Facing Abandonment Issues in Addiction Recovery

September 17, 2020 Amanda Richardson

Abandonment issues are probably more common than one would expect, especially for recovering addicts. The fear of abandonment, attachment issues, a history of bad breakups, a difficult family dynamic, and many more unfortunate circumstances can all lead to a disdain for abandonment. In my addiction recovery, I have noticed that the real or perceived feelings of abandonment can lead to some really challenging addiction triggers for me. 

Feeling Abandoned in Relationships

I am currently in the process of preparing for my husband's upcoming deployment with the U.S. Army Reserves, and I am quickly learning just how scary and damaging perceived abandonment can feel. Even though my husband isn't actually abandoning me, he is going away for work to serve our country; it still feels as though I am being left behind and left to fend for myself, entirely by myself.

I love my husband, and I am beyond proud of his selfless service; however, as a recovering addict, I can't help but wonder how this difficult life change will impact my mental health and my overall recovery. 

Those of us in recovery know all too well the pains of breakups, unhealthy attachment, and abandonment. I believe most of us, at one point or another, have felt entirely alone in our addiction, and the feeling of isolation can lead to a host of additional mental and emotional troubles.

The crazy thing is, even perceived abandonment still feels incredibly daunting. I know logically and intellectually that my husband is not actually abandoning me. However, the wires can still get crossed in my brain and lead to those feelings of hopelessness and complete isolation.

Solution for Abandonment in Addiction Recovery

So far, I am learning from both recovering addicts and other military spouses that the best source of hope in times of abandonment is the joy of authentic, healthy connection with other loved ones in your life. Even though no one can take the place of my husband (of course), I am discovering that it is still vitally important I fill my days with meaningful activities, healthy friendships, and quality time with my family. 

Additionally, I also plan to continue my sessions in therapy in his absence. I believe right now, it is more important than ever that I tend to my mental health and ensure that my needs are met spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

Maintaining healthy connections and tending to your mental health can look different for different people, so it's important that you tailor this accordingly. For me personally, this difficult time in my life will be filled with movie nights with my best girlfriends, day dates with my grandma, and lots of exercise to take my mind off of the abandonment. These months won't be easy, but I know I will make it through.

If you struggle with abandonment issues or have a history of addiction, it is imperative that you seek sound advice from mental health and addiction professionals who are aware of your specific needs.

Get help now before it's too late. We all struggle with being alone sometimes. However, you do not have to face your addiction by yourself.

APA Reference
Richardson, A. (2020, September 17). Facing Abandonment Issues in Addiction Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 16 from

Author: Amanda Richardson

Amanda is a professional health and wellness writer who specializes in creating content tailored to the female audience. She is especially passionate about social injustice, mental health, and addiction recovery.

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For more information on Amanda's professional writing services, be sure to check her out at Richardson Writing Influence.

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