What does it mean to be a loner?
A loner is one who avoids others or pursues a markedly independent course in thought or action.
How can participation in Twelve Step groups affect your recovery?
Some people in early recovery describe themselves as “loners” or “misfits.” For these people recovery can be more difficult. If you are a loner, participating in meetings by speaking or performing service work, even simple tasks such as setting up chairs or making coffee can develop your sense of belonging to the program and the group.
Being a loner may seem like a sign of strength to some, but in reality, it can be a sign that a person’s recovery is weak. If you look at the wording of the Twelve Steps, you will notice that the term “we,” not “I,” is used. Recovery is not something that can be done alone, at least not very successfully. The power of recovery is in the fellowship of alcoholics and other addicts helping each other.
Asking for help, talking about problems, and listening for advice are not signs of weakness but signs of wisdom. Others have traveled the pathway of recovery, and you can learn from their experience. And in turn, others can learn from you.
It is also true that your Higher Power will often use other people to speak to you and help you. All human beings are meant to be in community with others for this reason.
If you have been a loner, it may take a focused effort to break old habits of isolation. It may mean forcing yourself to do things and go places, even when you don’t feel like it, but it will be worth it. Try attending a Twelve Step recovery group. Most people find these meetings to be accepting, loving settings where you can just be yourself. Trust that others in the room have felt like misfits too, but have now found a place to belong.