Isolate = Self-Destruct
Communication and relationships are important for emotional, spiritual, social and even physical health. We are social beings. We learned from others, taught and communicated with others, and had relationships before we came here. When I isolate and depend on my own thinking I can spiral downward into worry, fear, anxiety, anger, helplessness and hopelessness. It is a recipe for self-destruction.
Support groups provide a place where I feel at home. I know I am not alone when I hear others express feelings that I also have. I can share and express myself without fear that there will be gossip about me or that others will look down on me for saying something or telling the truth about my feelings. As I say things out loud I can often see where my thinking is illogical or not quite right. As I hear others express their feelings it helps me to feel connected, to recognize how much I’ve grown and where I used to be, to feel compassion and empathy.
Church is another place where we come together to grow and learn. This should also be a place where we feel at home. But, it is easy to isolate and turn inward and feel alone at church. When I recognize that I need others, it is easier to reach out. Even those who seem to have it all together and have nothing wrong in their lives need other people. I should never judge my insides with another’s outsides. If I could walk in their shoes even for a minute I would see that we are more alike than different. I can reach out, find friends and support and love others and in so doing I will find love and support.
Isolating causes me to head in a downward spiral of self-destruction. Relating and connecting with others helps me to be healthy emotionally, spiritually, socially and physically.
Addiction breeds isolation, misery, fear and low self-esteem on the part of those with addictions and those who love them. I knew I needed support but did not know where to find it.
I tried talking to people I trusted but they did not know how to help me and often would say things that hurt instead of relieving my pain. I began to feel that I must keep everything to myself and this increased my isolation. I feared that others would think badly of my loved one, of me and my family. When I found someone I could talk to I often would overwhelm them with all the negative emotions and happenings in my life.
When I found support groups I felt a great relief and weight off my shoulders. Finally I heard other people’s stories that I could relate to. It seemed that everything others said they were feeling and experiencing were my feelings and experiences. I cried all the way through my first meeting. In time I was also able to share my feelings and what was going on in my home. I slowly began to heal, to find peace and hope.
What have I learned during my journey? I have learned to love and trust support groups. They are confidential and have taught me about the atonement. A good therapist can really help. They will keep your conversations confidential and can help you heal. My bishop has been an invaluable source of support. He has given me wonderful blessings that have helped me to see God’s love for me and to see His tender mercies in my life. I have learned that it is best not to talk to others about my loved ones addictions and my pain unless I am prompted to do so.
All of us need love, support and help. Having a good support system can make the difference between misery, despair and isolation or a healthy thriving life.
Before support groups I was lonely and miserable.
Before I started attending support groups I felt lonely and isolated. I was afraid to talk to anyone about my situation and what I was going through. I had tried a few times with negative results.
When I first started attending support groups I was worried about my differences from others and that others would judge me and my family. But I found that support groups gave me unconditional love and a place where I felt like I finally fit in. We were all going through very different problems and trials but our feelings and negative coping mechanisms were remarkably similar. When I was finally able to share, I was not judged or blamed. I felt relief, love and acceptance.
When I focus on my differences from others, my attention is focused on others. When I work the tools I am learning and attend meetings regularly and read and study the literature, my focus is on me. It is really not my business what others are thinking of me. When I focus on me I don’t care what others are thinking of me and I am happier and healthier.
Support groups have saved my life from chaos and misery! I am learning to use the atonement to heal and recover in support groups. I am finding companionship and friends. I am learning to listen to God and to my heart.
Isolation leads to a downward spiral
Isolation is not a good thing! For a long time I felt like I could tell no one my problems and that no one understood how I felt or what I was going through. Isolation caused me to have thinking that was not logical (“stinking thinking”). Isolation allowed Satan to put negative thoughts in my head and fear and anxiety became my constant companion. Isolation caused a downward spiral in my spirituality and emotional well-being.
Heavenly father knew I needed help. He gave me a friend that knew about step programs and kept inviting me to come until I came. At first I could only listen and cry. Almost every word that other people said was exactly how I was feeling. Heavenly father knew that I needed other people. I needed good examples of people who were happy even though they were going through hard things. I needed to hear that I didn’t cause it that I can’t control it and that I can’t cure it. I needed to hear about “stinking thinking” so that I could recognize it in myself and stop it. I needed to hear how other people could give God and Jesus Christ their burdens so that they could live happily. This is part of the atonement that I had not understood until I watched other people doing it.
I am so thankful for the atonement! It is amazing! I am so thankful for everyone that comes to support groups. I need to hear your experience, faith and hope because it buoys me up and helps me to deal with my own life in more positive and hopeful ways.