Admittedly there are several reasons why being alone during recovery can be difficult and even dangerous. For starters, spending time alone leaves people with many thoughts, which can often be negative. For instance, you may begin thinking about past mistakes, failures, or regrets during these times of loneliness. Thoughts such as these can increase feelings of anxiety, depression, trigger other issues with co-occurring mental disorders, and cause you to use the substances you may be trying to recover from using.
With that said, there are many reasons why it is essential to spend time on your own. Those reasons could range from the need to feel comfortable or self-sufficient with yourself, to using that time to learn what precisely could trigger a relapse and how to cope with it on your own. Essentially, there is significant importance in taking “me time” during treatment and recovery.
There will be times post-treatment where you will be alone, and it is important for you to learn healthy coping techniques for when you happen to be alone on a challenging day. If you or someone you love needs treatment but is also struggling with the idea of being alone afterward, you should consider making that a critical goal of your recovery. Our relapse prevention program at The Lakehouse Recovery Center focuses on helping you to be successful after leaving our facility.
How to Become Comfortable With Being Alone
There generally seem to be two kinds of individuals; those who prefer to spend time with themselves and not deal as much with others, and those who are absolutely terrified of being left alone with their thoughts. Whichever you may be, it is very important to be comfortable being alone with yourself at the end of the day.
If you are the type of person who is afraid of your own thoughts, that process may be easier said than done. However, there are several ways to slowly but surely become more comfortable with yourself and be alone. Of course, specific methods will work best for certain people, but all of these methods, at the very least, will help you to create much healthier lifestyle habits overall.
The first way you can start becoming more comfortable with yourself is by taking up new hobbies, which may sound cliché, but can be effective. Creative pursuits, in particular, are great when in recovery from addiction or treatment for any mental illness. You may try learning how to play an instrument, paint, or even try your hand at writing. Not only does this fill up your time, but it will ease you into learning to spend time alone without completely throwing yourself into solitude with your thoughts.
Additionally, creative outlets such as these have been shown to improve people struggling with mental illness. If picking up a hobby is not something that seems adequate for you, however, you can try several holistic approaches like yoga, meditation, and practicing mindfulness. These practices will help you become comfortable being alone while on your path to rediscovery and reexamination during recovery.
Why Time Alone Is Necessary During Recovery
There is a lot to be done during the recovery process. A lot of the work does require the help of therapists, loved ones, and a sober community. However, much of this work falls on each individual as well. The treatment and recovery process requires you to go through self-examination.
Through the self-examination process, you will be able to learn more about yourself, including what triggers you, what coping methods you respond best with, and how your addiction has affected your life or the lives of those in your life. Being alone can be dangerous as this self-reflection can lead to feelings of guilt and shame, but learning to deal with them healthily is also essential for maintaining long-term recovery.
In addition to this self-examination process, getting more comfortable being alone with yourself can also help you to focus on your long-term needs and set goals for yourself, your future, and your recovery. Our relapse prevention programs at the Lakehouse are designed to help you focus on these goals, but one can do only so much.
Before you can begin implementing those goals, it will be helpful to sit down with yourself and determine what these goals are. This process will require you to acknowledge where you currently are and where you would like to be when on your own. If you are struggling, consider allowing the Lakehouse to start you on your path to recovery today.
Many dangers come with frequently being alone, especially for individuals newly out of treatment from addiction or suffering from mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Before understanding your triggers and what can cause relapse, solidarity leaves a lot of time for people to think about using, entertain negative thoughts or continue utilizing unhealthy habits. However, it’s essential for you to learn how to feel comfortable being alone in order to maintain recovery long-term. Even though support is necessary, there will be times where you may find that the only person there to help at the moment is you. Suppose you are looking to prioritize learning how to enjoy and utilize “me time” in a healthy way without engaging in substance use or other negative habits. In that case, Lakehouse’s relapse prevention program offers the support and education to do so, and to learn more about our programs. Please reach out today at (877) 762-3707.