Loneliness and sobriety
Loneliness can be difficult to manage in any circumstance, but when you’re sober it can be especially problematic. Loneliness and depression are common factors in relapse, as they contribute to feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem. But there are ways to cope with loneliness in sobriety; this blog post will cover four coping strategies that work, as well as ways you can change your environment if the strategies alone aren’t enough. As with all other aspects of recovery, it’s important that you try these strategies out yourself so you can find the one or two that work best for you.
Signs of Relapse
The signs of relapse can range from experiencing a mild sense of dejection to experiencing a full-on relapse. It is important to be able to recognize these signs before they get out of hand, so you can take action before things get worse. If your loved one has been through treatment at an inpatient facility, they may be more susceptible to relapse if they are struggling with loneliness upon returning home. This could mean that you need to spend extra time helping them get back into their routine, meeting new people and generally feeling like their life is on track again. In addition, understand that different people have different triggers for relapse; what might cause your loved one or friend to use again may not have any effect on someone else.
Coping with Isolation
For some, loneliness is a difficult side effect of rehab. These feelings are natural, but they don’t have to stay with you for long. One way to combat loneliness is by checking in on yourself throughout your day. If you’re feeling lonely or down, ask yourself why you feel that way—are you craving a certain substance? Is something else going on in your life? Take some time to analyze these feelings before jumping into work or socializing so that you can learn from them instead of letting them bring you down. Remember that it’s perfectly normal to feel like everyone around you is living a better life than yours—they aren’t—and most people who struggle with addiction experience these same feelings at some point.
Dealing with Feelings of Abandonment
When we’re in rehab, it’s easy to tell ourselves that we will be sober for as long as we need to be. We think of our time in rehab as an extension of our recovery. If we stay sober, we can leave and carry on with life once more. But when a relapse happens, it hurts deeply. Sobriety becomes more than a way of living; it becomes something that defines us, a way of life. When someone relapses they are forced to deal with feelings they left behind during rehab—feelings that were buried underneath all those therapy sessions, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and all-too-cheerful live your best life! affirmations.
Tips for Overcoming Loneliness
When you’re in rehab, there are people all around you who can support you in your recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. However, if you’re not careful, relapse is a very real risk as soon as you leave rehab—perhaps even more so than when you were still using drugs or alcohol. It’s important to have a strong support system after treatment because loneliness can be an overwhelming feeling that has been known to drive addicts back to their old habits.