Loneliness is one of the major reasons individuals return to using drugs and alcohol. Loneliness is not necessarily being alone. You can be alone for long periods of time and not feel lonely at all. You can feel lonely in a familiar setting without really understanding why. The best way to begin to understand loneliness is to examine some of the ways you
Do any of the following describe your experiences of loneliness?
- Feeling alone and sad?
- Rarely visiting or being visited by others?
- Lacking friends or encouragement from others?
- Having no one special in your life?
Loneliness is a negative emotional state that must be lived through or changed by using positive coping skills. You will feel lonely when you stop drinking and using and have to give up familiar places, people, and activities to prevent relapse. Life change, even if it is positive results in some sense of loneliness. You will naturally miss past attachments and friends as you make these major changes in your life. You may feel there is no one with whom to share your personal concerns or experiences. Or, you may believe that without drugs and alcohol, you are not interesting or desirable. People, who have completed addiction treatment and are starting a new sober lifestyle, are particularly susceptible to loneliness.