Let’s face it. Life can through some hurdles at you that no one can prepare for no matter what. Unfortunately, life doesn’t stop for those of you in recovery, and that means the good, the bad, the sad, and the ugly. Life is tough, and as a person in addiction recovery, you are fragile. It is important to have an arsenal of tools to help you get through life’s harder challenges whether you expect them or not.
Addiction Recovery is Emotional to Begin With
Addiction recovery is emotional, especially in the beginning, and there is a very simple reason why. For the first time in a long time, you are facing life without the aid of drugs and alcohol. Prior to your recovery, you most likely dealt with any situation – good or bad – with drugs or alcohol. If you think about it, any time you celebrated you most likely reached for your substance of choice because you figured you deserve it. In a bad situation, like a breakup or death in the family, you numbed out your feelings with alcohol or drugs.
From the first day you decide to work on staying sober, you take on the responsibility of facing your emotions. Especially in the beginning, you will have to face a lot of things from your past and from your addiction that you have never faced sober. During treatment, you will experience a lot of emotions, which your therapists, doctors, and peers will help you to get through. It is important to work on this as much as you can during treatment with professional help so that you are strong enough to do it on your own when it becomes necessary.
Tools to Help You Stay Grounded During Addiction Recovery
As we stated, one of the first things you can do is get as much as you can from your therapists and doctors during treatment. They have seen plenty of people in your shoes and know what works and what doesn’t while trying to stay sober. Addiction recovery is all about learning from past mistakes, finding new ways to come, and engaging those healthy coping skills to help you get past any of life’s hurdles. Long-term treatment is a good idea so that you continue to have someone you can turn to in a crisis. This could range from an IOP program to having a therapist to talk to. It by no means needs to be a full-time commitment. AA or NA meetings are a great option as well.
Another thing to be mindful of is the situations you put yourself into. For example, it is recommended that you don’t get into a new relationship for the first year after becoming sober. One of the biggest reasons for this is because new relationships can be volatile, and they often fail. During a painful breakup or argument, you may be tempted to relapse. This would be avoided if you were using this valuable time to focus on yourself rather than a relationship. Always remember that you are the priority and love and relationships can come later.
Some things can’t be avoided, like a medical diagnosis or a death of a loved one. There is no doubt that these will be difficult to cope with. First and foremost, remind yourself that there is nothing worth giving up your sobriety. This is a time in which you need to be strong and as stable as possible for yourself and everyone around you. To achieve that, you need support. This can come in the form of friends and family who encourage your sobriety and have your best interest in mind. As stated, getting professional help for your mental health is nothing to be ashamed of, and is the right thing to do.
Finding a connection with a higher power in addiction recovery is immensely helpful. This doesn’t mean that you need to associate with a religion. Rather, you can find something to have faith in that can be anything – nature, the moon, or universe – whatever speaks to you. Knowing you are part of a bigger picture can help you a lot through tough times.