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Coping with Loneliness in Early Recovery

When you are new in recovery, the world is both an exciting and scary place. On the one hand, you are eager to start a new and healthy chapter in your life. However, navigating the world newly sober is foreign territory. Without substances and the friends and places associated with your drug use, you may feel adrift and alone. Loneliness in early recovery is common, and it can be very difficult to deal with if you don’t have the proper resources in place.

In this blog, you will learn why loneliness in early recovery occurs, and you will discover ways to combat it. If you or a loved one are struggling with a substance abuse problem, make today the day you take action and get the help you need. The Berman Center is an outpatient mental health center in Atlanta. We provide evidence-based programs and services specifically designed for both teens and adults. Find hope and ignite your motivation to get sober with help from The Berman Center.

Defining Loneliness

Let’s start off our discussion of loneliness in early recovery by having a clear definition of loneliness itself. SImply defined, loneliness is when you lose feelings of connection with others

As a human being, you crave being connected to and close to others. However, you feel isolation and loneliness when you lack the resources, knowledge, and support to connect with others. While there are times where you desire to be alone, experiencing loneliness is both unpleasant and distressing. 

In early recovery, loneliness can be a killer of your recovery. When you feel loneliness, you feel isolated from those who support you. This isolation often leads to negative self-talk and doubt that you are on the right path. Loneliness in early recovery makes people feel they are different from others which can lead them back to drug use after a period of sobriety.

How Can You Combat Loneliness In Early Recovery?

If you are stuck in a rut and feel lonely in your early recovery, it is important not to stay stuck in that loneliness. The longer you linger in feeling alone, your mind will start wandering back to drugs and the days you were actively using drugs. The following are simple but effective ways you can combat loneliness:

Grieve Your Addiction

In many ways, your addiction was your best friend. When you get clean and sober, you may feel a profound sense of loss. In order to make sense of that loss, it is important to say goodbye to your addiction and the toxic friendships that were forged in that addiction. The sooner you are able to make peace with your past, the sooner you can move forward.

Talk To Someone

When you feel lonely in early recovery, it is important that you talk to someone about how you feel. Since these feelings often run very deep, it is important to talk to family and friends who are supportive of you as well as your counselors, recovering peers, and even your sponsor if you work a 12-step program. These people can help you identify the feelings, emotions, and triggers that lead to you feeling lonely.

Rebuild Relationships

In early recovery, it is important to rebuild old relationships that were strained or even destroyed during your addiction. The act of making amends creates tremendous healing. Even if your amends and apologies aren’t accepted, the act of reaching out helps you feel connection to others. Most importantly, you must leave behind the relationships that are toxic and can lead to relapse.

Keep Busy

A great way to combat loneliness in early recovery is to stay busy. Rekindle old hobbies, become a volunteer, and engage in regular exercise. These activities make you feel better, and you can connect with people who share similar interests.

Be Kind To Yourself

During early recovery, it is important to be kind to yourself. You must learn to forgive yourself for your past and acknowledge the emotions that you feel. It is also important to remind yourself that you are a different person in recovery and are making progress to become a healthier and better person.

Write A New Chapter In Your Life With Help From The Berman Center

When you make the decision to get clean and sober, you are making a decision that will change your life forever. The experienced and compassionate professionals at The Berman Center will give you the tools and support you need to make recovery a reality. We offer a wide range of outpatient treatment programs that are evidence-based and personalized to meet your unique needs. Whether you are struggling with mental illness, substance abuse, or dual diagnosis, The Berman Center will help you find peace, health, and freedom. Contact us to learn more about our intensive outpatient programs and dual diagnosis treatment in Atlanta.

Call us toll-free today and become the change.

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