How to Handle Loneliness in Addiction Recovery

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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. Grieving your losses can be therapeutic and help with feelings of loneliness. In addition, you may need to suffer the trauma that you have repressed while you were addicted. For example, you can grieve the loss of the friends you had to give up when you started the recovery journey.

How Do You Keep Grief from Sinking Your Recovery from Addiction?

While everyone’s journey and struggle is unique, loneliness is a uniting factor most people in recovery can share. This can help you build relationships with others who may be suffering. Depression, on the other hand, is a mental health disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, hopeless or dejection.

Healthy Ways to Cope with Loneliness

  • Because boredom has the potential to increase your likelihood of relapse, it’s essential to find ways to overcome or avoid the feeling.
  • If you or a loved one is struggling with loneliness in recovery, reach out for help, and take steps today to connect with those around you.
  • Mental illness and substance abuse are two diagnoses that often go hand in hand, with one typically worsening the symptoms of the other.
  • The most crucial aspect of your recovery journey is maintaining healthy relationships with your sponsor, support group, or counselor.
  • Second, when you’re starting recovery, it’s a good idea to distance yourself from friends and acquaintances who use drugs and alcohol.

Addicted individuals can become lonely, and lonely individuals can become addicted. 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.

What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Feeling lonely on Christmas? One man in recovery has a message of hope for you – WBTV

Feeling lonely on Christmas? One man in recovery has a message of hope for you.

Posted: Wed, 25 Dec 2019 08:00:00 GMT [source]

Recovery programs tell their clients to change their people, places, and things. You can make friends in rehab or support groups such loneliness in recovery as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. People who have substance use disorders are trying to avoid negative emotions.

loneliness in recovery

There seems to be a connection between loneliness and depression, where a lonely state of mind can be a symptom of a deep, underlying depression. In 2023, a national poll reported that about 37% of older US adults (aged years) experienced loneliness and 34% reported feeling socially isolated. Loneliness or depression can result in using alcohol or drugs to deal with those feelings. Turning to the “comfort” of alcohol or drugs becomes a way of coping with feeling alone, unloved, rejected, and confused – it’s a way to numb that pain. Substance use helps avoid confronting their problems, delivering a false sense of security.

  • Withdrawal symptoms in early recovery may create barriers between you and your surroundings.
  • Recovery offers the chance to grow personally, develop new coping mechanisms and hobbies, and change lifestyles.
  • In addition to being a common symptom of a mental illness diagnosis, loneliness is also typical during addiction recovery.
  • If you are facing a medical emergency or considering suicide or self harm, please call 911 immediately.

Why Are We So Lonely in the Information Age?

loneliness in recovery

If you spent a significant amount of time in active addiction, you may have caused harm in your primary relationships. Your behavior may have damaged our relationship(s) with your parents, siblings, or children. If it has, work with your therapist, counselors, and recovery peers to formulate a plan to make amends and rebuild those relationships. When we’re very young, our parents or primary caregivers handle our loneliness for us. We feel an emotional need for connection, we cry, and they pick us up and hold us. The connection soothes us, we calm back down, and our tears fade.

That’s why our addiction therapy programs span a wide range of methods and approaches. Whether you’re struggling to overcome loneliness in addiction recovery or anything else, our center is here for you. And those who eventually become sober and lead a healthy life may relapse due to loneliness. In addition to being a common symptom of a mental illness diagnosis, loneliness is also typical during addiction recovery.

This approach supports recovery and empowers individuals on their journey toward healing and sobriety. Whether it’s joining a support group, adopting a pet, or simply taking that daily walk, start today. Reach out, connect, and take charge of your recovery, one day at a time. Taking small, positive steps goes a long way toward building social and community connections.

If you need addiction medicine treatment, the caring and compassionate experts at Gateway are here to help. We understand the importance of addressing underlying issues like loneliness in our individualized treatment programs. At Gateway, you’ll find hope and healing that will set you on the path of recovery. Drugs, alcoholism and loneliness often go hand-in-hand, meaning those who experience this feeling are at a higher risk for developing a substance use disorder.

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