June 30

HUMILITY MONTH: DAY 30: “I deserted the world and sought solitude because I became tired of rendering courtesy to those multitudes who believe that humility is a sort of weakness, and mercy a kind of cowardice, and snobbery a form of strength.” ― Kahlil Gibran

This is a controversial topic for me; isolation. I spend a great deal of time alone. And I love that! As I get more time around here, I find I need or want to be social less and less often.

The reason for the controversy is nothing to do with me. There are a lot of folks in recovery who are set on the idea that we need to be active in social and “fellowship” to remain sober. I disagree. The work I do is solitary. I don’t do the work of recovery in groups. It is a one-on-one thing, and my personal work is done alone. I always include my sponsor in it after I have completed the work, but the work is done alone.

The time I spend alone is rich and full…I garden, I walk on the beach, I hike, I hang out with animals and create in quite a few ways…I sew, I crochet, I cook amazing food, and I love to decorate. I love to drive and visit with others one-on-one.

I am no longer a big meeting person. When I do the kind of service work I do, it is in small groups of people who also do this kind of service. I find it rich and rewarding to spend time with these people, travelling to jails and prisons and eating a nice meal together. But that is the extent of my social interface with groups.

I went to a meeting every day for my first 10 or 12 years. Then went down to 3 or 4 a week for another 10 years. Then went to 1-2 meetings a week for another 10 years. Now I stay at about 1-2 a week. That is plenty for me.

I have joined 12 new recovery communities since coming into this thing. I have never not become part of the communities I move into. This is not the way most people have done their recovery. They have, for the most part, been a part of the same groups since day 1. Moving is an adventure in recovery, because we get to make all new connections and friends, etc., finding new members and new meetings. The current community I live in has been the toughest to connect with. Very few people here I have become close to or needed to. It is all the way it is supposed to be.

That lack of human interface has created a very strong spiritual connection for me. I see what this quote is talking about. The more spiritual I become, the less I want to be part of the “crowd” who, for the most part, I no longer resonate with at all.

This is not to disparage anyone, just how it has happened for me. I am VERY active in the work I do with newcomers, therefore spending a great deal less with them on my own. I am also VERY active in the service work I do. I read a lot of spiritual material and spend most of my life walking this walk. I do not find connection with those who are spending so much time talking about it.

There is so much ego and fear in meetings. I walk away disturbed and uncomfortable most of the time. I have watched long-timers do this for a great many years, distance themselves from the meetings; and for that very reason. I stay connected to a few and let the rest of it be. All is well, and I am not disconnected, but I do see that there is a great deal more to recovery than the meetings, thank God!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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