Isolation is a common problem during recovery. You might feel separated from the “outside world.” You might feel different to everyone else. You might feel shunned and excluded and completely alone. Research shows that a lack of social connection is just as harmful to someone’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Here’s how to deal with isolation in recovery.
The Effect of Isolation on the Brain
Social isolation impacts the activation of serotonergic and dopaminergic neurons, which influence emotional well-being. People who lack social communication during recovery might feel bored, anxious, and depressed. This could jeopardize their recovery and cause them to relapse.
“Loneliness cannot kill us per se, but if it is not mitigated, it might trigger anxiety, stress, and depression, which are known to drive people to unfortunate outcomes,” says Psychology Today.
The Problem of Isolation in Recovery
It is important to remember that feeling lonely in recovery is completely normal. You are away from friends and family. You have cut yourself off from your old life. You have left everything (and everyone) you used to know behind. But you can surround yourself with people who can help you — trained professionals who want you to overcome drug and alcohol addiction. Remember, the darkest depths of addiction are far worse than feeling lonely.
During recovery, you will likely spend lots of time alone, but you can use this to your advantage. Being alone, away from temptations, will give you time to reassess what you want from life — your passions, your career goals, your intentions. It will give you time to think clearly.
Feeling isolated is never a good thing. However, it is crucial that you don’t relapse and return to your previous habits. Any feelings of isolation or loneliness are fleeting — temporary emotions that will pass as you progress through your recovery journey.
Choose a Recovery Center That Understands Isolation
It is imperative that you choose a recovery center that understands the problems associated with social isolation, such as anxiety, depression, and relapse. Not all treatment centers are aware of these issues. Instead, they implement therapies that help you overcome your physical addiction without taking into account the psychological implications of withdrawal and recovery.
The Meadows Texas, located in Princeton, TX, takes social isolation seriously, and they use recovery methods that treat your mental and emotional health, as well as your physical addiction. They offer alternative therapies such as art therapy, equine therapy, and yoga to complement our clinical programming. This approach keeps you strong in body, mind, and spirit in recovery.
There are plenty of things to do to keep your mind busy as you progress on your journey, such as basketball courts, an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, and boutique store. You will also have the opportunity to meet people just like you — people who want to overcome their addiction in a safe environment.
Sure, recovery can be a lonely place. But picking the right treatment center can go a long way when it comes to dealing with isolation. Choosing somewhere like The Meadows Texas will help you deal with any feelings of isolation you might experience, as well as the negative emotions associated with loneliness.