How Can I Avoid Isolation and Depression in Recovery?
Recovery is a challenging journey and sometimes can feel very lonely. Among the many obstacles you will have to face, isolation and depression are among the most difficult. Recovery is rebuilding yourself from within and rebuilding your relationships, though, at times, you might feel misunderstood and succumb to thoughts that nobody can relate to you. When you begin to subscribe to thoughts of loneliness and depression, you then start to exhibit damaging behaviors to your health and recovery. You might even feel tempted to turn back to substances to cope.
Additionally, feelings of loneliness and isolation coincide with other strong emotions like anxiety or panic. You can even feel isolated in a room full of people. While overcoming these feelings is hard, you can do things to feel a sense of connection with yourself and others. You can get back to feeling a sense of place, purpose, and belonging.
Connect With Yourself
The core to building a solid foundation for lasting recovery can rebuild the relationship and perceptions you have of yourself. Connecting with yourself is also vital to coping with depression and isolation. Further, the reason you might feel disconnected from others is feeling disconnected from yourself.
Using practices such as mindfulness and mediation are great ways to get in touch with how you feel. These methods allow you to be in the moment and examine how you feel and why you feel this way. They are great in helping you locate when and why you might feel lonely, anxious, depressed, and triggered. Implementing these practices into your daily regimen helps build self-confidence, trust, and care from within.
You can even go for walks in nature or write to get in touch with your deepest thoughts and feelings. Walking for just ten to twenty minutes each day can help you explore thoughts, get to know yourself, and become more comfortable with who you are. Understanding yourself and enjoying your own company is a big part of combating isolation and depression. These practices help shift your perspective by allowing you to get in touch with your feelings, realize how much you have, and ultimately connect with yourself.
In early recovery, and at any recovery point, you can succumb to stress and push family, friends, and peers away. You might also focus on the negatives of damaged relationships as a result of past actions. However, recovery is about moving forward and realizing that you are no longer the person you once were when using. One of the critical elements of recovery is learning to make amends with yourself and others. While you cannot control whether a loved one will accept you back into their life immediately, it is okay so long as you are sincere in your efforts. Who you want to become will shine through, and loved ones will begin to see you for the person you are today.
Restoring relationships can also help reattach you to another social circle and give you an opportunity for connection and growth. If you need time to rebuild relationships with family and friends, allow yourself the patience required. Alternatively, continue to stay connected to peers from support groups as they can help you get back in touch with how you feel emotionally in relationships. They will also lend you support and connection when going through the process of restoring relationships.
Try New Things
Choosing recovery and going through treatment can make you feel as though your life has been uprooted. Now that you no longer are defined by your substance use or hanging out in toxic social circles, you have the opportunity to make new connections through new experiences, which is something to celebrate. Pursuing a new hobby, education, or social opportunities not only helps you develop yourself into who you want to be but will attract the kinds of people that will love and support you.
If you are wondering where to get started, you can look for classes or volunteer opportunities within your community. Online options are also available if your schedule does not allow you extra travel. When you try new things, you learn new things about yourself and others and discover more to life than substances. Additionally, trying new things help you rise above the dark cloud of doubt and show you that there are many ways to find meaningful connections.
Be a Friend
Being a friend is more than just saying “hi” or seeing others at meetings. Becoming a good friend provides essential skills for your life and recovery. The give and take in relationships are what makes them active and promotes real connection. When you take the time to get to know one another, pay attention and actively listen.
Listening to the experiences of another in life helps you gain perspective and understanding for your own experiences. Listening as a tool for recovery can also enlighten you to know that you are never alone in your experiences. Your experiences are not unique, and they could incite inspiration to resolve a problem you have been struggling to solve. Remember, giving support is just as important as receiving support.
Recovery is a lifelong process that relies on persistence, patience, and perseverance. A big proponent that will help you along the way is developing healthy relationships with yourself and others. However, the road is long and can become difficult, and in times where you might feel stuck or hopeless, these are the times you need to reach out for help. At Choice House, we help men of all backgrounds manage all aspects of their recovery. Our programs for treatment and therapy span a wide range of methods and approaches because we understand that each individual requires specific treatment to meet their needs. Whether you struggle to overcome loneliness, depression, or isolation, Choice House is the place for you. Our amenities offer breathtaking views as well as 24/7 admissions, so you never feel without options or inspiration. To learn more about our programs and recovery, call Choice House today at (720) 577-4422.