Today I was sitting in my car and heard a little tap above me. A second tap followed, and soon the taps came faster and faster. The rain had started. And as I sat listening to the sound above me it reminded me of the beginning of my journey in my recovery.
I was often heard saying that I wasn’t a group person, that I preferred to be one-on-one with someone, and working one-on-one with a professional did help me, but I was encouraged to join a group for support as I set out on this new path. I, nervously, headed out to see what this group thing was all about, and told myself to keep an open mind and try it. My heart was beating as I sat down, worried people would judge me as I scanned the room. These people seemed “normal,” they were laughing, talking with one another, I made a commitment to myself to stay for the hour. When the first woman began to talk, sharing her truth that day, I sat back, what she was feeling is what I was feeling, how could this be, and as she continued I identified more and more with what she was saying. Now I began to look around the room suspiciously, had I been set up? Did someone call ahead telling these people specific things about me so I would stay? These people seemed genuine. I continued to listen, and even though not everything that was shared that night fit my story, most of it did, and even though I did not know anyone in that room, I felt safe. I kept going to that meeting, and others like it, and even though it wasn’t always easy to reach out my hand and introduce myself, or share my own truth, I always felt better, and I began to be a part of the group. For this loner, who always had a small group of friends, but loved to be alone, I started to enjoy the group. What was happening? I began to realize that it felt nice to be a part of, to be one of many all working together on a common goal, to get better. And, eventually, you probably guessed it, I became a group person.
You see, there is a lot of strength in numbers, when we walk with others we have the support of those around us who understand our journey, who will lift us up when we need it, and, we will lift them when the time comes. It feels good to be just me, Carrie, in a room with others who are just themselves that day, it doesn’t matter where we work, or if we do, where we live, what car we drive, or bus we took to get there, when we walk in with a common purpose, we are part of something larger than just ourselves.
That feeling has bled into my life outside of recovery and has made me realize how important our part is to the greater good. No matter where we are, or what we’re doing, we matter, and we can choose to contribute or take from any situation. It feels good today to not walk into a room calculating what I can take out, instead, I think about what I can leave there, what can I do to make this place better than the way I found it, and, I’m not always able to do that, but the intention is there, even if it’s just sharing a smile.
There are those of us out there who like the solitude we find in ourselves, and it’s important to honor that, but, you may be missing out by not joining in and taking part in life. Find those people like yourself, who share your interests, values and beliefs and walk with them, support them, love them, celebrate them, and let your voice be heard within a large choir. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you join in group settings or keep to yourself? What frightens you about groups? What is that fear based on? Is that fear based on a past experience, or what you think it’ll be in your mind? If you had a past experience that is holding you back today, what can you do to change that experience moving forward? Have you felt the support of a group in your life? How has it made a difference for you? How have you contributed to that group? Can you do more? We all have a unique voice, but when we’re able to join others like ourselves, our one voice joins forces with those around us to contribute to the greater good.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you