It is now proven that isolation hurts us. It makes us sick, depressed, and in some cases leads to death.
Some people are isolated due to a number of issues, some of which can't be changed, such as health problems or being unable to find transportation to get out and about.
Other people isolate themselves.
There are times I isolate myself, especially when I am sick or depressed.
Which ironically makes me more sick and depressed.
When I was drinking, I sometimes drank with friends.
Sometimes I would drink alone at a bar, but felt "connected " with the bartender or other drinking strangers.
But at other times, I would buy a bottle and drink alone at home.
When I isolate myself now, I feel very lonely. I sometimes feel very lonely in a crowd, too.
Loneliness is a feeling that will wash over me.
Being retired contributes to isolation and my feelings of loneliness.
I no longer have that built in community with my fellow teachers and students.
Also, I do not live near my family members, so I do not have that loving community.
When I feel lonely in a crowd, it is because I feel left out, or I feel different in some way.
This leads me to isolation as well.
However, I am growing up, and I have been learning how to be an adult living in an adult world.
If I can accept that I am really just fine being Wendy, that I don't have to be the life of the party, (not that I ever was), I am calmer, and can navigate social situations better.
I am working hard to breathe through the loneliness, not just ignore it, or say it's wrong or unimportant.
It's telling me something.
It means I am missing the human connections I need.
I am working hard to find ways to make fun and meaningful connections with people.
Volunteering has helped.
I feel very fulfilled after my time of helping people.
I have also found some lovely souls in the recovery community.
I make "playdates" with other teachers, going for walks or having coffee.
My yoga community helps too.
I am working on keeping up with my oldest and dearest friends, because I can get lazy at times, and I put off calling them.
Blogging helps me connect with people. When I read blogs, and leave comments, I know that somewhere out there, other people understand and care.
The most important step I can do to help myself when I feel lonely is to reach out to other people.
It's hard at times, because sometimes it feels as if I am the only one doing the reaching.
My adult self now understands that many people have much more going on in their lives than I do.
There are other people who are thrilled I reached out to them.
For my continued recovery, as well as having a happy life, I must keep reaching out, and keep myself from being isolated.
It helps other people, and it keeps the loneliness away for both of us.
I can't sink into the "poor me" place, as that is a lifeless place to be.
Sobriety is such a gift.
I don't want to waste it, or throw it away by shutting myself away in my house.
Being sober has made me happier, and I want to pass that along to other people, as others before me have passed it along to me.
I want to continue to see the little surprises that are happening along the way, little boxes of joy that open to my delight!
With Loving Thoughts,
On Day 946,
PS - This week, I focused on loving my body.
I had another cold, but I was so kind to my hard-working body.
It fought the cold, and today I was able to go to yoga!
Happy, happy, happy!
I also treated it to a pedicure and now I have lovely blue toenails!