Addiction often starts from feeling lonely or depressed. Turning to drugs or alcohol often appears as the easiest (though most damaging) fix one can turn to in an effort to take away that emotional pain.
Wanting to belong, be accepted and popular could manifest emotions of loneliness or depression if not fulfilled. Feeling lonely evokes an awareness of being cut off from others, sadness from being alone, or a feeling of bleakness or isolation.
Feeling lonely or depressed are two very different sensations. Being lonely is more of a state of mind and that state of loneliness can change on a dime if one so desires. There can be a joy in solitude. There is also a difference between feeling lonely and being alone. If you are alone, that may be a preferred choice. We all need down time to pray, write, and meditate. If you are indeed feeling lonely, missing the company of others, you have the ability – if you so choose- to move into a more populated venue. The beauty of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is that it provides us with a fellowship through meetings, which in some cities take place several times a day. There is no excuse for being alone again, if one so chooses.
When I was a newcomer my solution to being lonely was to isolate. Often my problems are worse than my solutions! With almost 31 years sober, I often still feel the pangs of separateness and feeling alone. I went to a women’s meeting today and lo and behold, half the room felt exactly the same way. In step 5, Bill Wilson talks about how alcoholics have a sense of loneliness; the feeling that we don’t quite belong, which is eliminated once we share with another alcoholic. Once again, loneliness is a state of mind, and unless I take an opposite action and connect with members of the fellowship, I will fall prey to the idea that taking a drink or a drug will fill that empty hole. Drugs and alcohol deliver a false sense of comfort, which in turn allows us to temporarily feel that we are no longer lonely. It is temporary, illusory, and destructive.
My disease may often tell me that I don’t belong, that I am alone in the world. Today I have a choice about listening to the lie, or going out and seeking the fellowship I crave. Thank God for my sober tribe!Share post