Addiction is an isolating experience and even those who have navigated the recovery sphere and graduated from a recovery program can still feel alone in their experiences. However, letting go of the idea that addiction is a solo experience separate from those around oneself is essential for developing a healthy, sober lifestyle. Recovery has never been a solo act. Changing one’s mindset to embrace the presence of others during one’s recovery can open the gates for the development of deeper relationships and a better understanding of one’s goals.
Isolation in Recovery
Feelings of isolation can be present during all stages of recovery. Even before an individual has entered a recovery program, it is common to feel alone in the various struggles with addiction. Isolating oneself under the pretense that others would not understand the struggles if they have not suffered from addiction is common–and is also a commonly employed defense mechanism. This lack of understanding or shared experience can build barriers between oneself and their relationships, creating a very isolated feeling.
Even during recovery programs, it is still common to feel alone to some degree, even while individuals are surrounded by like-minded and understanding companions. One’s personal experiences with addiction shape their own history and create their goals.
While recovery can provide a great deal of camaraderie, it is still possible to feel isolated when it comes to these goals or specific elements of one’s recovery path. Graduating from these programs can also introduce a number of hurdles as an individual is once again exposed to the “real world.” Being surrounded by those who may not share the same level of understanding or acceptance when it comes to addiction and recovery can create challenges.
Dismissing the Idea of a “Solo Recovery”
Despite any prevalent feelings of isolation throughout one’s recovery, the idea of a “solo recovery” often overlooks many different aspects of one’s journey. Addiction recovery is not something that can happen in a vacuum and embracing the presence of others is essential. For many, this can mean first understanding that one’s journey so far has not been a solo affair.
Addiction does not have to be directly discussed to be felt. Family members can experience the change in one’s behavior, as well as recognize the implementation of effective coping strategies and life skills. Coworkers will recognize the changes in one’s performance or attendance, for better or worse. Embracing the fact that one’s journey has effects that stem beyond one’s own body is the cornerstone to relinquishing the idea of a “solo recovery.”
Dismissing the idea of a “solo recovery” does not mean that an individual necessarily has to trust and confide in everyone around them. Instead, they can change their perspective to see that their actions and influence regarding addiction affect a wide array of people.
Using a Recovery Mindset
Recognizing that one’s journey through recovery, their progress, and their coping strategies for maintaining a prolonged recovery are all part of a greater whole can help change one’s mindset towards recovery. Rather than viewing recovery as an isolated struggle, embracing one’s ability to affect others throughout every stage of the process can create new perspectives on someone’s progress.
Those who make up one’s various environments, such as one’s home life, social groups, and workplace, can be viewed not as obstacles that one must hide from, but rather as potential resources to maintain one’s recovery. This mentality can help not only break through lingering feelings of isolation, but also begin to use those affected by one’s recovery as a method of measuring one’s success.
Coworkers can notice the change in one’s performance and attitude, potentially opening up opportunities for developing relationships. Even receiving compliments at work or feeling like a treasured part of the team can both reinforce the idea that addiction and recovery affect all those around. These people can be used to measure and develop one’s continued sober strategies.
Accepting the presence of others can be a major stress relief on its own. While this does not mean that every person needs to hear the story of one’s addiction, it does mean that an individual can learn to use these spaces and people to continue to measure one’s success. Isolation can be a crippling feeling and can easily leave a person feeling “stuck” in their current state. However, realizing that one has the ability to change their environment and work with those around, they can provide a new way to restore agency to their life and relationships.
Recovery is never a solo affair and we at Everlast Recovery Centers are prepared to help you embrace and use those around you for your own recovery journey. We offer an array of programs intended to help you navigate the complicated world of an interconnected recovery, and our community of like-minded individuals can help you better understand the power that you have to change those around you. From detox to residential treatment, we are available to help instill the life skills, coping mechanisms, and self-care strategies necessary to embrace the role of those around you. We also offer an array of other programs to help you augment your own recovery strategies, such as art therapy, yoga, meditation, and medication-assisted therapy, depending on your unique circumstance. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your situation, call to speak with us today at (866) 338-6925.