Overcoming Self Reliance: From Isolation to Community

I’m an extravert, and no one who I’ve known over the years of Twelve-Step life would ever have called me isolated. I talk about myself a lot, but it wasn’t until I got into S-Anon after hitting a traumatic bottom that I ever talked really honestly about my relationship with the sexaholic. My attitude before recovery was that no one was going to tell me how to run that relationship. I had found the love of my life and I would not let anyone get too close, for fear of losing my hold on my primary relationship no matter how unhealthy the relationship was becoming or, in some ways, may always have been.

So God did for me what I could not do for myself and I found S-Anon, or S-Anon found me (that’s closer to the truth). In the past four years I have truly come out of isolation—a.k.a. out of self-reliance—and into the community of S-Anon. Now I DO let people give me feedback about how I‘m operating in my relationships. My best thinking didn’t get me very far. HP knew all about me but I hung on tightly to doing it my way until the pain got too great. I let the healthy people get close to me. The fortress came tumbling down and it needed to.

Self-reliance kept me isolated. Community keeps me connected. This was what I was looking for all along. What helps me overcome self-reliance?

  • Meetings (I rarely miss them!)…
  • The phone (I talk to at least one S-Anon member every day)…
  • Writing (especially when I’m angry or sad…or triggered!)
  • Unfailing morning quiet time….even if its three minutes…with my Reflections of Hope book, Third and Seventh Step Prayer…and a few minutes of silence while either sitting or walking.
  • Socializing with my S-Anon pals.
  • Having a sense of humor!

 

Reprinted from the Fall 2010 issue of S-Anews©.