Lonely or Isolated?
A solution to loneliness and isolation
At my home meeting, the topic of loneliness and our tendency to isolate ourselves came up. Some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned have come from attending AA open meetings. Sobriety is their life. They talk about the isolation they suffer as a result of the disease. This ‘stinking thinking’ they have to avoid at all costs. They use the AA fellowship intensively so they never have to be alone.
We think Al-Anon is the date and time of our home meeting. And sometimes it seems to end there. Al-Anon can be a lot more than that. ‘Let it begin with me’ is one way to deal with the feelings of isolation and loneliness. There are quite a lot of Al-Anon meetings. If we go to other meetings as well as our home group, even if it was a bad meeting, we still feel that sense of belonging. And we are also adding value if it’s a group of 4 people that we bring up to 5 with our presence. We can reconnect at Al-Anon groups – any Al-Anon group will do it. If one meeting a week is too little, I need to go to more. I need to get involved with people who won’t hurt me, and contribute to those meetings in order to heal.
I need to give of myself to gain. Putting my bum in the chair is a giving of yourself. On that day we will feel better. AA is always there for their members. They use it as a life-saving resource. Al-Anon is the same. It’s always there for us. We can use it too. Instead of sitting around waiting for someone to phone me, I can take that initiative, make a phone call or go to a meeting. It’s in the giving that we receive. Someone asked me if I ever feel lonely. No! I’m involved in Al-Anon. I can phone and chat, go to a meeting, or have a break, it’s my decision. I have gone through difficult times but the trick is not to take it personally. One has to keep coming back because this is where the help is. Al-Anon gives me everything I need and want but I have to make the effort.