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March 25 • Forced Isolation

Day 625


Isolation has been both my salvation and my damnation for most of my life. It's where I go to 'get away,' to recharge, and of course, to act out in a variety of ways. This leaning into aloneness is a common thread with most of the addicts I know and helps put into context the idea that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety; it is connectedness. It that's true, then the opposite of sobriety must be isolation. I'm learning that there is a difference between isolation that I choose, whether for good or ill, and the isolation that is thrust on me. As I'm writing this, the world is locked-down and trying to flatten the curve of the Coronavirus pandemic. After a year and a half of trying to avoid isolation, here it is handed to me on a silver platter. The idea does not sound awful or threatening, but it is presenting new challenges between my ears, and I'm not handling it perfectly. I am making more calls than ever, staying current in my journal, making progress on some long-term projects, trying to figure out ways to generate income, offering what assistance I can to people around me that need more help than I do, and other positive things. It's actually good to see the list I just wrote; I am staying busy, given the circumstances. But my addict is also calling. He's suggesting ways I could feel sorry for myself. He's rubbing sandpaper on the scars of life. He is being an all-around sombitch, and I need to find ways to fight back. One thing I'm not doing is getting exercise. I need to change that, and I need to do it today.


I fear I might not be as open with my wife, because there's no place to run if I say something that gets uncomfortable, and I don't even know why whatever would get uncomfortable, it's just a fear. And I'm sick of TV, the easiest and safest (usually) form of isolation and not having to feel my brain. Today will be better than yesterday. Today I will stay sober, and I will isolate in my thoughts as little as possible. Today I will smile more and pray for serenity.


–JR

 

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