Let's talk about sobriety, being creative, and how the arms of the octopus that is life challenge us daily to become better people.



As you know, I have been battling quite the cold this past week. I am still stuffy and it has decided to take up residence in my chest so the treadmill must wait a few more days I'm afraid. Don't worry though, I have replaced working out with copious amounts of frozen yogurt so it's all good.

Being sick I have missed an entire week's worth of meetings. At first I didn't even notice. After about 3 days, however, I was noticing how effortlessly I had allowed myself to slip back into isolation. I laid in bed with my door shut up tight, downloaded music for hours, and watched reruns of My Boys, Sober House, and MTV shows I am too embarrassed to mention publically. On Sunday I spent 7 straight hours in front of my computer, no problem.

Now, I realize I was sick as hell but isolation is a scary thing for me at this point. When I was drinking and taking my anti-anxiety pills I searched out ways and reasons to isolate. Isolation was comfortable and necessary for my "sanity". Don't you see that I work all day?! I deserve to lock myself up for days! If anyone talks to me I might lose it! I am talked at all day and don't need it when I get home. Can't you understand? It wasn't until I got sober that I realized my isolating was necessary for my INSANITY.

Being able to isolate so quickly again frightened me back into my new reality. I have people I can call. I have people who genuinely care. So, even though I was still feeling shitty this morning, I dragged myself out of bed to a meeting. Wouldn't you know it? Everybody was glad to see me and had even noticed I had been gone. That was shocking! It took me a minute to realize that when I isolate myself others notice and miss me. Wow. Again, I am amazed and filled with gratitude.

I do wonder, though, if I will ever be able to freely call on those people just to shoot the breeze or go for a walk or grab a quick cup of coffee. It seems that the only reason I reach out is if I am in a bind of some sort. Whether it be the octopus arm of isolation, depression, or alcoholism that is slowly tightening its grip around my neck, it doesn't matter. The common thread is that I have an arm slowly suffocating me before I truly reach out and ask for help. Will it always have to come to that? Or will I be able to eventually call up one of the incredible people I have met through the Grace of God in this program to simply chat when I want to?

Often this week while in bed I have faught off the urge to call someone and just talk about their day or the weather or if there are sales going on somewhere I should know about. The thought pops into my head, I reach for the phone, and then quickly talk myself out of it.

"Who wants to be bothered with your small talk?"
"She's probably busy anyway."
"Like she cares what you have on your mind, she has enough on her's as it is."

By the end of my "talking myself out of it" I feel guilty, shameful, and selfish. I worry that those feelings and this pattern will continue as well. I have successfully kept myself isolated from potential friends for a year and a half. Now that people are coming into my life I feel like an infant. I feel I have no social tools left in my toolbox of life anymore. I am deathly afaid that if I get truly and deeply close to someone they will realize what a fraud I truly am. How frightened of it all I am. How new to life and this world I feel.


  1. Wow, you describe isolation so well. And it's a sneaky bastard, isn't it? Especially being sick - that's always been a trigger for me - it gives us the perfect excuse to curl up and do nothing.

    And I'm here to offer you hope that you WILL someday just shoot the breeze, grab a cup of coffee, call those people in recovery just for the heck of it. On my best day I have a kind of phone-phobia, so it took me a long time to realize they WANT me to call. Now we do things outside the context of meetings all the time. All you have to do is keep showing up, and it will happen.

    Good for you for pulling yourself up and out, and make it to a meeting! You rock!


  2. I totally relate! If I'm in a bad place, then I have a reason to call. If not, I feel like a needy dork who needs friends. Guess What? I am a needy dork who needs friends.

    I also isolate, which is very easy to do. Being busy is the justification. So, call me anytime just to chat! Or text, since you know I'm so good at it. Hope to see you this am @ the mtg!

  3. I love that you can hear your head talking:
    "Who wants to be bothered with your small talk?"
    "She's probably busy anyway." etc......

    You know your process well - I went thru this for years in sobriety. Now I just put God in the picture (& that can be Good Orderly Direction) and know that if "it" relieved me of the need to drink and use, why wouldn't it give me the life I have always wanted...and more.
    Well, with just a tiny acorn of faith HP did that to me. I never could have dreamed of my life as it is today - miracle. HOWEVER, it does happen in God's time, oh yeah...