Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Recovering In Silence
Addiction and loneliness are connected. Addicts, and as well as those in recovery, often complain of isolation and loneliness. Substance abuse itself starts as a coping mechanism to deal with social isolation and depression. Substance dependency quickly becomes a crutch that the addict then depends on for his escape for the crushing isolation.
This behavior fuels a vicious cycle where the addict, unable or unwilling to confront his fears, slips deeper and deeper into isolation and addiction.
To take charge of one’s feelings and come clean about them requires great courage. People want to be sober—which they may not admit—so they could have better lives and healthier relationships.
But the road to recovery from addiction is often lonelier, at least in the beginning. Someone recently out of the rehab knows the sense of crushing loneliness that surrounds one. Also, in trying to maintain sobriety, the addicts are expected to rid themselves of all the temptations that could lead them to relapsing. That means, the addict has to drop the people and places he previously frequented, which might exacerbate his loneliness. This complete shift in a person’s social situation can result in bringing on the bouts of depression and loneliness. What you really need is a support network to fall back on in times when you feel the extreme urge to relapse.
Sponsors and Mentors
Recovery is an overwhelming process, since you are weaning yourself off the addiction. When your whole life centers and revolves around the same thing, day in and day out, it’s hard to kick the habit overnight. During your recovery, you will have bouts of extreme urges, and you will feel like relapsing. If you feel you are near relapsing, refer to the Addiction Guide you were provided at the rehab you were admitted to, talk to the people who were there with you, and seek a counseling session to work on your feelings.
Your time at rehab should have provided you with a support network of your own. The people there will boost your morale and help you find your way if you ever feel lost. With their insight and guidance, remaining sober would become tolerable, if not downright easy.
Resisting a Relapse
The recovery process will make you feel many emotions that you might have not had before. During your addiction, it was easy to just reach out for your drug of choice and numb the sensation of any raw and genuine feeling. But when you commit to recovery, you eliminate that crutch from your life and vow to change the life of dependency into something that you would be proud of.
The escapism that addiction allows wrecks all your relations and even your career. Recovery in such a situation gets even harder when you are left alone to deal with your emotions on your own.
That crushing sense of loneliness and boredom are common feelings all recovering addicts experience. The double whammy of these two emotions is the primary cause behind relapse in recovery addicts. When an addict experiences any one of these or both of them at the same time, a flood of cravings and addictive triggers start coursing through the addict’s body, eventually leading him to relapse.
This is the reason why support group meetings can be a great way of not only meeting people who have gone through the same set of experiences but it is also great for distracting an addict from his own loneliness and ostracization.
You can also look for new hobbies and activities near your area to keep yourself busy. Exercise is also a great way to stay healthy. The adrenaline and endorphin release after a good workout session can boost your energy levels as well as make you feel elated. You can also work on your relations with family members or friends so they can keep you company during your recovery.
Sense of belonging
Recovery is an emotional rollercoaster where a person has to come to terms with all their past mistakes. They also have to start dealing with the complex feelings and emotions they simply avoided before. People around them wish to help but many are unable to understand these feelings of remorse and guilt. This is why depression is common among recovering addicts.
Having the right social support is crucial to ward off depressive thoughts. By spending some of your time in different AA meetings or socializing with other recovering addicts, you’ll have a newfound sense of belonging in a group that accepts you and makes an effort to understand you. Interacting with people who have gone through similar experiences reinforces the thought that your misery is not unique, and that help is out there. This support network is exactly what you will need in times when your chances of falling off the wagon are stacked against you.
Increased sense of self-worth
Recovering addicts experience anxiety and depression. Their addiction got in the way of their relation with their family and friends. Addiction caused their life to take a turn for the worse. Coming terms with all this, and owning responsibility for the decisions one took, is a bitter pill to swallow.
The recovery process is tough because they have to deal with these painful regrets. The prospect of relapsing into that life is even scarier, but without someone that makes them believe in themselves, relapse becomes that much more accessible. Soon enough doubt will chip away at the progress made and cause the addict to fall into the same old habits.
Having the right social support can be a gamechanger during the recovery process. If you know that the people by your side are supporting and helping you to do and be better, you feel important and valuable.
Finding a purpose
It is a known fact that having a strong support system and people who truly believe in you can boost your confidence. Trends show that recovering addicts work harder to remain sober when they know that people around them are rooting for them to succeed.
Addiction specialists say that people usually take on recovery in a social context. Many new parents strive for sobriety to provide for a better life to their children. They wish to become better parents and resist their urges for the sake of their family.
Having a higher purpose can guide you out of the addiction and kick the habit of using for good.
The key to overcoming any problem is to be aware of it, first. Loneliness is scary but common to recovering addicts. It is important, during recovery, to accept it as normal, and that it will pass eventually. Addiction specialists lay great stress on becoming socially active to avoid loneliness and boredom. You need to make a striving effort to keep yourself engaged socially. Building a strong group with other recovering addicts and salvaging old relationships can help you with your recovery.