7 Ways To Overcome Loneliness in Addiction Recovery

Additionally, isolating may cause you to lose interest in activities you once enjoyed. You might also become more prone to negative thoughts or show signs of depression or anxiety. Learning something new gives purpose to your days and can improve your self-esteem. The endorphins your body releases will make you feel better naturally. Eating and sleeping properly will also help keep your body and mind in shape to manage your HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired) emotions. Regular check-ins with them will also give you the courage to avoid any triggers or temptations that could lead to relapse.

You can practice accountability with counselors in treatment and other companions. That said, it’s also important to remain connected with your friends and family members if at all possible. Speak to your recovery specialist or program supervisor about connecting with those who you love. Recovering from substance abuse disorder or any other addiction is much easier if you https://ecosoberhouse.com/ have the assistance of your parents, siblings, spouse, children, and others who you treasure. They can provide you with the emotional strength you need to keep up with your program when the going gets tough. This situation contributes to loneliness among those with mental health concerns, people who are living with addiction and anyone who experiences comorbid diagnoses.

Regular Meetings

These relationships can help you continue to hold yourself accountable throughout your recovery journey. The journey of recovery requires leaving the world of substance use behind, including any relationships that may hinder your progress. If you’ve damaged your previous relationships, it can take significant work to gain those back.

  • Loneliness, if not addressed, can become a significant obstacle in this journey.
  • It’s easy to assume that the ultimate cure for loneliness is to connect with others and let everything else fall by the wayside.
  • By allowing your substance use to diminish, you allow your loneliness to diminish, and you have a better chance to heal from your struggles.
  • Older individuals also experience the fundamental human need to feel valued, socially included and respected.

Stress is also harder to bear when you’re lonely and don’t have a support system to help you deal with everyday life. Even things like a single overdue bill or catching the flu could make you more at risk for suicide or other negative side effects. Loneliness is often one of the first warning signs that there are other issues at play. Matthews co-authored a study out of King’s College London about loneliness as a potential marker for other problems.

Loneliness in Recovery Can Facilitate a Relapse

If you still haven’t apologized and made amends to some people, now might be a good time to do that. An apology and making amends won’t fix your relationship right away but it’s a good place to start. If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Our Resource Specialist can help you find expert mental health resources to recover in your community. Contact us now for more information on this free service to our users. If you or somebody in your life seems to have an issue with alcohol or drugs, or is suffering from addiction, professional help may be the best option for recovery.

Because social media and parasocial relationships keep you from building real relationships, it can also help to drive feelings of isolation and loneliness. As addiction progresses, many addicts find themselves losing the support of their family and friends, as well as damaging their healthy relationships. This may lead them even deeper into isolation, where their entire existence centers around drugs, loneliness and alcohol.

Ways to Battle Loneliness in Recovery

The individual can feel this way even when they are surrounded by lots of other people. It is a type of undesirable state that a person experiences when they are feeling a strong sense of emptiness and solitude. It can also be defined as an unbearable feeling of separateness from other people. Some people may even make themselves available if you feel like you need someone to talk to. Going to meetings regularly also gives structure to your day so that if you do feel lonely, you have a definite idea of when that might end. Keep in mind, especially if you’re relatively new, that engagement is key.

loneliness in recovery

In 12 Step groups these triggers are referred to by the acronym HALT; this stands for hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness. If people feel lonely they can start to question the value of life in recovery. They may start to think back to the time when they were not lonely and begin missing their drinking or drug friends. People often equate being alone with loneliness, but they are not the same thing. There are many individuals who appear to be content and happy even though they do not spend a lot of time with other people. There are then those people who spend a lot of time in the company of others yet still experience intense feelings of loneliness.


They can provide you with balance, stability, and joy during this difficult time, eventually building a life of hope and positivity. Over time, secluding yourself can worsen mental and emotional health, which can be a significant setback for anyone recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. You can also ask your friends and family to check in on you regularly for emotional support and comfort. Doing so can build up your motivation to stay consistent with your recovery.

Attending regular meetings gives you a place to be social, allows you to connect with others, and helps you build new relationships with people who share the same goals as you. This is crucial, as these people know what you’re going through because they’re going through it, too. You can relate to each other’s stories, and you can work through the toughest parts together. And those who eventually become sober and lead a healthy life may relapse due to loneliness. It’s important to remember that loneliness isn’t just the absence of companionship; it’s the presence of psychological stress.

An addict will tend to surround themselves with other substance abusers. In recovery it would just be too dangerous to continue to fraternize with such people because of the risk of relapse. If people fail to make a new network of sober friends it may mean that they begin to experience loneliness. This is a particularly dangerous emotion for people in recovery because it can put them on the slippery slope back to relapse. At Waypoint Recovery Center, we provide a full continuum of care for men and women with substance use disorders.

Unfortunately, you may self-isolate with all these new changes because you feel awkward around others. However, you can take crucial steps to fight off loneliness in your addiction recovery to prevent relapse. While loneliness can be a reason to use while you have a substance use disorder, this feeling can also lead to a relapse in your recovery.

You can find kickball teams, softball teams, flag football teams, volleyball teams, cycling teams – you name it, you can find it. Those games can be very serious indeed – and they’re also a great place to meet peers with similar interests. Exercise releases endorphins and dopamine to flood your brain and body with positive feelings. Loneliness is typically described as a negative feeling that brings you down. Exercise is a feel-good distraction that also improves your health.

loneliness in recovery