The use of drugs or alcohol has a myriad of consequences on each person’s life, with ramifications on a person’s physical and mental health, personal relationships, and social life. Feelings of isolation are common as a result of addiction and can be incredibly difficult to navigate, even informing further use of drugs or alcohol. Overcoming isolation is paramount for creating a healthy approach to sobriety in recovery. Engaging in effective daily practices to address prevalent feelings of isolation throughout recovery and outpatient care can help each person challenge the dangers of isolation and facilitate the development of a healthy, sober daily life.
What Is Isolation?
Feelings of isolation are ubiquitous for those navigating their sober journey. However, isolation is different than simply not feeling like engaging in social events. Rather, it is the perception that an individual would not be understood or accepted or feels otherwise ostracized by others for a variety of reasons, whether or not an individual desires to develop these social connections. Isolation is not just feeling alone physically or emotionally, but also when this loneliness makes an individual actively unhappy with their situation.
Loneliness on a physical or emotional level can facilitate feelings of helplessness and doubt that can form a difficult journey with isolation in recovery. Those engaging in addictive substances or beginning their recovery journey can often still feel alone while actively interacting with others if they do not feel understood or accepted or feel they have to “hide” parts of themselves.
Prevalent stigmas about words like “addiction” and “recovery,” perceived criticisms or judgments, or feeling disconnected from loved ones can all birth challenges with isolation. Feeling alone in overcoming the challenges of recovery can be emotionally devastating. Meeting peers and communities that understand these challenges is paramount to developing a sense of camaraderie. Coupled with effective daily practices, it is always possible to overcome the dangerous effects of isolation in recovery.
The Effects of Isolation on Those Navigating Addiction
Addiction is an all-encompassing disease that impacts every aspect of each person’s life. Intense feelings of isolation can bring many challenges throughout recovery, including:
- Compromised sense of self-worth
- Compromised sleep schedules or routines
- Use of addictive substances
For some, feeling socially or emotionally isolated can beget the use of drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. Others already engaging with drugs or alcohol may adopt a more isolated lifestyle as addiction affects more aspects of daily life and relationships. These feelings can continue to inform the use of addictive substances until professionally addressed.
Taking dedicated action to overcome isolation in recovery is paramount for a truly transformative recovery plan. Left unaddressed, even those successfully navigating their sober journey in outpatient care can experience unnecessary stresses and challenges and an increased risk of relapse throughout recovery.
Effective Daily Strategies for Overcoming Isolation
Each individual will have their own best practices for overcoming isolation. Using personalized strategies to address isolation in recovery is necessary while continuing to engage in effective outpatient treatment. Peers, professionals, and support can all help each person find their own collection of effective practices.
While it may be difficult to truly connect with everybody a person may meet, having regular access to one or two people who understand the challenges of recovery is paramount. Setting times for phone calls with sober supports, sending daily texts or emails, meeting for lunch, or any other consistent way to communicate with trusted persons can help those in recovery challenge self-destructive ideas or the impact of isolation and prompt a healthier approach to their social life and even how to best employ other strategies.
Overcoming Isolation by Committing to a Hobby
Developing new hobbies in sobriety is a necessary part of an effective recovery journey. Not only can new hobbies replace time and focus previously given to addictive substances, but they can also be used as a catalyst for those in outpatient treatment to overcome isolation.
Exploring personal interests first, whether it is rekindling a passion for an old childhood hobby, exploring new social opportunities, taking a class to learn a new skill, or engaging in an online community around a certain interest, these hobbies can provide those in recovery with a tangible outlet in which to connect with others over a particular interest.
While some can use this opportunity to connect with people, others may use these hobbies to find trusted new friends and social groups to explore their developing sober identity.
Wake Up With a Morning Routine
Feelings of isolation can affect a person’s day before it has even begun, with compromised motivation, lethargy, and more impacting an individual before they even get out of bed. Adhering to consistent morning alarms, getting dressed to go out even if there are no plans yet, and engaging in a comprehensive hygiene routine can all be incredibly beneficial. Even small errands throughout the day can help those in recovery distance themselves from the physical and mental confinement of indoors to effectively challenge feelings of isolation.
The Role of Outpatient Treatment in Overcoming Isolation
Recovery is a lifelong journey, and continued outpatient care is paramount for continued success in sobriety. Redpoint’s dedicated outpatient programs available at multiple locations throughout Colorado are available to help each person overcoming isolation create effective and personalized treatment plans by curating a culture of healing, acceptance, and sobriety. The community of understanding peers and personalized approach to recovery can empower each individual to challenge isolation through exploring their own best practices.
Isolation can present many challenges for those either beginning their journey to sobriety or continuing to develop their own best sober practices. At Redpoint, we are committed to reaching you where you are in your recovery journey, with multiple locations throughout Colorado all prepared to help you today. Between a personalized approach to each individual journey and an atmosphere of healing that facilitates the development of a healthy culture and lifestyle in sobriety, we can provide not just guidance on daily strategies in dedicated outpatient programs but also introduce you to peers and professionals alike who share in your goals, challenges, and sober ambitions. For more information about how we can help you, call us today at (303) 710-8496.