While on your recovery journey, there can be times when you need a moment to yourself. This can be especially common for those who are more introverted than others. It can sometimes make you feel like your battery is drained, and to recharge, you just need to step away from everyone.
While there are pros to isolation, there can also be adverse effects as well. Isolation can lead to episodes of depression or losing motivation to continue treatment. This also means separating yourself from support systems.
The best way to approach isolation is to think of the positive side of self-care rather than isolation. At Healing Pines Recovery, we offer holistic methods of addiction treatment that allow you to learn self-care techniques that keep you on-track in your recovery journey.
Different Types of Isolation in Addiction Recovery
There are many different types of isolation, and each of them can have pros and cons. These types of isolation can be either emotional isolation or social isolation. While these two types of isolation may be similar, they still have defining differences.
#1 Social Isolation
This type of isolation is the physical removal of your presence from events, loved ones, or outings that you previously would have attended—going out while in recovery can, at times, get overwhelming, especially if you have recently left a treatment center. In addition, there can be a lot of invasive questions that you may get asked from your family members, loved ones, or support groups, and while you don’t have to give them an answer, it can be hard not to feel obligated.
Taking time to distance yourself from social interactions can be healthy for you. Before going out with loved ones, make sure to communicate potential triggers or environments that are not safe for you. Then, you always have the option to ease yourself back into social life and don’t have to rush back into the scene. While taking it slow is a healthy step, don’t altogether avoid social situations. Isolating yourself socially for too long can greatly impact your mental health. Ultimately, social isolation can affect mental health, and thus your long-term recovery.
#2 Emotional Isolation
This type of isolation is when you begin to pull yourself away when communicating how you feel. Displaying this type of isolation is typically when we bottle up our emotions and feelings. The pros to this type of isolation are being able to process these emotions on our own without the input of others. One way to accomplish this is through journaling. Learning how to manage our feelings on our own can be great for times when we don’t have access to someone to talk to.
On the other hand, there can be many cons of emotional isolation as well. The negative side of emotional isolation is bottling up your feelings until they become unmanageable. If you don’t have the right tools yet to handle overwhelming emotions, this can be a significant risk with emotional isolation. In some cases, it can even lead to an outburst of feelings. Knowing when to communicate these feelings is vital so that you can experience the time alone you need without running the risk of becoming overwhelmed.
What Is Self-Care, and How Can It Help With Recovery?
Self-care is all about knowing your limits; it is about taking the time to heal so that you can approach each day to your fullest potential.
Sometimes that self-care involves self-isolation. Everyone has a different social meter. Some thrive off being in social situations, while others need time to rest in-between social events. It can be draining to have to attend group meetings every single time, even if you are a part of a supportive community. And while family support is undeniably a huge benefit, having to answer their questions can sometimes become a small burden.
This is where self-care comes into play. Self-care involves taking your time and doing something that will bring you back to your best self. This can look like a lot of different things depending on the person. It could be something small like going for a walk or hiking in nature. Or it can look like unplugging from the world and watching your favorite show or reading a good book.
The important part to keep in mind is that you are doing something for yourself. That could mean that you want to do it by yourself, or you could invite a friend from your recovery community over and practice self-care together. So again, it depends on what type of person you are and how social you want to be.
Isolation can be good or bad, depending on how you approach it. There are pros and cons to all forms of isolation, whether that is social or emotional. What you should try to keep in mind is what type of isolation you need at that moment.
The thing to avoid is overdoing it. Recovery is all about learning moderation, and isolation is one of those things that we can practice in moderation. Taking time for yourself is perfectly normal, and it can be healthy; just try not to overdo it.
When trying to find time for yourself, you also need to keep in mind that too much time alone can lead to negative isolation habits. Working through a treatment program can drain you when you are addressing difficult topics. Taking time to yourself can be a good thing in small doses. Learning to balance isolation times can play a significant role in whether it impacts your treatment in a positive or negative light.
At Healing Pines Recovery, we offer men holistic methods of treatment, such as meditation, that allow people to experience positive isolation. We work with detox centers to provide a unique recovery journey all the way from substance abuse inpatient treatment to long-term aftercare.
If you identify as male and are seeking help with managing self-care time versus harmful isolation, reach out to Healing Pines Recovery today at (720) 575-2621.