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By Tim Stein

Meditation from Gifts of Recovery.

Connect to heal and rebuild.
–Therapy lesson

After a recent natural disaster, someone shared this insight with me. “Normally ants are incredibly organized. Nice straight lines, each ant moving efficiently where it needs to go. However, if you step on an anthill, all that organization goes away as the ants start moving in all directions at once. I always thought it was chaos but having just experienced this disaster, I don’t think it is chaos anymore; I think it is connection. When disaster strikes there is an instinctive need to connect with others; through this connection, the healing and rebuilding start.” I do not know if this idea is scientifically accurate related to ants but it reminds me of the importance of connection in recovery. Isolation creates emotional and relational damage. Connection with others allows us to heal and rebuild.

When has my life felt chaotic? At those times, did I isolate or connect? What gifts await me as I learn to connect with others when my life feels chaotic?

During times of crisis, connection is important. As wounded healers, we preach this to our clients. We encourage our depressed clients to create social connections that allow for needed boosts in their mood. We encourage our clients who are overcoming trauma to create social connections that help them accept the impact of their trauma and experience support in their continued healing work. We encourage our addict clients to create and maintain connections with their recovery community because it is essential to maintaining sobriety and recovery. Connection is a powerful support to healing.

Connection can also be healing in and of itself. This lesson was driven home for me when I was an intern. A supervisor challenged me to rely less on the therapy techniques I was learning and to lean more heavily on my relationship with each client. My clinical experiences for the rest of that internship reinforced the truth that connection is healing.

When a crisis comes, whether it is a natural disaster, a social upheaval, a difficult personal situation, or a global pandemic, it is important for us wounded healers to remember the importance of connection for ourselves. When a situation primarily impacts only us or a limited social network, we can generally maintain our normal recovery connection routine. This might include consistent meetings, daily phone calls, or coffee with recovery friends.

When the situation is more locally, nationally, or globally impactful, we may need more. If our in-person meetings are canceled, we may need to find an online 12-step meeting (such as the sex and porn-addicted professionals online meeting at If our daily routine is interrupted, we may need to intentionally make daily phone calls to our recovery supports. If getting together in person is not possible, we may need to have “virtual” coffee with recovery friends using an online meeting platform.

When crisis hits our clients, we wounded healers make a point to connect with and support them. When a crisis impacts us, it is important that we seek connection and support as well. Connection is healing.