08/04/2021 Alone again (naturally)

I’m going to apologize ahead of time for the somber nature of this post.

I’m in a mood.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who suffers from an -ism. Try as we might, it’s a daily struggle to get one more day under our belts.

It’s one reason I don’t celebrate my natal birthday. But don’t you forget it–June 3. I expect pomp and circumstance, at the very least. See, I don’t have to do anything special to travel another 356 days around the sun. I just have to not die. But to get to my -ism anniversary (here we call them birthdays), there’s a lot of action that goes on behind the scenes. It’s not a passive year by any means.

But I digress.

One huge thing I have had to learn how to navigate is the constant feeling of being lonely. Even when in a crowded room, laughing and conversing with people I know and love, I can be desperately lonely.

I know there are more than a few of you that feel this deep in your core. We connect at a level that doesn’t need words.

Now, there are a few of my normie friends who say they understand, but saying it doesn’t make it so. And their every attempt at drawing me out screams that they have no clue.

Frustrated, they give up trying.

They are not at fault. They seem to have been born that way. (<–Ha! You see what I did there? I’m being cheeky of course.)

These poor friends have no idea how to help us. How can they? We cannot adequately articulate how we feel or why. If we could, we probably wouldn’t be such a mess. The best we can hope for is to find a tribe that understands without words, and helps without trying.

It’s why AA works. Only another alcoholic can get through to us. Only another person suffering from the same malady can rescue us when we are drowning.

So instead of investing in enlightening the normies in my life, I retreat. Remember the other day when I talked about not knowing how to be a friend and burning bridges? Prime example, right here.

Burn it down, on my terms, before they can do the same.

And then, I’m not only lonely, but I’m alone, too.

This is where I find myself, today.

I’ve been here before. It’s familiar. I know how to live alone. I kind of enjoy my own company. Thank God. What I’ve never been able to navigate was feeling lonely when I wasn’t alone.

So for people like me, the stay-at-home orders and transition to remote work have been both a blessing and a curse. The alone part we enjoy. But to combat loneliness, we need the fellowship, which has been in short supply for over 16 months.

We are such contradictions.

A lot of relapses among my fellows over the past year. Long-timers. The first thing they say when asked why is that they lost touch with their tribe.

So inoculate yourselves against a slip. Reach out. Stay in touch. Text, talk, FaceTime, Zoom, read the Big Book.

Leave me a message.

Declaration of Responsibility

When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.

And now a little bit of a blast from the past. It’s what started this entire train of thought. You. Are. Welcome. You. Old. Geezers. Out. There.

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