Human beings are social creatures, in order to maintain our mental and physical health, we need to interact with people whom we share interests. We need close friendships and healthy relationships and need to experience love, both romantic and familial. Some surveys indicate that 75 percent of adults in America struggle with loneliness. Long term loneliness has even been linked to mental illness, obesity, substance abuse and shorter lives in general.
While in active addiction, our lives revolve around sustaining our illness in any way we can. Often, this leads to alienating people in our lives because we might have been dishonest or aggressive in our addiction. Our families sometimes withdraw, creating the illusion that we are not only incapable of having relationships but that we don’t deserve them, and our lives then fill with people whose only purpose is to advance our disorder. They may be struggling with their own addiction, may be unable to connect with us on an emotional level, and may even be actively bad for us.
In the depths of our addiction, we might ignore the things that help build healthy self-esteem and maintain a level of responsibility like work or family responsibility. For people who have never experienced addiction, it looks like the person living actively in their addiction is selfish, negligent and unreliable. It might look they are choosing this life, that they are weak and undeserving, which reinforces the thinking errors people with addiction often have. It becomes a circle of getting high, losing people and then getting high because we have lost people.
Emotional Suffering Has Physical Consequences
Loneliness can cause our bodies to overproduce stress hormones, which damages our arteries, elevates blood pressure, and harms our ability to think clearly and learn new things. After a while, we might begin to think this feeling is never going to go away so we surrender to our addictions because it feels easier than facing the loneliness sober.
When we decide to get healthy, we need to build new relationships and attempt to repair those we have damaged. Part of the 12-Step programs is to make amends whenever possible, without creating more harm. Doing this helps build a foundation of trust, in ourselves and others, and when you have a community to which you can turn when things get rough, you are less likely to relapse. If you do, Fort Worth Recovery can help you return to a world in which you are loved and respected. Call us at 817 382 2894 or contact us online today.