Managing the feelings of loneliness that come with Sobriety

I’m 5 days free of THC after 12 years of consistent, daily smoking since HS.

I’ve seen people talk about how sobriety can feel very lonely, because you start to change, but none of your old friends change with you.
It often means you have to go through a period of loss and grief as you leave old relationships and try to find new ones.

Tonight is my second time experiencing Big Feelings without the aid of any THC to numb me. I have BPD and have struggled with emotional regulation for my whole life, but I’ve had years of therapy at this point and know so many more coping skills. I’m very proud of myself for how much better I’ve learned to take care of myself.

That being said, it wasn’t until 5 days ago that I was ready to admit with my full chest that I’ve been struggling with an addiction. My entire experience with therapy to date have been with weed in my system. I truly do not know myself sober, so I haven’t had to process my feelings to this extent before. I always used smoking to calm me and help me check out, but this would lead to dissociation and eventually depression.

I just want to talk about how it feels like I am a raw nerve when I’m sober. I know that eventually I will have more clarity and Integration, so my emotions won’t feel as intense all the time.
The longest I’ve quit before was 4 months, and that was about 4 years ago. I felt really raw for awhile, but eventually I had a lot of clarity and motivation. I relapsed because I hadn’t admitted it was an addiction, just did it to prove I could, but deep down I knew I wanted to go back to it.
So much of my social circles are based around smoking weed too, so I wasn’t ready to sacrifice that then.

I am now… But it still hurts, and I’m really feeling my inner child tonight as I grieve for feeling alone and afraid. I am afraid I am about to lose all my friends… But if I do lose friends because I no longer smoke pot… That just indicates that our quality time was not authentic. It was about mutually checking out together, and those aren’t the kind of relationships I want to have anyway.

That helps the grief a little bit… But there’s a lot of pain in changing yourself, because no one is guaranteed to come with you, or support you.


Welcome @Cloud_Aquarius :sunflower:
Thank you for sharing, you are not alone in this change process sobriety and recovery bring with them.
Many of us experience feelings of loneliness as well-known social circles fall away due to no longer using together. It’s normal to grieve the loss of your most used coping mechanism (your DOC) and feelings of social connections that were attached to it. Those parts falling away are making space for new, more healthy experiences and people but of course that chsnge takes time and there is emptiness.
If you want, use the search function above for keywords like loneliness to read around what others share(d) and discuss(ed). It can be helpful to see how people cope, take what’s for you and leave the rest. I found some very helpful posts over time I bookmarked and go back to re-read when I’m feeling low and lonely.

Keep us posted how you are doing!

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I feel you there man. Can totally relate. Weed was my issue for a long time and i did whatever i could to get it. Things im not proud of and just lead to more/worse guilt. I quit weed 6 months ago and tbh not much changed mentally for me for the reason you have stated, “friends” still on it. Broken relationships with my family. The list goes on and on. Just moping around lately. Went to rehab when i was 19 and i did it because everyone was telling me too not because i wanted to. Lasted 3 months before i quit as i knew i wasnt ready to quit. Gave me crucial coping mechanisims and so much more clairty and awareness to my situation and the world i live in. Funny enough though i dont use the methods currently im glad i know them. Im proud i still havnt touched anything my desire really isnt there most days. Hoping i get the courage to do what i need to as i know its effort i need to put it. It feels like a mountain to climb some days and so i just dont. Hope i get it sorted as i dont want to be at odds with my family i just want to feel love and connection. To feel apart of something and like they care. Took me hanging out with someone who held me accountable and knew the people i was hanging around wernt good for me to know i need to ditch these dudes they have nothing in common with me. Was very hard but i did it and it took a couple of attempts. I finally feel at peace and not stressed anymore which is priceless to me as i cant remember i wasnt feeling on edge or stressed or paranoid about the stupidist things. Hope your okay and hopefully you reply and we can chat and bounce motivation off each other.