Many of us lack that special feeling of connection. Here’s why it’s so important to feel connected to yourself, a higher power, and your community in recovery and beyond.
Many of us struggle to understand the causes of our addictions and why our mental and emotional health has suffered so much. We know we have unresolved pain that needs to heal, but we often aren’t sure what the source of that pain is. For many of us, the inner pain we feel that we’re unable to articulate, and that we don’t yet understand, comes from our lack of connection. We feel disconnected from our family members and friends. We don’t have a community where we can feel safe, understood, validated, and supported. We don’t feel a sense of fellowship or togetherness in any of our social settings, and in response, we begin to isolate ourselves. We might not have found our kindred spirits yet, the other people in our lives who reflect and affirm us. We feel disconnected from our inner selves, from our intuition and internal guidance, and from our higher power. We struggle to come to terms with what we’re going through in life because we don’t have a feeling of connectedness, security, and feeling grounded to help us make sense of it all. Our lack of connection can cause us considerable emotional pain and can contribute not only to our mental health issues but to the development of our addictions as well.
We might have grown up in families that didn’t practice healthy, effective communication. They might not have resolved their conflicts amicably, or even coexisted peacefully. Many of us come from homes where neglect, mistreatment, and abuse is the norm. We develop intense fears of abandonment, loss, and connection. Our addictions are sometimes our remedy for those fears. We’re being self-protective when we disconnect from people. Our disconnection can be a defense mechanism for us. We have a hard time initiating or staying in relationships. We manifest unhealthy and toxic relationships. We don’t form lasting friendships. We have trust issues. Sometimes we’re afraid to be alone and become co-dependent in our relationships, which is usually a sign of unhealthy attachment rather than true connection. We might push people away and keep anyone from getting too close. We might shut people out and feel unable to confide in people and open up to them with honesty and vulnerability. All of these behavioral patterns reflect our lack of connection, and they also exacerbate them. The more we disconnect from people, the more alone, disconnected, isolated, and lost we can feel.
When we’re disconnected from our inner selves, the result is often deep depression, intense anxiety, and other debilitating mental health issues. We aren’t grounded in our inner strength. We don’t feel a clear sense of purpose, and we lack fulfillment in our work, interests, and daily lives. Many of us tend to focus on our difficult life circumstances and feel victimized by them, rather than realizing our immense power to manifest the lives we want for ourselves. We tend to have very negative habitual thought patterns. We cling to extremely toxic, limiting beliefs. We suffer from self-hate and are deeply insecure and self-hating. Not only do we have a hard time forming healthy relationships with others, but our relationship with ourselves is also fractured and depleted. We don’t love or accept ourselves, nor do we trust our intuition. We might be self-harming and self-sabotaging. Because our relationship with our inner self is so connected to our relationship with our higher power, we might feel as though our higher power has turned its back on us and abandoned us. We might feel like no one understands us, and therefore we feel alone with our pain. When we’re in this place, very often we’ve begun to sacrifice our well-being for the sake of our addictions and the high they provide. This disconnection is painful, depressing, and anxiety-inducing, and we use our drugs of choice to ease our pain.
Sometimes the only thing we do feel connected to is our drug of choice and the addictive behaviors on which we’ve come to rely. Sometimes that’s the only place we feel any comfort, relief, reassurance, or solace. Our drug of choice becomes our friend and companion. We feel like we have nothing, and no one, else. We feel alone, lost and defeated in the world, with only our high to keep us going. We don’t feel as though we have anything else to look forward to. We feel as though we’ve lost everything, and the irony is, we often have lost it all to our addictions, but they are what we keep going back to, because we’re mentally, emotionally, and physically dependent upon them.
One of the best remedies for our addictive patterns is to consciously start to reconnect – with others and with ourselves. This can mean joining a support group and committing to going regularly enough that we can develop relationships with other people in recovery. We can provide one another with comfort, connection, understanding, and common experience that only fellow recovering addicts can offer each other. We can join social activities in our neighborhoods including local sports teams, community gardens, book clubs, and cooking classes. Get inspired to find an activity that interests you and that gives you the opportunity to connect with others with similar interests. We can, little by little, work to reconnect with ourselves, by committing time to self-care, spiritual practice, creative self-expression, and regular self-reflection. The more we rebuild the lost sense of connection in our lives, the happier and more at peace we will be. When we feel connected with ourselves, a higher power, and our community, we will be more likely to stay sober and consistently grow.
The community of Riverside Recovery has personal experience with addiction and the feelings of hopelessness and disconnection that come with it. We’re here to help you reclaim the life you love. Call (800) 871-5440 today.