A Guide to Manage Loneliness During Recovery

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With the right support, you can regain control of your life and find joy in sobriety. Loneliness is defined as the gap between a person’s desire for social connection and their actual experience of it. This means that we all have different thresholds for feeling loneliness—and that it is possible to struggle with loneliness even if you have what others might consider a full social life. Make up your mind to reach out to one person or to attend one event. Providing help to others allows you to maintain sobriety and is excellent for your overall health. A significant aspect of the support groups that they focus on is fellowship.

  • Some people are not comfortable in online interactions or may not even have the technology to participate in virtual activities.
  • Finally, remember the three Ps to help you find balance and joy in your sobriety.
  • Over time, secluding yourself can worsen mental and emotional health, which can be a significant setback for anyone recovering from drug or alcohol addiction.

People are often surprised how much harder it is to make friends as an adult. When you’re younger, you’re around other people your age every day in school and other activities. When you’re an adult, you’re around other people at work–sometimes. However, people at work have their own lives and concerns and you may or may not have any points of connection. This loneliness can have real consequences for your recovery, your mental health, and even your physical health. According to author Johann Hari, the opposite of addiction is not sobriety.

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Contact us now for more information on this free service to our users. But when paired with co-morbidities, or multiple health conditions occurring simultaneously within one person, it is cause for alarm. If you don’t already have a trusted therapist, you may want to meet with several before finding one you feel comfortable with who meets your needs. Therapy tends to take time, so having patience with yourself and the process can be essential to long-term success. Focusing on activities you love can fill the time you might have spent using substances.

  • It’s no surprise that being lonely has detrimental effects on mental and physical well-being.
  • Sometimes the best efforts to remain sober and live a healthy life require outside support.
  • Fellowship is a way for you to help other addicts and alcoholics with their efforts, either by being a sponsor or simply grabbing a coffee with another group member.

Pets are also great companions, but only consider getting a pet if you know you can take on the responsibility. If you are up for the responsibility, pets can offer an unconditional love that will help immensely in warding off loneliness. Great Oaks provides many opportunities for families to learn how to support each other.

Press Play for Advice on Loneliness

According to Verywell Mind, loneliness causes people to feel empty, alone, and unwanted. 2 This means that people can experience loneliness whether they live alone or in a house full of people. The pandemic and social restrictions have made it more challenging for people to find space away from unhealthy households or participate in social Essential Tremor Alcohol Treatment activities. Some people are not comfortable in online interactions or may not even have the technology to participate in virtual activities. 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.

loneliness in recovery

Substance use helps avoid confronting their problems, delivering a false sense of security. It is a vicious cycle because when the drugs and alcohol are not present, all the emotions they were unable or unwilling to deal with come racing right back. When they don’t find ways to cope with the original emotion, it just keeps building and building.

How Loneliness Fuels Addiction

Some of the adverse health effects of severe loneliness include weaker immune systems, poor sleep, and arthritis. Loneliness can also lead to unhealthy consumption patterns of food and drink, which may result in Type 2 diabetes. And lastly, it can trigger increased consumption of addictive substances, such as nicotine, alcohol, and hard drugs.

They can also be effective outlets for stress and negative emotions that may have caused you to use in the past. You may want to let your loved ones know what you’re going through and how you plan on coping. When you face triggers, your support system can help you quickly change your environment. Self-judgment could lead to emotional distress and feelings of guilt, which can be triggers themselves. Experiencing triggers can affect your emotional state and may increase the desire to use substances again. Dealing with triggers is one of the most common shared experiences in recovery, and it may feel scary to some.

You take positive steps every day to stay on your program, stay in recovery, and stay sober. That means you’re alive and living life on your terms – rather than terms dictated by an alcohol or substance use disorder. When you enter into addiction treatment, it’s important to find a supportive community to help you in your addiction recovery process.

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