Content reviewed by Anthony T. Triola, Executive Director at New Hope Ranch
Addiction recovery can sometimes feel like a long, lonely endeavor. At times, you might experience feelings similar to what you felt when under the weight of your addiction. Further, when you feel lonely or isolated, you might become tempted to use substances. Recovery is about finding healthier ways to manage the challenges that come with feeling isolated instead of making things worse by using substances.
Remember, you are not alone in your journey. It is vital to apply what you learned in treatment and reach out to support when you cannot handle challenges. Here are some effective ways that you can overcome isolation in addiction recovery.
Become in tune with yourself.
One of the first steps toward building a lasting recovery requires building a healthy relationship with yourself. Such a relationship should focus on trust, confidence and self-care. Taking the time to know who you are now that you are sober can help you identify the emotions attached to your triggers and impulses. Understanding what causes your stress can aid you when dealing with isolation. Taking a minute to stop and take in your thoughts and surroundings can bring focus and clarity to what is truly bothering you. Such practices might include:
- Mindfulness meditation
- Writing down your feelings
- Finding activities that keep you occupied when in solitude, such as art
When you understand yourself and recognize your emotions attached to negative feelings, you will realize that these feelings are fleeting. Further, when you enjoy the company yourself, you can focus your attention on doing things you like.
Rebuild relationships with others.
After years of substance use and putting your addiction needs first, you might have become distant from friends and family. The deterioration of relationships is among the bigger challenges that you will face in recovery. While you navigate the early stages of recovery, it can help your feelings of detachment and isolation by making amends with your friends and family. Focusing on restoring your relationships can strengthen your support system.
When you repair relationships with loved ones, it is important to nurture them and build on them. Taking time to visit with friends and family on a consistent basis strengthens your bond and trust. Therefore weekly check-ins with someone who puts your recovery needs first will reassure you that you have an outlet of support.
Utilize group therapy.
Whether you attend 12-step programs or become involved in community activities, group therapy is a great way to expand your support network and meet others that share your experiences. At New Hope Ranch, you will find the best resources for a 12-step program in Texas. These programs will connect you with individuals that are facing some of the same challenges. It will also connect you with people that have years of recovery under their belt.
Being among others managing recovery is an eye-opening and inspiring experience that can lend you insight, motivation and accountability. Sharing your feelings of detachment and isolation with a group can offer you feedback and advice for ways to cope. Attending group therapy will help you form lasting bonds. It will also help you find new outlets and opportunities within your community that you enjoy.
Confront your emotions with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Certainly easier said than done, but much like connecting with yourself, confronting your emotions is essential to discovering what influences and motivates your feelings. The inability to recognize why you feel stress or anxiety is probably what fed your addiction in the first place. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective form of helping patients take a more in-depth look at what drives their emotions and behaviors.
At New Hope Ranch, CBT is utilized because of its ability to get to the root of the addiction. CBT therapy is also effective in helping servicemen and women cope with the unique and underlying stresses that result from being in the military and active duty. New Hope Ranch understands that using substances can mask what is truly affecting you and prevent you from facing uncomfortable emotions.
CBT helps you focus on thoughts connected to underlying trauma and other negative experiences. Once you and your therapist locate what drives your emotions, you can find healthier ways to manage your stresses and anxieties.
Get out and exercise.
Exercise helps your physical and mental health. When you exercise for just 30 minutes, your brain releases endorphins which make your body and mind feel good. These chemicals help reduce stress, tension and anxiety within your body and leave you in a euphoric state. Exercise does not need to be limited to the gym. Alternatives to going to the gym include:
New Hope Ranch provides the resources and opportunities to get to the root of your feelings and build the foundations necessary for sustaining your recovery. We work with communities around Texas to ensure you have access to the best treatment, transitional living options and support for recovery. We also have a refined Veteran’s program that specifically addresses the needs of servicemen and women. Our goal is to help individuals get the quality care that motivates and inspires them to maintain lasting recovery. For more questions, contact us at New Hope Ranch today by calling (512) 566-3050.