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Updated: Apr 1

A collaboration

A person standing alone on a rock in at sea

This post is for you.

I received a Facebook notification on my phone, and the preview lines said: Dear Low No Drinker Magazine, I feel really lonely. I have no friends and am struggling with my journey all on my own."

Of course, I clicked the link straight away, wanting to reach out to this person who had been so wise as to recognise why they were struggling and so brave to ask for a guiding hand, but heartbreakingly, by the time I clicked through, the message was gone. Deleted? Vanished? A figment of my imagination?

I don't know.

But I do know that if one person took the time to write that message, whatever led to its subsequent disappearance, countless others out there will feel the same way. So, as I said, this post is for you.

This sober curios/ sobriety path upon which we find ourselves is fraught with challenges, for some it can feel like every new day brings a new set of challenges to conquer - can you imagine how exhausting that feels?

There are myriad reasons why you may find yourself feeling that struggle more acutely than you expected, from decades of habit formation, familial strain, peer pressure and the pressure which we impose upon ourselves.

I don't know if 'Lonely's' message was on the lighter side of the spectrum with feelings of

'My friends don't get it, and it's hard, but I know they still love me.'

Or if it was a more intense overwhelm,

'I'm doing this all by myself, and it's just too hard; what's the point?!'

But wherever they find themselves, I want them and you to know that you are not alone!

I know it's easy to palm that off as a cheesy love-song title, but it is so true, and it's so important that anyone who feels that way knows they have people in their corner; you have us in your corner – you just might not know it yet.

So I asked three of the friends I've met along my own sober curious journey to share their advice and guidance for anyone who is feeling alone on theirs:

(There is a list of resources at the bottom of this post if you want to jump straight to finding the right group for your needs)

Pearl - Low No Drinker Agony Aunt

Low No Drinker Magazine's very own Agony Aunt

Recovery is a journey littered with paradox. Getting sober has a far softer landing when there is support available, but ultimately, it is something only we can do for ourselves. We are alone together, trying to navigate a path to freedom, something which gives me great comfort.

Having gone from being an isolated booze hound to an isolated sober person, the theme of loneliness is one that resonates deeply with me.

As a drinker, my relationship with alcohol left me feeling completely alone, even when in a social situation. At such occasions, I was preoccupied with how much I could drink and obsessing over what and how fast others were drinking. I was never present.

It came as a bit of a surprise to find that in my alcohol-free life, I hadn't come wafting into Soberville on a pink cloud of ecstasy and motivation. Instead, I stumbled and fell at my destination with a hefty dose of depression and extreme fatigue.

My alcoholic disconnection to the world was painfully exposed, and it affected my mind, body and soul. Feeling low in this way isn't the ideal starting point for getting out there and making connections.

I went to AA 18 months into my sobriety and finally found a room full of people with the same experiences as me. No judgements, just support and understanding. No soundbites or filtered versions of reality. I felt hope for the first time in decades.

There are other programs available and support groups. I have a friend who attends online meetings with, and there is MATE (Men and their emotions), a members-only group on facebook, offering a safe, non-judgemental space for men to talk with each other, founded by Dapper Laughs (Menace to Sobriety Podcast.)

Go and find your tribe, they are waiting for you.

Matt Gardiner, recovery & sobriety coach

Matt Gardiner

Sobriety & Recovery Coach

If you are feeling alone in your sobriety journey - know that you, ironically, are not alone in this experience.

It is a very common and natural stage of sobriety.

There are a few key contributors to feeling this sensation of loneliness:

You're pulling back. You're pausing certain friendships and social gatherings to protect yourself.

This pulling back is often accompanied by the fear of missing out.

Chances are you are also going through the various stages of grief at this point, as well.

You are feeling the separation of your previous identity to form this new identity as a non-drinker.

I offer you to reframe this time by yourself as 'solitude' as opposed to loneliness.

Solitude is a positive state of being alone, providing an opportunity for self-reflection, introspection, and personal growth. I imagine that sounds like a more accurate description at this point.

You also need to know that it is okay to feel lonely.

In fact, on the other side of this loneliness, this solitude, may be exactly what you need to experience to get to the next version of yourself. The best, most authentic version of yourself.

If you are casting judgment on yourself for feeling lonely, try saying this out loud:

"I am allowed to feel lonely", and then take a deep breath in and sigh out the exhale.

This will act as a pattern disruption for the inner voice that adds to the feelings of judgment.

My final suggestion on this is to use technology to your advantage.

There are SO many amazing online sober communities on Instagram, TikTok, Reddit and Facebook, to name a few.

Depending on where you live, you can also search online for an in-person support group in your area hosting daily meetings (AA or otherwise).

While the opposite of loneliness is connection, it's also been said the opposite of addiction is connection.

"If you are never alone, you cannot fully know yourself"

Duncan McLeod, writer & artist

Duncan McLeod @asoberlifewwht

Writer & Artist: A sober Life

Hey lonely, brave person

I am so happy to hear that you exist and that you have embarked on the same life-giving path as so many of us.

Welcome! Welcome!

I am so sorry to hear that you feel alone.

You are most definitely NOT alone.

But I understand how it can feel that way sometimes.

The truth is that you are part of an amazing group of people who have somehow managed to dig deep enough within themselves to make difficult changes.

People treading the recovery/alcohol-free path feel a kinship with each other and a deep respect because we all know, in part, what each of us has, and is, going through.

We share a deeply meaningful experience. We share a bond.

The fight which you are in, we are in too. It isn't easy, but it's better with support.

We are comrades, brothers and sisters. We help and encourage each other as best we can.

You are so brave to have reached out, and I encourage you to reach out more.

Come find us.

You are never alone. It just looks like it sometimes.

There are millions of people in exactly the same space as you (or who were) who would joyfully stand with you in solidarity, presence and love.

We are people who know those thoughts, hear those voices, feel that pain and struggle with those heavy loads.

We are just out of sight, that's all.

You just need to change your viewing platform - as you are so brilliantly doing!

We are on Instagram, and we are at AA, and many other places besides.

We are told that the opposite of addiction is connection, so come and connect.

We might fight certain battles alone, but we fight them alone TOGETHER!

Duncan x

Denise Hamilton-Mace, Founder & Editor of Low No Drinker Magazine

Me, Denise

There are hundreds, nay thousands, of people out there who want to hold your hand, give you a hug, listen and talk with you, or just sit in silence and be, while you take the time to assess your relationship with alcohol and find the path that is right for you.

I hope this post finds you & I hope you find what you need x

Professional support

Social support & events (for events taking place across the UK)

Please feel free to drop me an email and let me know who you'd like me to add to this list so we can make sure that everyone is able to find the support model that is right for them -


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