Loneliness has been widely studied by psychologists. Some Have argued that loneliness is a social necessity for driving impulses to connect with others and become more deeply involved in nearby social structures. Others have found that loneliness and feelings of isolation lead to depression, worsen illness, and can ultimately cause death. Many cases of suicide are coupled with depression or mental illness with reported symptoms of loneliness and feeling separated from others. As one editor for The Huffington Post explained, “there’s a certain shame in admitting you don’t feel as connected to other people as you’d like to be.”
Loneliness is Natural
“Lonely feelings,” the editor explains, “are a natural and necessary part of being human…” Because humans are social animals, it is logical that loneliness is a shared human experience. However, curing or approaching that shared experience of loneliness is not shared. “The cure for loneliness isn’t always to spend more time with other people,” the editor explains. “No two people are exactly alike, so it’s really impossible for any of us to feel completely known or understood by one another.” The answer to loneliness, she introduces, is “actually embracing loneliness for yourself.”
Addiction and alcoholism are remarkably isolating illnesses. Somehow, for each person’s individual experience, they feel they are completely alone. Even within the walls of their treatment centers or the rooms of recovery support groups where others are sharing almost identical experiences, the addict or alcoholic can still feel alone. Part of the beauty of recovery is finally realizing one is not alone. However, finding a way to consistently believe that and not use or drink because of that thought takes practice.
Feelings of loneliness crop up for different reasons. Sometimes it is a symptom of depression. Other times it is due to paying more attention to differences rather than similarities. The cause for loneliness is not as important as what you do about it. Tending to feelings of loneliness is like tending to any other feelings with self care, nurturing and compassion. Remember that the feeling will pass and you are being supported by many people who care about you as well as your sobriety.
Aurora Recovery Centre believes that recovering from drug and alcohol addiction requires a holistic approach. We confront mind, body, and spirit through our treatment programs and modalities of treatment. Our facility provides dual diagnosis treatment for both mental health and substance use disorders. For more information, call 844-515-STOP.