Separation creates division and isolation, unity through numbers creates connection it is that simple. When I was at the end of my substance use, I never felt so alone. Words can’t articulate. I certainly didn’t feel like I had it together. I was separate from the people I loved, and people in general. I later learned most of us felt disconnected that way.

Coming into the 12 step rooms, I felt welcome, I began to feel like I wasn’t alone, and I started to feel small sparks of connection. Nothing felt colder then the disconnect I felt at the end of my use, and those small sparks of connection where like a raging campfire on a chilly night, drawing me closer to the rooms and the people in it.

Through these sparks of connection, I began to feel less separate, less alone, and more connected to the world around me, little by little. It gave me comfort to look within, to begin to try and stay sober, to feel like there was a better way. – connection gave me hope.

Through this small spark of connection, I began to feel joy again, I began to feel like I could face my demons, and I began to change and grow. Small baby steps. Many of my brothers and sisters in those early days who were at the same place as me, felt the same isolation prior to getting sober, and could feel the connections I was feeling. We became a we. We certainly didn’t have it all together separate but with the connections we were developing, we certainly had it all.

We could begin to relate to the people who went before us, sober longer than us and could begin to connect with them too. Through the initial connections, and this continuous growing series of connections, I began to stay sober, one day at a time. Days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months and eventually months turned to years.

We had it all through each other, through connection we could begin to trust, and through that trust came connections with a sponsor, trust in a higher power, trust in each other and trust in humanity. We started to trust ourselves again. Through that connection, and the experiences related to those early connections, we began to experience new things, liking going through the steps for the first time. Healing began.

So, while we didn’t have it all together, separate and alone, we felt disconnect and loneliness at a level of isolation that was saddening, cold and alone. That disconnect brought us to a place of feeling the warmth of connection. Those connections brought us through the measures of change, and we began to have it all through each other. Each of our struggles, trials and tribulations, past or present, were complimented by the strengths each of us had, and through the connections of each other, we could face the darkness, and begin again to grow into the beautiful spirits we were intended to be.

So, connect with people in meetings. People that have been through the steps, people that have healed, people that have grown. Brother with brother, sister with sister. Develop a support network that is filled with connection. While we might not have it all together, each having our flaws, together we got it all, through our connections, our complimenting strengths and support we bring to each other by living a life of recovery.

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