Feeling Alone in Sobriety
Loneliness and isolation are hallmarks of addiction, but they can also follow you into recovery. Achieving sobriety requires severing ties with your substance of use, which may make you feel like something is missing from your life. Some relationships you damaged through your self-destructive behavior could now be beyond repair. You might also need to cut ties with people who do not support your recovery goals or who otherwise represent a threat to your mental health.
Rebuilding your social network from scratch can be daunting. However, feeling alone in sobriety can jeopardize the progress you’ve made, especially if isolation starts putting you on the verge of a relapse. Here are some steps you can take to find support in recovery.
1. Process Your Loss
For many people in early recovery, living without the daily crutch of substance use can be a considerable challenge. Regardless of how harmful and damaging your relationship with drugs and alcohol was, closing that chapter can cause complex emotions such as grief, anger and sadness. Allowing yourself time and space to grieve your loss is a crucial part of moving on and accepting your new life.
2. Join a Support Group
The interconnected nature of addiction and mental illnesses such as depression might make you feel like nobody else can understand what you’re going through. In recovery groups like 12-step programming, you will learn that the opposite is true. There, you will hear stories from people who have had similar experiences and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. You can gain a sense of connection and perspective from listening to what other people have been through. While participating in your group therapy, you may also want to work one-on-one with a therapist or sponsor for additional support.
3. Make Amends
If you are working through a 12-step program, you probably already know that the eighth and ninth steps are about making amends wherever possible. Addiction does not happen in a vacuum; it affects everyone who cares about you. People you’ve hurt might be ready to welcome you back into their lives if you sincerely apologize and demonstrate your commitment to making a positive change. Proving your newfound dedication to your recovery goals could help restore some relationships and net you additional sober supporters.
Volunteering is an excellent way to get out in your community and meet new people while contributing to something larger than yourself. If you are not religious and are searching for a “higher power” to inspire your 12-step journey, volunteering might serve that purpose for you. Helping others by supporting a cause you believe in is a win-win situation for people in early recovery. It is also an all-natural way to boost your mental health, combat depression and motivate you with a sense of purpose.
5. Try Something New
In some cases, feeling alone in sobriety stems from the fact that you lack healthy hobbies. As your addiction started spiraling out of control, your other interests and activities might have fallen by the wayside. In early recovery, you will find yourself with spare hours to fill, so discovering new hobbies is paramount. Taking classes is an excellent way to meet people who share similar interests, which might naturally open the door to a long-lasting friendship.
Make a Life-Changing Connection
If you’re living with the burden of addiction or a co-occurring substance use and mental health disorder, Beach House is a place to turn things around. We believe it’s possible for anyone to find freedom from addiction with a treatment plan that puts your needs first. Don’t let fear, denial and self-doubt keep you trapped in a vicious cycle any longer. Reach out to us today to verify your insurance and learn how we can help.