An End to Loneliness
No matter who we are or what our life circumstances may be, every human being has experienced loneliness at one time or another. We may have felt it briefly or perhaps as a child, teen, or adult for quite some time. We may still be feeling it today.
Loneliness hurts, it’s sad, and it can become a place where we get stuck. Particularly for those who are alcoholics and addicts, loneliness is often a frequent, common, and painful theme for us. Let’s delve into what loneliness really means and how we can address and heal from it.
We Get Really Lonely
The book Alcoholics Anonymous talks about loneliness quite often, so common and hurtful a thread it is amongst us. The Big Book talks about the point most of us reached where we could not imagine our lives going on drinking or using as we were, nor could we imagine our lives ever being without drugs and alcohol. “Then (we) will know loneliness as few do,” the book says of how we felt when we reached that pivotal point. Our active alcoholism and addiction experiences often caused us to become isolated, separated, unwelcome, and apart from others. Of course, we felt lonely.
Our alcoholism and addiction seem to drive us to a degree of loneliness that is rare for most other people. Perhaps it’s because we are a more sensitive and emotionally attuned bunch. Maybe it’s because we are already hurting by the time we find ourselves stricken with loneliness. Or maybe it’s because our disease often drives us well beyond the normal boundaries into places, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that only other alcoholics and addicts can understand. Whatever the reason, we alcoholics and addicts generally experience a particular kind of acute loneliness.
Take Comfort In Knowing You Aren’t Alone
The irony comes into play when we finally reach the rooms of recovery. As we integrate ourselves into the recovery lifestyle and work the 12-Steps, we find ourselves commiserating, relating, and bonding with people over our shared experience of a special kind of loneliness. That’s a funny thought, isn’t it? We bond over the loneliness that only we know. It’s a strange thing to be sure, but also a beautiful one.
We can’t say enough about the 12-Step program’s ability to take our most devastating experiences and transform them into beautiful, healing, and helpful tools in our recovery. Indeed, this process is nothing short of miraculous, and it happens pretty much daily in recovery. Our worst pain and our deepest sorrows become assets that we can use to help someone and make the world a better place. There’s no better deal going anywhere on Earth.
Our deep loneliness also becomes one of the things that helps us make friends, bond with people, and relate to them on a personal level. As long as we stay the course, the day is not too far off when we’ll see the newcomer struggling for help who reminds us of ourselves. Again, our past experience with the unique brand of loneliness experienced by alcoholics and addicts is the tool by which this new man can relate to us and trust us. Through our pain, we find community and healing, as we unite with the other alcoholics and addicts we desperately need in order to begin our recovery.
The Big Book says this about the imperative nature of working with other alcoholics: “Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail.” We are strongly encouraged to carry the message of recovery precisely because we can help where others cannot, for we have shared similar experiences that are unique among alcoholics and addicts. This is what makes us necessary for each other’s recovery. Our deepest struggles and wounds become passages to healing and helpfulness as we work the 12-Step program of recovery.
An Antidote to Loneliness
Fortunately for us, and as you may have gathered by now, engaging in our recovery is one heck of a great antidote to loneliness. Working the 12-Steps and immersing ourselves in the recovery lifestyle leaves little time to get lonely. Being of service, going to meetings, fellowship, and 12-Step work keeps us securely surrounded by our recovery community. We are given the opportunity, the guidelines, and the tools to stay close to people, help each other, and heal and grow through life together.
As the Big Book says, “Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends — this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it.” At Jaywalker Lodge, we don’t want you to miss out on it either. You deserve to live a joyous and free life in recovery with loneliness as a thing of the past, used only to help others. Join us and together we can recover.
Alcoholism and addiction are often accompanied by traumatic and painful experiences and consequences. One of the most common is acute, severe loneliness, complete with isolation, separation, being shunned, or feeling too ashamed to participate in life with our loved ones. As we lose control and power to the disease, we lose much else. We cannot maintain our relationships and are relegated to superficial dealings with people who support our disease and prey upon it. However, there is a solution — the 12-Step program of spiritual action. One of the beautiful rewards of this program of recovery is an end to loneliness, as we find community and companionship among others who are just like us. Even more than that, our pains and handicaps become tools to help others find their own life in recovery. At Jaywalker Lodge, we wish only to help as many men as possible walk this road of happy destiny alongside us. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.