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How to Manage Loneliness During Recovery

We want to let them wash over us, like a wave, and rather than react to them, we want to just let them be as they are. We can meditate to stay calm and centered as we’re having this intense emotional experience. We can ask a therapist or coach to help us make sense of our feelings.

loneliness in recovery

This is easier said than done, and therefore much harder to accomplish. A major key to consistent recovery is the opposite of loneliness and isolation, which is connection and support. That is why group therapy is encouraged in recovery and more importantly, engaging in said group therapy. Staying connected with those around you who are sober as well, who have been through your journey, is essential. Addiction recovery is a difficult journey, and sometimes it can also feel like a very lonely one.

Combating Loneliness in Addiction Recovery

That is, Americans are lonely, especially younger generations, says Cigna’s 2018 U.S. It’s no surprise that being lonely has detrimental effects on mental and physical well-being. The feelings can stem from a multitude of reasons, such as grief following loss, divorce, separation, or miscarriage. Not only loneliness in recovery can loneliness increase the risk of depression, suicidal thoughts, heart conditions, and other illnesses, but it can also trigger or worsen addiction. To help yourself process these emotions, work with a counselor. Connecting with a support group can also help you feel less alone on your journey.

loneliness in recovery

Remind yourself that as long as you stick to your program, you’re on the right track. Everyone experiences loneliness, but chronic loneliness can lead to a decline in your mental and physical health. Research has found a correlation between chronic loneliness and cardiovascular disease as well as high blood pressure. We offer support groups in the form of both 12-step programs and non-12-step groups. The basic idea behind the 12-step model is following 12 basic steps to achieve a sober life. Guidance from a higher power is also often sought in this program.

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Addiction treatment usually provides peer-to-peer interaction during recovery. These support groups are ideal chances to re-learn social skills while providing opportunities to make new friends in a safe environment, so participate fully. You gain your life back when you end your addiction, but you also lose several things. Sometimes it feels like you’ve lost your best friend — your companion substance that has been there for you through recent days. You are also saying goodbye to the toxic “friendships” you formed during your addictive days. Acknowledging the loss and allowing yourself to grieve will help you move forward.

Protect your mental health in recovery by remaining connected to your sober support network, family members and close friends while also cultivating new sober friendships. Loneliness is a subjective feeling that coincides with other strong feelings like depression, anxiety, or even panic. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re alone in a room with no other people. Many people report that they feel lonely even when they’re with their friends or family.

How Do You Manage Anxiety in Addiction Recovery?

Research has found that loneliness is just as dangerous as smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes a day. Those who experience this feeling regularly are 50% more likely to die prematurely than those who don’t. Stress is also harder to bear when you’re lonely and don’t have a support system to help you deal with everyday life. Even things like a single overdue bill or catching the flu could make you more at risk for suicide or other negative side effects. While we’re more connected than ever, loneliness is such a pervasive problem that some studies declared it a public health risk. It’s difficult to address because there is no single cause for this feeling, and how loneliness affects you is as unique as you are.

  • Substance abuse can be caused or worsened by feelings of loneliness or boredom.
  • Recognizing that you’ve gone through a major change and letting yourself feel all of the emotions triggered by that change can help you begin to address your situation honestly.
  • The main reason is that loneliness can’t simply be treated by medications.
  • We want to let them wash over us, like a wave, and rather than react to them, we want to just let them be as they are.
  • That’s why our addiction therapy programs span a wide range of methods and approaches.
  • This is when you need to start making other connections through new experiences.

People who feel alone and detached from others are quite vulnerable and may return to their substance of choice as a means of numbing these negative emotions. Continue reading for some tips on how to combat loneliness and succeed in recovery. It’s important to remember that loneliness isn’t just the absence of companionship; it’s the presence of psychological stress. Studies have shown that loneliness is linked to a greater likelihood of high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and psychological distress. If you’re feeling lonely in recovery, here are some suggestions for what to do about it.

Similarly, if you are in recovery, avoiding loneliness is important for maintaining your sobriety. Overwhelming feelings of loneliness can undermine your recovery and start the cycle of substance use all over again. It can be helpful to remember that even when we are experiencing feelings of loneliness, we aren’t really alone—not alone in having those feelings, but also not alone in reality. This can be hard to remember, especially if you are struggling with a substance use disorder.

  • Often, the decisions that some have made in active addiction are usually not their smartest, safest, or proudest moments to reflect on.
  • Research has found a correlation between chronic loneliness and cardiovascular disease as well as high blood pressure.
  • A mental health professional or addiction counselor will help you identify the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are contributing to your loneliness and help you overcome them.

As previously mentioned, your life has likely been completely uprooted through getting treatment for addiction and removing your previous toxic circle. This is when you need to start making other connections through new experiences. You may have learned a new hobby or interest during your rehab period. Sign up for classes or join groups that revolve around these new interests or hobbies. All of these new experiences present chances to connect with people around you.

Both are completely normal and can be dealt with under the proper guidance. As addiction progresses, many addicts find themselves losing the support of their family and friends, as well as damaging their healthy relationships. This may lead them even deeper into isolation, where their entire existence centers around drugs, loneliness and alcohol.

loneliness in recovery

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