You know what sucks? Feeling lonely. We all hate it, normies and recovering addicts alike. It’s one of the things we can agree on, that being lonely is really no fun. The good news is that you are feeling lonely – but instead of dwelling on it, or going back to using, you are looking for ways to overcome loneliness in addiction recovery. That’s why you’re here! We have three helpful tips to deal with loneliness in sobriety.
This is going to sound obvious, stupid, or even impossible to some of our readers in recovery, but it has to be said: you have to change your perspective. Don’t take your feelings of loneliness or isolation at face value. Do some digging to see what the real issue is. Change your point of view for a second.
Why Loneliness in Sobriety is So Dangerous
It’s so important to try to overcome loneliness in addiction recovery because it is a path to relapse. It’s that simple. Most have likely heard of H.A.L.T. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired). These are the four most common first signs of a relapse that can be avoided if caught soon1.
1 – Have A Plan for Every Day
It’s difficult to feel lonely when you are busy. Plain and simple. The truth is that feeling lonely can often be confused with boredom, especially in our crazy connected world.
Download the Google Calendar app, it’s free. Then plan out every minute of your life for the next month. Include everything in that calendar: sleep, driving home from work, cooking, showers, video game time, social media, morning coffee – EVERYTHING.
Follow that schedule for a week and you’ll see a difference. If you are constantly staying on time, you won’t have time to be bored. Staying busy is a great way to avoid, depression, anxiety, and loneliness2.
2 – Have Support Systems on Stand By
It’s easy to overcome loneliness in addiction recovery when you have a support system. Get back out to meetings, call your sponsor, talk to family, etc. They can’t read your mind – you have to say something and tell them how you feel. Isolation in recovery is not good, and that’s what groups are for! So find your nearest AA, NA, or GA now.
Avoid addiction rehab, and reach out before you relapse.
3 – Volunteer
Do you know how to feel really grateful and happy, so much so that you will even forget about any loneliness in sobriety? Go out and volunteer. Get out there and help others! Giving to someone else is one of the quickest ways to produce a physical change and emotional state boost3. This is science. Don’t argue, go and volunteer!
: National Library of Medicine – Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery
: The Mighty – When You Keep Busy to Avoid Feeling Depression and Anxiety
: Psychology Today – Giving Is Good for You