For those in recovery, loneliness can be a trigger for relapse. Spending time alone can make using drugs or drinking tempting, and some individuals might turn to substance abuse to feel relief from anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. Understanding how loneliness can be dangerous and having a plan for when this feeling strikes can help you maintain your sobriety.
Sober living, individual therapy, group therapy, and meetings in a 12-step program can all be useful tools for those in recovery. If you are ready to rebuild your life, reach out to Westwind Recovery® to learn more about our counseling center in Los Angeles and how we can support you on your journey.
Sober Living and Loneliness
One of the biggest triggers for those in recovery is loneliness. Whether you’re in recovery or not, loneliness is an experience that can cause many people to turn to drugs or alcohol.
Sometimes, when a person experiences emotional pain and they feel alone in their problems, that can also create an experience of loneliness. And this can be especially true if you’ve separated from friends and family to go into rehab or if you’re living alone without a community of people to support you.
Sober living is one way that you can maintain sobriety without loneliness. In a sober living residence, you’ll live with others in recovery. Everyone there is committed to remaining drug-and-alcohol-free, so you will not be in a dangerous environment. You might attend 12-step meetings together and will stay connected with a treatment center while living in this residence.
If you’re in recovery, there are many ways to alleviate loneliness. You don’t have to turn to drugs or alcohol to feel like you’re not alone.
AA Meetings and Recovery
The support of others can promote a feeling of connection, be a part of a group, and feel welcome among others experiencing the same challenges. Finding a support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), seeking the support of a therapist, making amends with family members and friends where it’s possible, and giving back can significantly support sobriety.
Plus, the AA community recognizes that loneliness is one of the primary triggers for relapse. Their acronym HALT suggests when you’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, you’re vulnerable to substance use. And so, in order to stay sober, someone in recovery can avoid certain triggers by tending to their physical and emotional well-being.
One of the great things about recovery from addiction is that you’re immediately in touch with a number of people who are in your same shoes. You can make friendships at AA meetings, at your sober living home, or at a community event supporting sobriety. Friendships are readily available and can help a person avoid feelings of loneliness.
Other Ways to Avoid Loneliness
There are a number of other ways you can find friendships, experience community, and have healthy connections with others when you’re in recovery:
- Attend AA meetings.
- Talk to others at your sober living home.
- Attend a community event supporting sobriety.
- Participate in a support group.
- Seek the support of a therapist.
- Make amends with sober family members.
- Restore old friendships where it’s possible.
- Give back to your community.
- Look for work – coworkers can become great friends.
- Go back to school – classmates can also become good friends.
These are suggestions to show that loneliness doesn’t have to be your experience in recovery. There are many ways to have healthy interactions with others. If you’re just getting back on your feet and you feel that you have few friends, it might feel awkward at first to spend time with someone you don’t know well. But over time, if you’re willing to hang in there, the sober friendships you make now might turn into long-time friends.
Contact Westwind Recovery® in Los Angeles
Reach out to our team to learn more about how sober living can help you on your journey to recovery. In our California counseling center, we offer mental health treatment that can help you heal. Contact us at 855.340.8832 or reach out online today.