Nov 17: Isolation

I am so grateful to be sober and be able to lead this meeting. Thank you for being here.

Isolation has been a big thing for me all throughout my 20s as well as my first handful of months of sobriety. While drinking, I always wanted to drown out the world and the noise in my head. It was always self inflicted isolation.

Now, in sobriety, I am what is referred to as a loner in the AA lingo, as in I do not have an AA community where I live here in Indonesia. I never have had local meetings and thank God I found GROW in the first week of sobriety and finally an online sponsor a little later on or else I don’t think I would’ve gotten very far. Here, I have experienced physical isolation with being in a new country and community all while getting sober.

For a long time I didn’t feel comfortable letting anyone but my therapist know what was going on so I just stayed with my familiar habit of thinking that others ‘just won’t get it.’ I made myself miserably sad those first few months.

I found out there was one other AAer in town at around 6 months of sobriety and soon after was able to go to my first F2F meetings in Bali for a weekend. Connecting was key to moving through some of my self loathing I still harbored as I worked through steps 4 & 5.

My AA friend in town moved away a couple of weeks ago and I’m observing the difference between being ‘alone’ now versus what I felt in the beginning.

As the Big Book says, by sticking with the program and working the steps:’… we shall get rid of that terrible sense of isolation we’ve always had.’ – 12 &12 Step 5

Now, after working through step 7 and having a lot of conversations with God, I don’t feel isolated. I am alone in a lot of respects, but I don’t feel lonely. I like to think of this as feeling safe and finally honest in my solitude with God instead of feeding into the sadness and stinking thinking. This particular pity party is over and I intend to keep working on my emotional sobriety to keep it that way.

I know that this grounded feeling has been gifted to me by my Higher Power as well as the step work I’ve done with my sponsor and the support I’ve found here in GROW. Daily meditation, prayer, breath work, the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, sobriety podcasts and spiritual texts are the biggest tools that I use to keep this connection strong.

Please feel free to share about your relationship with isolation past or present and how you are growing beyond that damaging coping mechanism.

I look forward to hearing from you all.


Sarah M