Wow, where to even begin, there are so many reasons. Let’s start with support. If ever there were a contest where support is crucial, this is the winning entry. Support comes in many ways: counselors, sponsors, intensive outpatient programs, meetings, inpatient programs.
Working with others trumps any endeavor over going it alone. Recovery is not easy. You need help. Help is support. Support is help.
Without support, you are guided by an amateur. Can you imagine trying to learn from an amateur in any field? Why would anyone do that? There is no field that is not filled with experts and amateurs. Which would any straight-thinking person choose? Would they choose an amateur? No way. We learn from the experts, the experienced. The ones who have been there, done that. Step by step is how we learn.
No magic bullet, for sure, no magic pill. Starting now, promise to choose wisely in your life. Go with the pros. We all have much to learn.
Get your lessons from outside yourself.
Sharing is important a reason not to go do it alone. When we share, we become closer and more important to one another in ways that cannot be measured. In recovery, sharing feelings of fear, of uncertainty, and of insecurity all tell us we are not alone in these emotions—most especially in recovery, where often we are in uncharted territory and scared. Maybe you have not functioned without using for many years. Of course you would be scared, insecure. Sharing these feelings brings them out into the open where they can be dealt with, and you can then realize these emotions are common. Keeping these emotions inside and private will bring you no relief. There is no relief to know you are in a battle all by yourself. When you share, you become more than just yourself, more than just your own feelings. You become part of something, and that something makes you a part of others who understand what this battle is all about. The wonderful added benefit is that not only do you get help, but you give help as well.
If you battle addiction alone, you receive no encouragement. Who is there to encourage you if you go it alone? Who is there to build you up when you start to tear yourself down? Fighting addiction has you up against a strong and sneaky opponent. Take all the encouragement you can get.
Another thing to consider is, if you are alone, you have no obligation to anyone else. No obligation to show up at a meeting. Being expected is a big push out the door. Without obligation to others, you put yourself at risk for relapse.
Without others, you have no one to call you out on your bullshit. Addicts don’t hear themselves the way others hear them. “Addict talk” is recognized by addicts in recovery. Let’s be clear: something inside us is listening, processing, deciding, and influencing. Pay attention to self talk. Attack negativity immediately. Attack BS immediately. Listen for the words/ thoughts to tempt you to use. Remember King
Solomon a few chapters back? He wisely said, “Doubt cannot linger without your consent.”
When you BS your sponsor or your counselor, they hear it, and they will call you out. You cannot do that alone, now, can you?
If you try to do recovery alone, to whom would you say “Help me”? The time comes when all pretenses are gone. When you have to admit you need help. Maybe you haven’t hit bottom, but maybe you are on your way and it will hit you—hard. You. Need. Help. You start to get it.
Maybe a lightbulb goes on in your head. You cannot get the help you need alone. Get help now. Don’t wait to hit bottom. Get the help you need today, and every day. Understand you need help just like we all do. Say it out loud right now. That’s right; seriously say this, “I need help!” Say it again. Do it. OK, so now you get help. Help comes with lots of side dishes. You now have some camaraderie. A person, people to plan dates with, outings, you have company. Company that understands what you are fighting. Yeah, you are understood and welcomed.
You can make plans with your sponsor and others in recovery for a cup of coffee, a movie, or just hanging out. It doesn’t matter what you do. It just matters that you do. Thinking about doing something is not really doing something, now, is it? Of course not. Actually going out and doing something is doing something. Making a plan and following through with it is doing something. Meeting a new friend is doing something. Sharing time is doing something. Having a conversation is doing something. Get out. Start. My favorite philosopher, Bugs
Bunny, said, “You never know where you are going until you get there.” Or was that Yogi Berra? So get there. Go.
So finally, with you being alone, there is no one to check up on you. No one to pull you back if you get too close to the edge. No one to call you, to plan with you, to cry with you if that is what is needed. Alone is when your mind starts to play tricks. The addiction monster starts to speak to you. It wants to be fed, and it makes its desires known in your mind. Who will help you if you are alone? Who speaks to you when you are alone? Don’t be someone who has no one to call. Don’t be alone. You cannot do this alone. Start to realize by interacting with others in recovery that you are not alone in feelings these feelings. Not alone in thinking these thoughts. Not alone in believing these beliefs. Not alone, no no no.
You are in this for the long haul. A good life awaits you. You deserve a good life. Have it. Remember, you have every single ingredient necessary to do this. And you do not have to do it alone.