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How to Not Feel Lonely During Recovery

Cognitive therapy and mind-body relaxation help break old habits and retrain neural circuits to create new, healthier ways of thinking [12,13]. Clinical experience has shown that occasional thoughts of using need to be normalized in therapy. They do not mean the individual will relapse or that they are doing a poor job of recovery. Once a person has experienced addiction, it is impossible to erase the memory. But with good coping skills, a person can learn to let go of thoughts of using quickly. In bargaining, individuals start to think of scenarios in which it would be acceptable to use.

  • A basic fear of recovery is that the individual is not capable of recovery.
  • Instead, learn how to cheer yourself on and view things from a more positive outlook.
  • The negative thinking that underlies addictive thinking is usually all-or-nothing thinking, disqualifying the positives, catastrophizing, and negatively self-labeling [9].
  • You could also try bringing back an old hobby of yours, like knitting or cooking, to occupy your time.

The lack of access to support groups, sober living houses, and other traditional forms of addiction treatment can make it difficult to connect with your peers in recovery. The isolation of sobriety is the feeling of loneliness and isolation you may experience while in recovery. Some people may not have a strong support network to help them through recovery, leading them to feel more alone in the battle against SUDs. The most crucial aspect of your recovery journey is maintaining healthy relationships with your sponsor, support group, or counselor. Doing so can improve or evolve the nature of your interactions and your relationships.

Combating Loneliness in Recovery

A common example is when people give themselves permission to use on holidays or on a trip. It is a common experience that airports and all-inclusive resorts are high-risk environments in early recovery. Another form of bargaining is when people start to think that they can relapse periodically, perhaps in a controlled way, for example, once or twice a year. Bargaining also can take the form of switching one addictive substance for another. Boosting your mood through increasing your levels of endorphins and dopamine can make you feel less isolated and lonely. Getting regular exercise can help both your brain and body feel better and offers a good distraction from your negative thoughts.

Steps to Avoid Loneliness During Recovery

Check your local library or community college as well as city parks and recreation departments to see what’s available. Finally, remember the three Ps to help you find balance and joy in your sobriety. You can build a meaningful life in recovery with these strategies. Learning new things is a great way to keep busy when you have nothing to do.

The Stages of Recovery

Joining a support system or finding like-minded people in recovery may offer new opportunities to forge healthy, lasting friendships. Here’s a look at Dr. Biroc’s latest advice on how to cope with social distancing while in recovery, along with other steps you can take to stay sober during this time. Some recovering addicts join walking groups – it can be a great way to improve your mental and physical health, as well as network with like-minded people with similar interests. Likewise, you could try a running club or other physical social activities.

Steps to Avoid Loneliness During Recovery

So next time you grab a cup of coffee or see your neighbor on a walk, strike up a conversation. Having a purpose is about discovering what truly motivates you to stay sober. It includes finding meaning in your recovery, setting new goals and dreams for your future, and believing in yourself again. Establishing a sense of purpose directs your life and helps you stay on track. You can also ask your friends and family to check in on you regularly for emotional support and comfort.

How Do You Manage Anxiety in Addiction Recovery?

Twelve-step groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Marijuana Anonymous (MA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Gamblers Anonymous (GA), and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA). Every country, every town, and almost every cruise ship has a 12-step meeting. There are other self-help groups, including Women for Sobriety, Secular Organizations for Sobriety, Smart Recovery, and Caduceus groups for health professionals. It has been shown that the way to get the most out of 12-step groups is to attend meetings regularly, have a sponsor, read 12-step materials, and have a goal of abstinence [24,25].

If you’re looking for addiction support, we will take the time to listen to your story, requirements and preferences and find the right local treatment for your addiction. Helping somebody through loneliness in sobriety the recovery process can be extremely rewarding, and effective in relieving loneliness and making new connections. However, being a sponsor is a big responsibility, and isn’t for everyone.

This feeling comes up as you adjust to not drinking or using drugs and explore life without them. But it’s important to remember that isolation during addiction recovery is only temporary. One of the best ways to prevent isolation during recovery is to stay active and healthy. Exercising helps improve your physical and mental health but also distracts from the monotony of self-isolating. While it might not be the same as being as socializing in person, staying connected virtually is still beneficial for your mental health. Plus, there are many ways you can have fun and interact with others online to overcome isolation.

Addiction can be damaging to relationships – whether it be friends, family members, colleagues, spouses or romantic partners. Addiction can be isolating, and alcohol use disorder can change your behaviour, priorities, and state of mind. After all, you’re starting a new chapter in your life – which is why it’s so important to find fellowship along your recovery journey. There are several reasons why you may feel lonely as a recovering alcoholic. Previously, alcohol may have been your support system – and you may have previously surrounded yourself with other alcoholics or those who enjoy or enable drinking excessively. Recovery from addiction isn’t always a straightforward process – and nobody’s experience is exactly the same.

They may assume people won’t like them or that someone else should make the first move. However, making friends or strengthening existing relationships often means taking a risk and inviting someone for lunch or coffee. Many superficial interactions can eventually lead to something more meaningful. JourneyPure Emerald Coast is committed to helping clients and their families restore broken bonds and find a common ground for healing.

  • In mental relapse, there is a war going on inside people’s minds.
  • But as part of their all-or-nothing thinking, while they were working, they felt they didn’t deserve a reward until the job was done.
  • Twelve-step groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Marijuana Anonymous (MA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Gamblers Anonymous (GA), and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA).
  • In late stage recovery, individuals are subject to special risks of relapse that are not often seen in the early stages.
  • When you do not feel connected to others you are more likely to catch a cold, experience depression, develop heart disease, have lower cognitive function, and live a shorter life.
  • They remember their last relapse and they don’t want to repeat it.

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