Connection | Lasting Sobriety
A side-effect of addiction, isolation, disconnects us from our community, our loved ones, and our life itself. When drugs/alcohol are number one we lose not only time with those around us, but the connection that brings joy, trust, and fulfillment.
In sobriety, we must fight against slipping back into isolation. Depression adds to the likelihood of closing ourselves off. While not all addicts have depression it is quite common. The loss of energy and interest make even small outings difficult. But a commitment to seeking out others brings a bright spark to our days.
A great place to start is within our chosen meetings, support groups, or out-patient/after-care groups. Simply attending meetings listening to the stories of others and sharing in their triumphs and struggles open us and allow us to move beyond our own thoughts and worries. Sharing your own story brings a deeper level of connection.
In the larger community engagement is limitless and can be focused on your special interests: Volunteer, lend a hand to a neighbor, attend a city event, join a sports team or community run. Your can find opportunities that tap talents you have and relate to things you are curious about.
Whether healing relationships or strengthening them, the most important step is reaching out. Starting with simple phone calls or texts opens up the line of communication. Touching base, sharing photos, and trading news—no matter how small—creates a rapport and conveys care and attention. Some days that is all we can manage. Even if it is brief, communication forges connection.
Beyond that, including loved ones in our routines builds a two-way street of support. Meeting up for a meal, to work out, go shopping, allows us to open up our world and share in the worlds of those special to us. Try scheduling regular weekly or monthly gatherings. Looking forward to a get-together with family or friends make long days or weeks more bearable for all.
Even if you do not feel up to it, stretch yourself to make those connections. Your world and theirs will be brighter as a result. Connections allow us to share experiences and give and receive support, resulting in a content fulfilled life. So simple, but not always easy to achieve.
Joe Eisele, CACIII, NCAC
Joe is the Clinical Director at InnerBalance Health Center and has been helping achieve lifelong sobriety incorporating biochemical restoration and holistic addiction treatment for over 30 years.