Overcoming Loneliness in Addiction Recovery

Triggers bring up intense memories and feelings of using substances. They can be internal, such as feelings, or external, like coming into contact with people, places, and certain stressors. There are also many alternatives to 12-step programs that may work better for you, both in-person and virtual or online. A strong support system can be a powerful resource in recovery. Ask those you trust to help remove any triggers from your space, such as medication or alcohol bottles. Identifying and managing triggers can be a big part of recovery.

  • All our tips up to this point are about actions you can take and things you can do to mitigate or manage loneliness.
  • It can lead to depression and anxiety, guilt and shame, social isolation, and ultimately relapse.
  • Addicted individuals can become lonely, and lonely individuals can become addicted.
  • You can live alone and not feel lonely or socially isolated, and you can feel lonely while being with other people.

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Is Loneliness In Addiction Recovery a Normal Feeling?

They might also have financial or legal difficulties that feel overwhelming and add to the feeling of being alone. It’s common for people to turn to drinking as a way to cope with a range of negative feelings. If you’re feeling alone, drinking can seem like a way to make it through a hard day.

loneliness in recovery

Therefore, although you need to stay away from the people you got high with, it is wise to form a social network to combat loneliness. True friendships can help build self-esteem and give you accountability throughout your recovery. When people are held accountable in recovery, they are less likely to relapse. You can practice accountability with counselors in treatment and other companions. It’s well known that feelings of loneliness can be significant during the early phase of recovery, and this state of mind could trigger a relapse.

How to Overcome Loneliness- 10 Simple Ways

The idea of HALT is a great way to remember the signs needed to take a break or reach out for support from someone positive in your life. Making connections with other people in recovery will ultimately support you in maintaining your sobriety. They will not only have some common problems and emotions that you may be dealing with, but they are less likely to try to get you to relapse.

  • Restoring your relationships can reattach you to another social circle and give you a chance to reconnect.
  • There are then those people who spend a lot of time in the company of others yet still experience intense feelings of loneliness.
  • Learning to deal with the inherent loneliness in recovery helps you avoid the risks above and prevent relapsing.
  • Deciding to get treatment for substance use disorder can be a life-changing decision.

The 12-step support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are excellent places for people in recovery suffering from loneliness. In the 12-step programs, there is an emphasis on fellowship, and for a good reason. Sponsorship is a tool these groups use to help addicts stay clean and sober. Sponsorship is when one person who has completed the steps and has a reasonable amount of time sober assists another alcoholic or addict through their recovery. It is difficult for people to remain sober if they are isolated.

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Loneliness can be a difficult emotion to manage and can have an adverse effect on our mental health if we start to isolate. But there are ways to combat loneliness in recovery and make sure that we don’t feel isolated and alone. Being around positive people can have a huge impact on our overall wellbeing. It can make you feel more energized and motivated, and can help keep negative thoughts at bay.

loneliness in recovery

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Making Human Connection in Addiction Recovery

Additionally, pets provide unconditional love, which can be a great salve for loneliness. The feeling can be especially noticeable around the holidays, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and times of extreme stress. You may have already done this to some extent while working the 12 steps.

  • Feelings of loneliness or boredom can compound substance abuse.
  • With medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, you can bring withdrawal symptoms down to a minimum and avoid detox’s harsh and potentially harmful process.
  • Alcohol and loneliness can create a cycle that’s hard to break.
  • You may even consider keeping a daily journal to record your experiences.
  • People who consumed a lot of alcohol in settings such as bars and parties can also feel lonely after quitting drinking.