Isolation

Isolation should be avoided if you are an alcoholic. We are told by Alcoholics Anonymous and the therapeutic community that alcoholics shouldn’t be by themselves for long periods of time. It will make us focus too much on ourselves. It is also said that we need to be in service to others as often as possible. We also need to have the fellowship of other alcoholics to stay sober. Isolation can be detrimental to people who are depressed as well. It is important for depressed people to get out as much as possible and spend time with others. I believe all of this is true to a certain extent.

I think isolation is essential to spiritual and emotional well being. While I have gained immeasurably in AA and in therapy, I think most of my growth has been due to the time I have spent alone. Whether I am reading the Bible or the AA big book, journaling or walking on the beach, or listening to music (Christian or otherwise), that is where I have learned the most about myself.  It is only in the silence that being alone offers that I have been able to get honest with myself. When I am with others, it is much easier for me to sugar coat what is real to me. I often put on a demeanor that is false in an effort to be the person I think everyone wants me to be. I am at my best either in the early morning when no one is up yet or in the evening when I am sitting in my bed alone while my husband is in the living room on the computer. It sounds lonely but it isn’t. It is probably the only time during the day when I feel relaxed. I have always enjoyed my own company. I find it odd that some people only feel okay when they are with others.

I guess there has to be a good balance between being alone and being with others. I do think that I need to be of service to others, but I can’t help others if I don’t know me first. I won’t know me unless I spend time with me and yes, that means being alone.

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