Loneliness is a difficult emotion to experience in recovery but is often a natural part of the recovery process. Drinking and/or using may have even been triggered by loneliness in the first place as a way to seek comfort from feeling rejected, alone, or unwanted. Fortunately, there are concrete ways to prevent feelings of loneliness during recovery.
Nurture Your Self-Esteem
Sometimes loneliness comes from a place of low self-esteem within ourselves. Limiting beliefs like “no one likes you” or you “aren’t good enough” can lead to isolation or difficulty creating close relationships with others. Boosting your self-esteem — by doing things like finding hobbies you enjoy, practicing self-compassion, and accepting yourself — will make you feel better about yourself and your relationships. With increased confidence and positive self-regard, you allow yourself a greater connection to yourself and others.
Find the Right Community
Being in environments where you don’t feel accepted naturally brings on feelings of loneliness. It is important to surround yourself with knowledgeable people sensitive to the ups and downs in recovery to prevent any backsliding. Whether being part of a 12-Step Program or a support group, being around others working through the same struggles will help you feel motivated, supported, and prevent any doubts about your sober path.
Develop a Meditation Practice
Beginning a meditation practice is a great tool to combat feelings of loneliness. Over time, meditation fosters a sense of inner peace that you feel when you are alone with yourself. Meditation trains the meditator in the art of practicing presence, and the more you learn to feel present, the less negative feelings will affect you. Meditation can help to uncover underlying issues driving feelings of loneliness, so incorporating complementary therapies to address these issues along with meditation may also be helpful.
Loneliness may provoke thoughts of relapse, so it is important to act on these feelings and make changes that fit your life. By accepting ourselves, being in a community with people conducive to healing and sobriety, and developing good habits like meditation, we begin to alleviate feelings of loneliness. If you need a supportive community while you grapple with feelings of loneliness in recovery, we at Avalon Malibu want to help. At Avalon Malibu, we have dedicated staff and peer-supporters to help you overcome your struggle with substance abuse. Aided by their skills and expertise, you can mend the relationship with yourself and take the first steps toward recovery in a compassionate setting. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use disorder, call us today at (844) 857-5992.