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Isolation: A Roadblock to Recovery

In early recovery, depression and anxiety are common. They cause us to feel overwhelmed, and we tend to isolate ourselves from others in an attempt to feel better. There is nothing wrong with taking time for solitary activities, but we can easily fall into unhealthy patterns of behavior that block us off from the outside world and can affect our ability to maintain sobriety.

Isolation was likely a contributing factor to our addiction. Professor Peter Cohen, in a 2013 Huffington Post article examining the causes of addiction, posits that “human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It’s how we get our satisfaction. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find — the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe. He says we should stop talking about ‘addiction’ altogether, and instead call it ‘bonding.’ A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else. So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.”

Our depression and anxiety create a cycle of addiction. We withdraw from other because of our mental health issues, which may lead us into addiction, then our addiction increases our feelings of depression and anxiety. Isolation may also cause health problems that lead us back to drug-use in an attempt to self-medicate. According to the National Institutes of Health, “across a range of studies, a number of indicators of isolation have been associated with worse health, such as living alone, having a small social network, low participation in social activities, a perceived lack of social support, and feelings of loneliness.”

If we are to recover from addiction, we must break the cycle of isolation. Many recovery programs have communities, such as 12-Step fellowships, that give an opportunity for social interaction while also addressing the process of healing from addiction. Human beings are social creatures. When we engage with others, we improve our mental health. All it takes is a firm resolution to put ourselves in healthy social situations in order to break the destructive cycle of isolation that strikes in early recovery.

You are not alone. You never have been. Once you enter recovery, you never have to feel alone again. Cultivating resilience for lasting wellness, the co-ed programs offered at Resilient House on a full continuum of care provide holistic and clinical expertise for recovery. Our 50,000 square foot facility in Shreveport provides the tranquility and serenity you need to heal your mind, body, and spirit. It’s time to live. Ready, set, go: 833-CHANGE1