Written by Valiant Living Recovery on Monday, January 20th, 2020
Coming out of the holidays is a huge proponent of wanting to isolate. With all of the overwhelming circumstances surrounding sobriety, family, presents, holiday gatherings, and loss that you pushed through with self-will and adrenaline, you may find yourself wanting to escape altogether from everything.
The problem that isolation creates is self-imprisonment because all you can think about is you. Instead of being able to think about your responsibilities and loved ones, your brain’s one-track mind just wants to sleep, stay indoors, and not interact with the outside world. Being completely alone is not what was intended for your life even though it feels completely natural to you. One of the needs of a human is a connection with other humans and without it, you pose an even higher risk of depression, dementia, loneliness, and social anxiety which wrecks your self-esteem. You will need to do something different to get you through this difficult period of isolation and here are some tips to get you started.
Isolation is just a symptom of something bigger going on and a therapist, sponsor, or counselor can help you to see through the isolation. Gathering information from your past to articulate what it means today can give you some healing moving forward. You may not feel like you are ready to tell others about your mental and emotional distress that is making you want to isolate. You will ultimately feel better by getting help from someone you trust to talk about what is happening.
When you start therapy, you may have some loved ones with some curiosity about your recovery. Even though you have already opened up to someone you trust, you should wait until you are ready to discuss your isolation with others. Since you are primarily isolating to feel safe in your own bubble, letting others know about your personal issues can be daunting. Take your time in revealing what you want to so that you can ease into letting others in.
This does not mean use drugs and alcohol because they would actually do the opposite of what you need since these substances are also factors that cause isolation. Staying lit means to stay in places that harbor light. You may feel comfortable with your windows completely covered and staying in the dark, but you need some light. Eventually, your body will not comprehend night or day to get your circadian rhythm out of sorts to mess up your regular sleep patterns. The result can cause depression and lethargy only making matters worse. You may need to install LED lighting in your house and pull back your curtains at least while the sun is shining.
One of the best things to do for your isolation is to put your hand out to others who are less fortunate than you. Volunteering for an hour for a local charity, donating items that you are not using anymore, or going to a meeting are ways that you can assist others. These examples are also ways to ease yourself back into society without too much effort. Take baby steps to get back out there while feeling pleased with being of service. Everyone feels good in this scenario and that is what you need – to give love to everyone including yourself.
You are probably very leery about hanging out with others. By finding people who get your drift and gradually start to keep each other’s company, you can really get you out of your shell. Laughter with friends and loved ones is pure joy and causes endorphins to flow which just makes you feel good. Spend time with others who enjoy the same hobbies so you can gain confidence. Join a book study, take a painting class, or find a running club that can give you the best of both worlds to discover independent camaraderie.
Find resources such as literature or support groups that can help you to understand everything you need to know about isolation. With proper knowledge and information on isolation, you will not only be helping yourself, but you will also be helping others in the process. Whether you are sharing your experience, strength, and hope with someone else or finding coping mechanisms to live a more productive life, you are being a blessing all around.
You may feel awkward and uncomfortable being outside of your normal surroundings although over time these fears will get easier to manage if you are working through your isolation. The only way things can ever get better is through the practice of doing things you would not usually do.
Isolation is real and no one should tell you that what you are going through is unsubstantial. What you need to know is that there is help for your mental health and you do not have to go through it alone anymore.
Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463