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Combating Holiday Season Loneliness When Youre in Recovery

Addiction recovery is a difficult journey, and sometimes it can also feel like a very lonely one. Many of those in the addiction recovery process often report that they feel lonely and isolated. The worst part of being lonely is that it can sometimes mirror how you felt while you were struggling with addiction.

By comparison, loneliness makes it easier to slip without anyone noticing. Loneliness may sap the motivation needed to continue the hard work of recovery. Conversely, being part of a tight-knit community offers encouragement and reinforcement. A support network may celebrate sobriety milestones or help you stop when you feel the need to consume a substance. All our tips up to this point are about actions you can take and things you can do to mitigate or manage loneliness. This one is about your attitude towards your situation.

Understanding Loneliness in Recovery

It is vital for the patient to engage with those around them – friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and anyone else they may interact with frequently. Not all of them will be able to support the patient’s recovery, but healthy interactions can help remind the patient they are not isolated but connected to many all around them. The patient may feel lonely but there are people around them who care about their well-being and may want to help in any way they can.

  • You are bound to meet new people who share your interests — and maybe feel good about contributing to your community.
  • For nearly 30 years, I have been in the fight of my life against this enemy called addiction.
  • Personal events can make you feel disconnected, too.
  • Last, it’s important to consider what one of the world’s most crucial resources for recovery has to say about loneliness.
  • We ruminate on the events or people or causes, because we mistakenly believe that thinking about our loneliness over and over again will help us solve it.
  • Cravings kick in as the brain tries to recreate the dopamine high of drug or alcohol use.

There are so many individuals I have worked with who have told me they are able to spot another addict. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to reach out to your loved ones, it might be helpful to start slowly. Come up with just one supportive friend or family member who you could imagine reaching out to.

Stay Up to Date

You are bound to meet new people who share your interests — and maybe feel good about contributing to your community. And finally, be patient with yourself and your journey. Wishing all my readers, most of you are strangers, a new year filled with new connections and more time to spend developing them. Morgan is a mental health counselor who works alongside individuals of all backgrounds struggling with eating disorders.

This can stimulate creativity, give you something to look forward to during the day, and help stave off loneliness. If you’re experiencing loneliness, there are some things you can do about it. Below are nine strategies for dealing with loneliness.

How To Battle Loneliness In Addiction Recovery

Keep in mind, especially if you’re relatively new, that engagement is key. While it might help just to be around other people, you still might feel lonely if you just loneliness in sobriety sneak into a meeting and sit in the back. Boosting your mood through increasing your levels of endorphins and dopamine can make you feel less isolated and lonely.

If you’re looking for ways to get involved in your community and stay sober, group activities are a great option. Talk to your therapist or treatment center about the groups and activities available in your area. You may also want to explore online communities or support groups that offer social activities. Navigating the journey of recovery isn’t a solo mission. Remember, every step you take towards building connections and enriching your life is a step away from loneliness. As you’ve read, countless strategies exist to fill the void and create a life filled with purpose, joy, and meaningful relationships.

Instead of focusing on what you can get, shift your focus to what you can give. You could sell T-shirts online to raise money for a good cause. You could ask friends to donate to a charity for your birthday.

Overcoming addiction is an immense challenge on its own. However, sobriety often brings unexpected difficulties, such as loneliness. In recovery, the loss of substance-related connections, distancing from friends who continue to use, and challenges relating to non-users can intensify this loneliness. Individuals in recovery often deal with psychological withdrawal symptoms like depression, anxiety, and feelings of worthlessness. Loneliness exacerbates these emotional states, thus making your recovery more difficult and increasing the risk of relapse. Hopping onto social media can help you feel connected.