Addicts must deal with a lot of different feelings that can hold them back from making a full recovery. One of the things that can be an issue for people with addictions is the sense of alienation that they experience. Addicts might view themselves as outsiders in society because they are haunted by a feeling that they just don’t fit in. This might be something that they experienced prior to developing issues with substance abuse and could even be a driving factor in motivating their addiction.
The feeling of being different or not being a part of a social group can lead people to escape through drugs or alcohol. Although these feelings may have existed before, their addiction most likely has exacerbated their sense of alienation as they have grown more and more isolated over time. Once an addict makes the decision to become sober they need to analyze these feelings of alienation and overcome them with stronger personal connections so that they can lead a more stable and healthy life.
Why Addicts Feel Alienated
What is alienation? For people who have experienced the state of alienation it is usually a feeling of being isolated from a group to which they feel they should belong or be involved in. People who feel alienated often want to have close connections but do not know how to create them. They feel that they want to be part of society or a social group but do not fit in which is a very painful feeling. The average person might feel alienated from time to time, but for people with addictions this feeling can be persistent and become a part of their identity.
Addicts often feel insecure in relationships and are too aligned with deviant behavior to adapt to social connections. They may also have low self-esteem that can interfere with their ability to feel confident in their friendships, always believing that they are not loved or accepted by others. A person with an addiction over time may simply become accustomed to being alone and their substance abuse helps to numb their feelings of loneliness.
Social Support Can Heal
In order to become sober, it is crucial that an addict begins to repair their ability to connect with other people. Human connection is so important to our well-being and it is not something that we can exist happily without. In recovery, addicts begin to open up about their problems, speak to others and start building a support system. Rehab and group meetings are there to facilitate connection because a person cannot become sober without the help of a mentor or peer who supports them.
People need emotional support when times are hard and having someone there to talk to can mean the difference between addiction and sobriety for people in recovery. Social support is one of the keys to changing the habits of addiction because so much of an addict’s lifestyle involves isolation and alienation.
Getting feedback from others and changing their behavior so that they are able to connect can be a rewarding experience for addicts. Simply being a part of a social group can be very healing for people who have spent years being withdrawn from friends and family.
People in recovery can learn to spend more time thinking of others rather than focusing on their own problems and they can help other people out which can make them feel stronger and more loving. Being a part of a social support group can help reduce the feelings of loneliness that often fuel addiction. Someone who is able to experience connection at all times will have more meaning in their life and more motivation to life a healthy and fulfilling existence.