Even if you are not physically alone, you might feel isolated from the people in your life. Loneliness during recovery can weigh you down and drive you to relapse. A strong support system can reduce the risk of depression, self-harm, and help individuals recover from addiction. Communication is key to helping your loved ones understand the situation and recovery process.
Self-medication can numb our wretched feelings or erase them for a short time, but, left unchecked, will explode into a full addiction, with us needing increased doses to feel less numb or forget less. If you think being sober is lonely, below are some effective ways you can cope with this feeling and change your state of mind. It is important to understand that there is a difference between being alone and loneliness.
Mental Health in Recovery
Loneliness is an issue all of us contend with at some point in our lives. We’ll share original articles by our clinical staff, helpful posts on recovery topics by guest authors, and keep you loneliness in recovery up to date on new research and innovative developments in addiction and recovery. Tips to combat boredom in recovery include working toward a goal or focusing your mind on a new hobby.
Those games can be very serious indeed – and they’re also a great place to meet peers with similar interests. In times when feelings of loneliness become too strong to deal with, you may be experiencing a depressive episode. Depression is not uncommon in early recovery, so you shouldn’t ignore the symptoms. Experiencing loneliness after rehab is often the natural result of making a significant lifestyle change.
How Loneliness Fuels Addiction
People with low self-esteem and self-worth typically feel lonelier than those with higher self-esteem and self-worth. Factors such as feelings of worthlessness, guilt, mental distress, and poor coping mechanisms can all play a role in this. The rest of this article will address loneliness in the context of addiction. We’ll review the research on the topic – there’s not much – and conclude with our top ten tips on managing loneliness during recovery.
- Feeling emotions like guilt and loneliness in their full force while being sober can often be uncomfortable and frustrating.
- When we’re very young, our parents or primary caregivers handle our loneliness for us.
- Early during social distancing, people likely had much more momentum than they do now, a year into the pandemic that has changed the way we live.
- If you or a loved one need help for an addiction and want to know more about group therapy or treatment options, feel free to contact us.
If you’re taking the time to listen to others and reaching out to others when they need it, you’re also connecting, which helps remove the emotional detachment of being lonely. It is the feeling of being alone, regardless of the amount of social contact. As we mentioned, being alone is different from feeling lonely, and being alone can be beneficial. Everyone hits a point in their day or week when they are not around people, so it is important to know how to not only cope with those moments but to take advantage of them. It’s also important to be kind to yourself and acknowledge that it’s okay to have these feelings and that learning how to deal with them is the only way to overcome them.
May Are You Feeling Alone In Your Recovery?
Recovery can feel like a lonely process, especially when you no longer live in a community where you’re constantly surrounded by your peers. Post-treatment, you’ll have to make adjustments to your lifestyle. This could include no longer hanging out with toxic people you used to hang out with and no longer going to potentially triggering places. Sign up for that art class you’ve been thinking about, take music lessons, or hit the gym. Exercise and artistic activities, such as painting, dancing, or playing an instrument, have been shown to improve mood and be a great aid during therapy.