Fostering Connection in Addiction

Depressed woman using a mobile phone

What is the opposite of addiction? On first thought, it appears to be sobriety, but in actuality, the answer isn’t so black and white. The opposite of addiction is connection, and incorporating ways to bring increased feelings of connection into your life should be a focus for anyone in recovery. Connection on a basic level is what makes us feel seen and heard, but in a larger sense, it’s what makes us feel alive and excited for life.

One of the challenges we face against the so-called “highly connected” world of social media is creating meaningful relationships that offer us real connections beyond surface-level friendships or acquaintances. Especially when you are newly sober, you may realize that most of your friends were just your drinking buddies, and you wouldn’t feel comfortable having a heart-to-heart with them. Bringing the intention of actively seeking connection into your relationships with others and yourself will help you approach your life in recovery.

5 Ways to Build Connection

#1. Make your relationship with yourself beautiful. Spend time getting to know yourself, enjoy your own company, and indulge in doing what you most enjoy. Be kind, show compassion to yourself, and make time for yourself. Journaling is an excellent way to tease out different sides of yourself that weren’t on your conscious mind. Don’t shy away from introspection or difficult emotions if they come up; use it as an opportunity to listen to what your body is trying to tell you and deepen your relationship with yourself.

#2. Exercise—exercising outside is even better. Mind-body exercises like yoga or qi-gong make you tune in to your breath. Engaging in any type of exercise that makes you feel good and feel alive is a simple habit to form to feel more connected with life. Getting outside to exercise adds in the bonus of being in nature, where you can feel connected to something larger.

#3. Find support in group therapy. Group therapy or other support groups are a great place to find people going through similar life experiences. Having people around you who can understand and validate your feelings will help you feel less lonely and more connected. 

#4. Build authentic relationships with friends and family. To build authentic relationships, bring honesty and authenticity into your relationships. Express your intentions of building healthier, stronger relationships with your loved ones, so they can co-create a healthier relationship with you, too.

#5. Live with purpose. Every day you can choose to live with purpose. Finding ways to help others, volunteer, or be a part of something bigger than yourself can make you feel like you have a strong sense of purpose. 

Connection gives you something to be excited about waking up for every day. Since the opposite of addiction is connecting, creating a strong sense of connection in life is a vital step to long-term recovery. If you or a loved one are struggling to get or remain sober, call Avalon Malibu. At Avalon Malibu, we specialize in treating substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders. We are passionate about providing our clients with the support they need and finding a treatment that will help them lead happier, more balanced lives. For more information on how we may help you achieve your goals, call us at (844) 857-5992.

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