Addiction can be very lonely and socially isolating. During COVID-19, we have experienced even more physical isolation from one another, which has caused many to further isolate themselves emotionally. During your treatment for addiction, it is important to learn to reconnect with yourself emotionally as well as to be able to reconnect with others both socially and emotionally.
The Loneliness and Isolation of Addiction
Addiction creates a particular kind of loneliness. One of the most isolating factors is the shame that women feel for their substance use and related behaviors. Whether you loathe yourself, fear yourself, or feel unworthy of the companionship of others, you are increasingly likely to isolate yourself as your substance use also increases.
Another cause of isolation is mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. For some women, substance abuse was a way of coping with pre-existing depression or anxiety. For others, depression or anxiety comes as a result of substance use. This can be particularly true of extensive alcohol use, which is a depressant. Whatever the case, depression, and anxiety can both cause loneliness and self-isolation.
How COVID-19 Created More Addiction and Isolation
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we were all forced to be physically apart for an unprecedented period of time. This physical isolation caused many people to also isolate themselves emotionally. The lack of human interaction, including hugs and other physical contacts, was very damaging emotionally, especially for those who lived alone.
Not surprisingly, the pandemic also saw a big increase in substance use. There was more time for people to drink alcohol or use drugs, and substances were a way that many people used to cope with the stress of COVID-19 and be so isolated. It became a perfect storm of social and emotional isolation from which many people are still struggling to emerge from.
Reconnecting With Yourself in Treatment
For those who have a substance use disorder, one of the key elements of healing is to reconnect with yourself. During active substance use, the mind and body can become disconnected as the mind becomes hyperfocused on obtaining substances. You may find that you have lost touch with your body, ignoring natural impulses to eat and sleep. You may have even stopped noticing your five basic senses if you have used substances for an extended period of time.
During your residential program, your individualized treatment plan will include opportunities for you to reconnect your mind, body, and spirit. You can use many different therapeutic methods, and it is actually helpful to use multiple methods for the best results.
One healing method that addresses mind, body, and spirit simultaneously is yoga. Yoga improves strength, balance, and flexibility in the body, increases focus and clarity of the mind, and helps to connect you with your spirituality, all while connecting all three elements simultaneously.
Learning to Reconnect With Others Socially
During your residential program, you will have the opportunity to work individually and in groups. This allows you to learn to reconnect with others socially. You have the opportunity to remember how to interact socially with others who are also remembering how to be social again. Treatment is a safe place for you to make these connections and hone your skills.
You will also be attending support meetings and reconnecting with others on a larger scale, and expanding your social network as you do. As you gradually come out of the isolation of addiction, you will also socially come out of isolation in treatment.
Emotionally Reconnecting With Other People in Treatment
Learning to be social again is one thing, but allowing yourself to emotionally reconnect with other people in treatment will be a powerful experience. During treatment, you will have shared commonalities with others who are going through similar experiences. This time is a time of transformation and intense emotional experiences, and you will have the opportunity to bond with one another through these deeply personal experiences.
Being able to reconnect with other human beings on a deeper, more emotional level again can be very healing for you. You will be able to rediscover empathy and compassion for others, which will help keep you from isolating yourself again.
After experiencing COVID-19, we could all use an opportunity to reconnect with others emotionally like this, especially on such a deep level. These connections are what help us to be part of something bigger than ourselves and grow together as a community. These are the kinds of connections that will help us to strengthen one another and avoid that lonely, isolated place in the future.
After COVID-19, many people feel even more emotionally isolated. If you are struggling with addiction and feel like you are isolated and lonely, you can reconnect with yourself and others in our residential program. We can help bring you out of social and emotional isolation and make deep and lasting connections with others. The Ho Tai Way – Recovery For Women is a trauma-informed detox and residential treatment facility for women with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Located in sunny Costa Mesa, California, our facility is a calm, peaceful haven for healing. We offer both evidence-based treatments and complementary treatment modalities to create an individualized treatment plan for you. Our trauma-informed care provides you with a safe place for you to find your way again. Do you feel like you are completely isolated and alone? Call us at (714) 581-3974 today.