Loneliness is a common feeling and it is believed that one in every four people experiences it. You don’t have to have an addiction to come up against feelings of isolation. In fact, social interaction is needed for a happier and healthier life. Every single person can struggle with dissatisfaction, unhappiness, and seclusion in their lives. However, if you are someone who grapples with substance abuse, the chances of you experiencing isolation are much greater, especially on your road to addiction recovery.
To be fair, isolation is not solely caused by substance abuse. Loneliness can be caused by a multitude of variables such as grieving, living alone, change, unemployment, or being bullied. Being connected to each other is crucial for our wellbeing and isolation is incredibly unhealthy. Addiction and loneliness are both double-edged swords. If you become isolated in any of the ways just mentioned, you could turn to drugs or alcohol to comfort you. If you are already abusing a substance, that choice could begin to distance you from your family and friends. It doesn’t matter where the vicious circle starts, if you feel alone that is enough to cause you to turn to other methods of feeling in control. If it was the drugs or alcohol that brought you here, let’s try to fix it with addiction recovery coping skills.
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Substance Abuse And Isolation
First, understand that the act of any sort of substance abuse automatically creates distance whether it is in your romantic, family, social, or emotional life. A 2014 study found that substance-dependent people report more feelings of loneliness than non-substance-dependent people in various parts of their lives.
The act of abusing a substance starts to isolate the person using because their actions might not be relatable to their friends or family. They start to become different from others in their community and therefore can begin to feel like they don’t belong. It can be a gradual process but soon the feelings of isolation become more of a reality for the person struggling. It then turns into a cycle where the substance that they are abusing becomes their comfort, creating a false sense of security and familiarity.
The effectiveness of drugs in dealing with these emotions will only last so long. Whether it is an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the satisfaction will falter. Soon the individual can begin to isolate further, especially if they do not have a support system in place. Substance abuse will get in the way of the individual performing everyday tasks such as exercising, studying, or even entertaining themselves by watching television. This unfortunately can lead to the person abusing the substance every day believing it will fill their void of isolation.
Social Encouragement in Professional Treatment
Seeking out professional help is a smart way to begin healing. Recognizing you want help and no longer wanting to feel isolated is the first step towards a better life. Finding the right facility and starting the program is paramount.
Addiction itself is a socially isolating disease; thus, you will discuss feelings of loneliness while in treatment. You will discover powerful things in rehab centers and treatment plans. Like that, even though receiving help is the first crucial step, giving support can be vital. A sense of responsibility and purpose is a driving force toward addiction recovery. Whether this is during active treatment or after doesn’t change the outcome.
Since staying connected is a huge factor in addiction recovery, some might believe social media is enough to fill their isolation. Unfortunately, our technological advancements are not always enough to fill the void of isolation or loneliness. Being around other humans physically is drastically different than posting on Instagram. It has even been discovered that there is an increase in our youth’s isolation despite their ability to communicate more efficiently than any other generation. Nothing beats the feeling of direct human interaction. Do not feel as though you have to cease these activities. Instead, remember that meeting up in person is just as crucial as a phone call.
If you are ready to receive professional help, then call us today. We will help you find the right type of support needed to get you into a happier and healthier life. Do not hesitate. Call today and start your better life tomorrow.
The Connection is Stronger Than Addiction
To put this into perspective, an animal study was conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse Institution under their Intramural Research Program. In this observational experiment, they gave rats the option to choose between socializing with another rat and the opportunity to try a drug, either heroin or methamphetamine. Thus, the rats had a choice. According to the study, the rats tended to choose social interaction. They consistently wanted it over the drug, even if already “addicted” to the drug.
If rats are going to choose social interaction over the drug, wouldn’t humans too? This shows how powerful social interaction can be and just how much humans need it. When the path was blocked between the two rats, it was easier for them to then turn to the drug, but it wasn’t their first choice. When faced with an obstacle, addicts have a difficult decision. Hopefully, you will pick the hard but rewarding road back to health by seeking connection and help.
Personal Actions to Take for Continual Recovery
There is always hope for addiction recovery but you cannot accomplish it on your own. No matter how strong you think you are, addiction is a nasty business, and support is crucial in assisting with your addiction recovery coping skills. Before, during, and after your professional treatment, there are ways to keep yourself accountable. Recovery can continue through four categories: home, health, purpose, and community.
Do not suffer alone. Call us today and we can provide you the support that you need to get a jump start on your new life. We have the tools you need to start on your recovery journey.
Living With Someone Can Help
Whether it is your own place or that of a parent, sibling, or friend, find a place you can call home. Preferably, live with someone to help you feel less isolated. The number one choice is to live with people who support you. If that can be done directly inside the home that is an added bonus. And if you do live alone, get a pet! Pets can provide comfort and give a calm feeling to the company. They can also be beneficial conversation starters with friends and family, to help keep communication active in your daily life. Taking care of another living creature can be a great motivator to get you to learn how to recover from addiction and can help improve your physical and mental health.
Your health and well-being are directly linked to your addiction recovery. Having a pet in your home can help, along with a daily routine. Try getting up at a regular time each day, eating a healthy breakfast to start your day off strong and centered. And as important as it is for your home to be a safe space, it is equally important to get out of the house. Go shopping for groceries or personal items, remember to exercise and get your heart rate up, and try something new. Maybe you decide to enroll in a club or a community college class. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. As your body is healing from substance abuse, your mind also has to heal.
Above all, we care about your health and well-being. If you need help getting your health back on track, then call us today. We care about you and want only to help you in any way we can. Jumpstart your new life today, call us now.
Find Your Purpose
A daily routine also helps your mental health by giving you a purpose. Humans often require something to drive them each day. For most, it is a job because their job makes them money which allows them to engage in personal activities. These can include meals out with friends or family vacations. Working becomes a source of meaning and strengthens independence. Or as stated above, you can volunteer. Volunteering is a wonderful way to serve your community while having the chance to meet new people and start building a community of your own.
Community Can Aid in Your Recovery
Community is the most important element on the road to addiction recovery. It overlaps with home, health, and purpose because socialization is at the core of each one. Socialization is the essence of the community. You produce your community through socializing and building trust. Then you have people you can talk to, be honest and vulnerable with, and rely on for support and affirmation. This then leads to the improvement of your mental health, growth in your recovery, and rediscovering your purpose in life again. It all ties together.
Being social with other humans is required for our survival. Even though virtual interactions are not the same, they are still useful if you are unable to meet up in person that week. Text, call, Facetime your friends and family. Join a group online, whether it be a Facebook book club or an online gaming system. Find places like this to chat and communicate with people who have similar interests or hobbies.
Do Not Wait – Call Us Today
You can also connect specifically with those who give you hope for your addiction recovery. Join a support group of people who are trying to heal just like you. This is encouraged just as long as no one tries to convince anyone to stop taking their medication simply because they are improving and getting better. It is excellent to encourage fellow addicts on their breakthroughs and healing, but do not encourage them to stop the methods that are currently helping them heal. Support groups can be a constant routine full of health, community, and growth. Remember that there is always help, there is always hope, and there are always ways to beat isolation.
If you need more information or need help getting support, then call us today. Let us help you find the support you need, and start your new happy and healthy life. Do not wait. Call us today and we can get started on your better tomorrow.