Study shows loneliness is actually deadly

There’s a great commentary in the Financial Times about how a growing sense of loneliness in American society is contributing to the tribal political climate today.

It states:

“Many people in western countries have been struggling to define who they are, and what tribe they belong to. Fifty years ago, most people found identity through their family, church, neighbourhood and (if male) their job and trade union.

But these identities have steadily weakened. As the Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam has observed, Americans are increasingly “bowling alone”. Take family: living alone has gone from freakish exception to almost standard. In the US, 39 per cent of adults are not currently married or cohabiting.”

The article describes how social isolation is actually deadly:

“Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a psychologist at Brigham Young University, last year combined studies of more than 3 million people to show that social isolation was at least as deadly as obesity.”

Those of us in recovery know this is true.

Let your friends in recovery be your tribe.

Go to a meeting of a 12-step group. Raise your hand and say you want help and some phone numbers. Don’t like that meeting? Find another one. Attend a church too. Or try a “meet-up” app for something non-alcohol related.

Most of all create a network of friends in recovery. If you show up, it will happen. Don’t try to do this alone.