienced men’s violence, and from a proudly feminist perspective.

The nia helpline is 020 7683 1270 or they can be contacted at [email protected]