Addiction, Loneliness, and Isolation

Addiction, Loneliness, and Isolation

Articles, Australia, Education, International, LGBTQ, Malaysia, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

Addiction creates a lonely dichotomy for users. It is often that we are surrounded by fellow users, gamblers, and addicts, but the disease itself is excruciatingly lonely.  Addiction, in any form, is the loneliest disease. We are typically our own worse critics when it comes to addiction. In fact, we tend to create a vicious cycle in which we turn to drugs, alcohol, or other addiction to combat loneliness and then become more lonely due to the same addiction. When you are lonely, especially over time, you can lose hope and isolate yourself to wallow in self pity, but moving out of this isolation vortex is possible when in recovery.

Try a few of the following suggestions to move yourself out of the isolation of addiction into the freedom that can be found in recovery.

One suggestion is to take time to mourn the loss of drugs, alcohol, pills, or whatever your form of addiction may have been. This sounds odd, but it is something that can be beneficial to many. If you think about the main role your addiction played in your life then this activity makes sense. Addiction can become your best friend, the center of your life, and the first and last thought you have each day. While this is not healthy it means that addiction was a crucial part of your life. Even if it was unhealthy. As you enter recovery that large part of your life is removed and you must adapt. Take some time to mourn this change. Not obsess over it. But mourn all that must be altered in your life. Set a time limit on this mourning.

Take all the time you need to say goodbye to a life that was not doing you any favors.

It is likely that your addiction allowed or caused you to hurt others over time. If you can make amends to these people in some way do so. But only if it is not going to hurt them in other ways. If there are people that have been hurt that you cannot make amends with then allow yourself to make peace with your past and move on. Staying stuck in the guilt of the past will do you no good in moving forward in recovery. Everyone has a past, let yours remain there.

Disconnect with unhealthy relationships while connecting with healthier people online and in person. The great thing about technology is that there are literally millions of ways to connect to others over shared topics and concerns. Use technology to your advantage to further your recovery. Additionally, meet others in your area that are healthy or in long term recovery as a way to further your own. This means you need to cut off old, unhealthy relationships which can be difficult but is worth your new life.

Finally, build your own self confidence. Nothing will further your recovery more than growing as a person who is addiction free. Part of this will be through setting boundaries, building relationships, and changing routines. But for the most part learning to trust yourself will help you fight the loneliness and stay addiction free.

Addiction is a deadly disease that kills you slowly by choking out each part of your life that is not addiction related. You have made a bold choice to enter recovery and should do all you can to stick with your choice. You are worth the effort.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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