Isolation is an unfortunate side effect of addiction. When you’re in recovery from an addiction, it can be difficult to find people who will accept you for who you are and support you as you work on making positive changes in your life. In a world that’s increasingly connected by social media, it’s easy to feel like you don’t belong or have any real connections with other people.
Isolation and addiction go hand in hand. When someone has an addiction, they begin spending more time alone than they do interacting with other people. This is because their addiction takes up so much of their time and mental energy that they don’t have anything left over to form meaningful relationships with other people. Let’s take a look at how isolation and addiction go hand-in-hand, as well as some ways to combat both of these negative forces in your life.
How Does Addiction Lead to Isolation?
When you have an addiction, you spend a lot of time doing things that aren’t socially constructive. Instead, you are spending a lot of time indulging your addiction and not doing very much else. When you spend so much time isolated from others, you don’t have any opportunities to make new friends or meet people who could possibly be helpful to you in your life. You’re not in a position to give to others or support other people in their goals. You’re not even in a position to ask others for help. When you have an addiction, you usually also have some other comorbid mental and/or physical issues that are keeping you from functioning very well in society. These issues can make it difficult or even impossible to form lasting relationships with other people.
Why is Isolation so Harmful?
The first and most obvious reason why isolation is so harmful is that it prevents you from meeting other people and forming relationships with them. When you’re not spending time with other people, you’re not forming lasting friendships with them. You’re not getting to know people who could possibly be important parts of your life. You’re not giving them the chance to get to know you and your amazing qualities. At the most fundamental level, this worsens your quality of life.
Research also shows that the strength of a person’s social support system has a huge effect on their likelihood of getting help for their addiction – as well as their likelihood of staying sober over the long term. When you don’t have any relationships, you don’t have anyone to reach out to when you need help or feel anxious or depressed. You don’t have anyone to celebrate your accomplishments with. You don’t have anyone to give you support when you’re going through hard times. This is why sober living homes can be such a critical part of a successful recovery plan.
How Isolation Helps Feed Addiction
The isolation of addiction is a universal struggle. Whether you’re an alcoholic, crack addict, or pill popper — struggling with addiction can wreak havoc on your social support system. When you’re caught up in the throes of substance abuse, it is hard to form meaningful relationships. You end up losing friends and family members as they try to distance themselves from your destructive behavior. In your immediate recovery period, this level of isolation is almost unbearable.
However, if you do not get help for your isolation, your addiction may gradually worsen or, if you are in recovery, you may relapse. Here are some reasons why isolation exacerbates addiction:
You May Not Realize You Have an Addiction
When you’re isolated, you don’t have access to other people who could help you identify the problem in your life that you’re trying to mask with your addiction.
You May Not Have the Tools to Quit Your Addiction
If you don’t have any lasting friendships or relationships, you don’t have anywhere to turn for help when you want to quit your addiction.
You May Not Know How to Enter Recovery
If you don’t have anyone to talk to about what’s going on in your life, you could have a very difficult time figuring out how to get help for your addiction.
Finding Brotherhood When You’re Recovering From Addiction
Isolation and addiction go hand in hand. When someone has an addiction, they begin spending more time alone than they do interacting with other people. This is because their addiction takes up so much of their time and mental energy that they don’t have anything left over to form meaningful relationships with other people. When you have an addiction, it can be easy to feel like you don’t belong or have any real connections with other people. You need to make an effort to branch out and meet new people. You should attend social events where you can meet new people and form lasting relationships with them. You can also consider joining support groups and 12-step programs where you can meet other people in your situation and get the help and support that you need to overcome your addiction.
One of the first things that you have to do when you’re trying to find brotherhood in recovery is branch out and try to meet new people. You can do this in several different ways:
- Join a Social Group – You can find social groups in your area, online, or even through your workplace. These types of groups are perfect for people who want to get to know others but haven’t had much luck in the past.
- Join a Club – If there are clubs in your area that interest you, you should consider going to a meeting and getting to know the other members.
- Take an Interest in Your Family – If you have a family that you’re close to, you should make sure that you’re spending enough time with them so that you don’t isolate yourself from your family.
- Take an Interest in Your Neighbors – If you live in a city and have neighbors, you should make an effort to get to know them. Your neighbors can be a great source of support in your life.
Using Support Groups and 12-Step Programs
Successful support groups for people in recovery from addiction typically follow the 12-step program. In this program, people in recovery from addiction come together in a group setting to support each other, discuss how to achieve and maintain sobriety, and help each other avoid relapsing into addiction. 12-step groups are very flexible and can be customized to fit the needs of the people in the group. Some of the most common support groups for people in recovery from addiction include Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Adult Children of Alcoholics, and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.
Sober Living East's Home by Design for Recovery
Addiction creates barriers that not only make you feel alone, but also prevent you from developing social skills. If you find yourself in this situation, take encouragement from the fact that you are not alone in this struggle; millions of people have shared your experience and found solutions for long-term recovery.
A sober living home is a great place for you to go and get the support that you need to successfully recover from an addiction. You’ll have the chance to meet and interact with other people who are trying to make positive changes in their lives and get clean from addiction. A sober living home is not a clinical setting, but rather a home where people in recovery from addiction can go and live. Sober living homes are meant for people who are in the early stages of recovery. This means that residents don’t engage in any drug or alcohol use during their time there. These homes are not for people who are actively using drugs. Sober living homes can vary in terms of the rules, regulations, and services that they offer. Some of these homes offer group therapy sessions, life coaching, and other helpful resources.
Sober Living East is a structured sober living for men, which means it provides maximal support and resources. Our staff members work with residents to help them completely rebuild their lives from the ground up. They do so primarily by working with each other to build new skills and relationships that they can hold onto for life. If you are ready to end your isolation and loneliness, reach out to Sober Living East. Together, we can recover together and build a new future for ourselves.