Isolation can sneak up on you, much like a frog in a pot of slowly boiling water. Because the temperature is changed gradually, the frog doesn’t realize it is in peril until the water starts to bubble. Isolation can start with just a gradual lessening of social contact. You may not understand how this could make a difference with your sobriety until you are already in relapse. Read here to be sure you don’t fall into that trap.

Out Of Touch With Other Perspectives

One of the best parts about social interaction is that you can consider and incorporate other people’s point of view into your own. Or you can outright reject it. But all of this is done because you have the richness of other people’s minds at your disposal. Any time you get even somewhat involved with another person, you see the physical evidence and hear the words of their beliefs.

Because you interact with others, your ideas and beliefs are constantly in motion. You keep them fresh and relevant because you allow them to mingle with new ideas. Staying isolated robs you of this experience. You are out of touch with other perspectives and don’t have the same flexibility or resilience. Anything that becomes black-and-white with addiction puts you at greater risk for relapse.

Your Inner Addiction Voice Gets No Challenge

An addition to the earlier thought – when you isolate, your inner addiction voice gets stronger because it has no challenge. There is nothing new in your mind to help keep it in check. Anything you might have learned in drug rehab or alcohol treatment may seem like a million miles away. It’s in there, but somehow your inner addiction voice drowns it out.

You don’t have the reinforcement of other people who believe in recovery ideals. These voices strengthen your inner recovery voice. Without this social interaction, you are left vulnerable and without a healthy voice in your mind.

Lack Of Social Connection Affects Self Worth

If you are one of a small percentage of people who enjoy isolation, being alone may not be a problem. However, most people need at least some social interaction to survive in the world. After some period of time in isolation, even if it is self imposed, a sense of social rejection can set in. You may start to justify staying alone because others may reject you or possibly already have. That can start the wheels of negativity really spinning in your mind.

Your self worth can tank because you don’t see that your presence matters to anyone. When that happens, the dark cloud of worthlessness may be too tough to fight off anymore. The drugs and alcohol beckon – relapse looms.

Isolation and Drug Addiction Relapse

Social isolation is an enemy of sobriety. It’s good to keep away from those who would derail your sobriety by steering you back towards addiction. But those connections must be replaced by people who are healthy and on-track. For more help staying socially connected during sobriety, contact a drug rehab or alcohol treatment center near you.

Wendy Lee Nentwig

By Wendy Lee Nentwig
Guest Contributor
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