Content reviewed by Christian Losch, LCSW, LCADC, CEO of Pinelands
Experiencing the feeling of loneliness is something that everyone goes through from time to time. While it may be an unpleasant experience, it is quite common for many different people throughout all stages of life to experience these feelings.
However, going through a period of loneliness while recovering from addiction can be exceptionally uncomfortable and overwhelming. Even though this may initially be unpleasant during your journey, this does not mean it will always be this way or that you will be alone forever. In fact, this alone time can be a period of growth and personal fulfillment.
Why Am I So Lonely in My Recovery?
As stated previously, loneliness is a common experience for all people, especially if you are currently in addiction recovery. You may be wondering why this is, considering that recovery is “supposed” to make you feel a lot better about yourself and life in general. This idea may even cause you to feel guilty or hopeless in extreme cases. In turn, you might detach yourself from the activities you enjoy and begin focusing on negative thoughts and behaviors.
Luckily, there are many reasons why you may be feeling especially lonesome while in recovery. One significant reason might be that you are outgrowing some of your old friends, family, members or supporters. While you still love and care for these individuals, you might be finding out that they are no longer fit to be close people in your life while you try to better yourself.
It does not mean that these individuals are bad people. It only means that you are learning more about yourself and what you need and want to continue growing and becoming the person you want to be. It is common to realize that the people you spent the most time with while using did not have your best interest and did not prioritize personal growth in their own lives. While growing apart from these individuals will benefit you, this does not mean that it is easy. Doing so is usually accompanied by powerful feelings of loneliness as well.
You may also find that meeting people with whom you can form close bonds is a slow, challenging process. This stage can be easily frustrating and disheartening. However, there are many ways to make the most of your temporary alone time.
How to Find Enjoyment in Alone Time
Even though loneliness can be daunting, there are plenty of ways you can turn this time into a fulfilling experience.
Below are some ways you can find enjoyment in your alone time.
- Take yourself on a date. Pick out a new restaurant you anticipate trying, then see a local show (if Covid-19 regulations are permitting). See a ballet, visit a museum or have afternoon tea and dessert to follow. The possibilities are endless! Whatever your date with yourself entails, be sure to do things that fill you with joy and help you relax.
- Explore new hobbies. Do you have an interest in growing herbs or other plants? Does the idea of baking fun treats excite you? Consider all of the things you have always wanted to try but have never found the chance to do so yet. Now that you have more free time, it is the perfect time to explore your various interests.
- Have a sober party for one. In the comfort of your very own home, you can host your very own dance party all for yourself. This way, you can crank up any kind of music you want, eat your favorite snacks, drink delicious, non-alcoholic beverages and dance the night away. Partying in the company of yourself can be a fantastic way to release stress in a healthy way as well.
- Study a subject of interest. Dedicating your time to learning more about a subject you love can not only make time go by quickly, but it can also build your self-confidence by learning more. Whether you love politics, science, literature, languages or anything else, studying a new subject can be a great way to spend your alone time and make you feel renewed.
Alone time does not have to be a daunting experience. In fact, this time can be enjoyable and rewarding for you. However, if you need extra assistance to deal with loneliness, feel free to reach out to trained professionals. These individuals can help you learn how to cope with these temporary feelings while also growing and learning more about yourself. Be sure to contact a mental health professional if you need extra help during this time in your recovery journey.
Loneliness is a common feeling that everyone experiences at one time or another in their life. At Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford, we are here to help you learn how to deal with feeling lonely. We understand how difficult addiction recovery can be, and that is why we want to give you the most helpful tools possible to assist you through this time. Call (877) 557-5372 today to learn about how we can support you.