I would rather live in recovery than die in isolation. These words came to me as a spiritual truth, simple yet profound. Living in recovery is not easy—it takes daily work—yet it beats the alternative.

I am an introvert and crave solitude. It is one of my spiritual needs. However, before recovery, I was unable to distinguish between solitude and isolation. Most of my life, I’d chosen to isolate. I did much of my eating alone, and most of my relationships were painful because my relationship skills were virtually nonexistent. I have said many times that if I’d been able to design an ideal recovery program, it would have been one I could do at home from behind a computer screen. It certainly would not have involved other people.

Fortunately, I’ve now learned how to have relationships. I’ve learned how to show up for myself, for my recovery, and for the people in my life. There are times when I show up even when I don’t want to or don’t feel like it. I push through my real or imagined discomfort, and my relationships grow stronger. I continue to exceed my own expectations for myself as I develop new abilities and strengthen my existing ones. I am learning how to say yes even when I want to say no. I am living a life beyond my wildest dreams, and this life involves loving and living with other people.

This past weekend, I was in Little Rock, Arkansas for a regional convention and assembly. I pushed myself a bit more out of my comfort zone. Although I knew many people there after years of doing service, I made time to connect with people I did not know. I asked to sit with people during meals and at other times just to chat. Each time I did, I strengthened my recovery and decreased the chance that I will die alone in isolation.

Thank you for showing me through your examples how to live a better life. I cannot do it without you, and today, I don’t want to do it alone.

— Atiya M., Durham, North Carolina USA

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