Many have referred to addiction as the disease of isolation. This is because struggling with addiction, entering into treatment, and even living a life of recovery can all be very lonely seasons of life.
Struggling with addiction can be particularly isolating, as it can be difficult for family members and loved ones to understand what you are going through. It may be difficult for people to be empathetic, especially if they have no idea what it is like dealing with addiction or any mental illness for that matter. Lack of contact with family or friends can result in treatment being very lonely as well.
Once you enter into recovery, you may discover a need to cut those you once called friends out of your life. If your friends prior to recovery were enabling your struggle with addiction, then detaching yourself from them is essential.
That is why it is crucial for you to connect with people in your treatment programs, self-help groups, or anyone who may be a positive influence. By having a strong sober community to support you, the chances of maintaining recovery long-term can increase exponentially.
Is Isolation Dangerous?
In many cases, the need for alone time is entirely normal. In fact, spending time with yourself can be an essential part of the recovery process. You can spend this time meditating on your inner thoughts and ideas, self-reflection, and setting goals for yourself regarding your treatment and recovery.
Particularly if you have just entered into treatment, you will likely be in a state of dissociation, with the feeling that your mind is, in a way, disconnected from your body. Prolonged substance use can cause dissociation, and a lot of time in early treatment is spent reconnecting parts of yourself together.
Despite this need for individuals to spend time on their own, there are also many reasons why too much alone time can be dangerous. Again, many refer to addiction as the disease of isolation. The most significant danger is that the more isolated you are, the less of a lifeline you have for support from friends, family, and loved ones.
Whether or not your addictive actions have caused those people to leave you, that feeling of abandonment can push you over the edge to even more severe substance use. This can lead to a more intense struggle with addiction, more difficulties entering into treatment, and even death.
Connecting With Your Peers
You can create a strong, supportive sober community for yourself by interacting and making connections with others in your treatment program. This becomes a reality at the Lakehouse Recovery Center through the many group therapy sessions and activities offered throughout your stay with us.
Even though virtual program offerings came about due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you will be able to reap the benefits of group therapy and feel a sense of community through our virtual programs. However, the benefits you attain from group therapy depend on you. You must interact in a group meeting, even virtually, to establish and maintain a sense of connection.
One primary way you can begin connecting with your peers is through active listening. Not only will this allow you to show them you care and that they have someone to rely on, but you will be able to connect on similar struggles or goals you both share.
Another important way to connect is to engage. Ask questions about people, offer advice if solicited, and show a general effort to get to know those in your program. This will prompt you to continue to stay in touch in between sessions, which can strengthen connections with each other post-treatment as well.
How Connection Helps Maintain Recovery
As mentioned, you can begin to develop a supportive sober community by engaging during group therapy sessions with the peers in your treatment programs. While it seems cliche for individuals to bond over their struggle with addiction or substance use disorder (SUD), the bottom line is that it is a struggle many cannot understand unless they have been through it.
When you are in a treatment program, you are there to save your life. However, the impact you have may also contribute to helping others. Your family and friends should be able to support you by being a shoulder to cry on, but your sober community ensures you have people to offer guidance and advice, as they have done it all before.
If you or someone you love feels isolated in the battle with addiction, we encourage you to seek help today. Untreated addiction or SUD can lead to long-term and detrimental effects on your overall well-being and even lead to death. Not only can the Lakehouse provide a treatment program that is convenient and tailored to you, but the experience can provide you with a support system for life. Let us help you start your path to recovery today.
The process of seeking freedom and recovery from addiction or substance use disorder sometimes requires individuals to spend time on their own. It’s during this “me time” that our clients will have the opportunity to learn meditation, mindfulness, and the process of self-reflection, all of which are essential to recovery. However, too much time alone can be dangerous for any mental illness. There’s a reason many refer to addiction as the disease of isolation. Whether the people in your life are unable to understand your struggle or everyone is struggling with the same thing but refusing to seek help, you may begin to feel very alone and isolated. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and these feelings of isolation, we encourage you to reach out to the Lakehouse Recovery Center at (877) 762-3707. Our group therapies and treatment programs can help you on your path to recovery today.