Mental Health in Recovery
People dealing with a substance abuse disorder begin using drugs and alcohol for various reasons. It’s no secret that feeling lonely is among the many reasons people turn to drugs and alcohol for comfort. Studies have shown that anxiety disorders and substance use disorders happen together at greater rates.1 For example, there is a correlation between alcohol use and anxiety. But, those feelings are not associated with only substance use. Feelings of anxiety and loneliness often don’t go away once someone begins getting help. Dealing with loneliness in recovery and anxiety can be just as difficult as coping before getting treatment. We’re going to take a look at some of the struggles and how to cope with anxiety and loneliness in recovery.
Struggles of Loneliness in Recovery
It can be challenging to open up to people about your struggles during recovery. This can make people feel isolated and scared when in reality plenty of others are going through the same difficulties. Group therapy sessions during recovery can help to alleviate this issue. These supportive settings allow people to talk about their problems and realize they are not alone.
People often feel lonely because they realize they have to make new friends that don’t involve substance use. This can also lead to anxiety because they may worry that they’ll never find a circle of friends that fits their new lifestyle. These types of situations feed off of one another. The feelings of loneliness lead to anxiety which can hinder recovery. Both are completely normal and can be dealt with under the proper guidance.
Coping with Anxiety & Loneliness in Recovery
While dealing with anxiety and loneliness in recovery can be difficult, certain activities can ease these feelings and make the challenges of recovery more manageable. Here are some ideas to cope with anxiety and loneliness:
Find New Hobbies
Part of the recovery process is finding new activities that don’t involve substance use. Think about activities you like to do and find groups supporting them. This will not only help you keep busy but will also help you avoid feeling alone.
Exercising releases feel-good endorphins in our bodies. When this happens, feelings of loneliness and anxiety can decrease. Whether taking a hike outside or joining your favorite gym class, staying active and healthy can benefit the body and mind.
Avoid People & Places That Make You Feel Anxious
Many of us have people and places that are anxiety triggers. Whether it’s a judgmental friend or a place that carries bad memories, either can lead to adverse effects on your recovery. Avoiding these individuals or locations is one of the best things you can do to lower feelings of anxiety and loneliness.
It’s OK to Not Be OK
Trying one or all of these methods can make recovery easier. It’s also important to be kind to yourself and acknowledge that it’s okay to have these feelings and that learning how to deal with them is the only way to overcome them.
Let Clear Life Recovery Help with Anxiety & Loneliness in Recovery
At Clear Life Recovery, we help people deal with their substance abuse and provide ways to combat anxiety and loneliness in recovery. We customize each of our plans for our patient’s unique needs and circumstances. Everyone’s substance abuse journey is different, so their treatment plan needs to reflect this.
We offer support groups in the form of both 12-step programs and non-12-step groups. The basic idea behind the 12-step model is following 12 basic steps to achieve a sober life. Guidance from a higher power is also often sought in this program. With a 12-step program, addiction is treated as the primary issue.
With a non-12-step program, the underlying issue and the substance abuse itself are examined to help people live sober lives. We typically utilize a combination of therapies in these programs.
Whether you are seeking a 12-step program or a non-12-step mode, Clear Life Recovery is here to help. Our trained staff is here to help you live the sober life you deserve. Start your treatment program today by calling us or reaching out to us online.