They Said I Shouldn’t Be Alone, What About “Me Time” in Early Recovery?

June 15, 2016 - - 0 CommentsThey Said I Shouldn’t Be Alone, What About “Me Time” in Early Recovery?

When recovering from addiction people are advised to spend time with family and friends because social connections are good for emotional and mental health. There comes a times in the recovery process where some people want to be alone with their thoughts, while others dread such times. While connecting with family and friends is important, so is time alone. However, there is a delicate balance which every recovering person should master.

Redefining Alone Time

Time alone is important to help one collect their thoughts, recharge and refocus. Persons on the road to recovery need to make their time in solitude constructive. The best way to do this is by planning for it. It is advisable to cultivate enjoyable and regular hobbies during alone time. Some of the activities that one can include are gardening, painting, reading, visiting a park or eating out. When these activities are planned, then it becomes hard to entertain destructive thought patterns.

Addiction and Loneliness

Due to different personalities, people recovering will have different ways of dealing with the process. Introverts tend to be inclined to spending time alone, while extroverts may not want to be left alone. Recovering addicts need to understand their personalities and try to find a balance. It is important to note that, addiction has the potential to turn an extrovert into a loner. When the self-esteem and dignity of an individual is affected, the shame can make one want to isolate from people.

Increased Danger of loneliness in Addiction

The desire to spend time alone is a good thing, however, there are certain risks that need to be considered. When one spends most of their time alone, they may remain in denial about their situation. This plunges them into deeper addiction. This decline or relapse can easily go undetected if the person is isolated. Even if the loner realizes they have a problem and admits it to themselves, they may find it extremely hard admitting their problem to someone else. What this means is that they will be in it alone, and chances of a full recovery become slim. Regular relapses may leave the addict with feelings of hopelessness, and they may contemplate suicide.

In the first stages of recovery, it is important for recovering patients to spend less time alone. This is the point where they are at their weakest and need support from family and group recovery programs.

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