How Past Emotional Trauma Can Affect Addiction Recovery
Brigitte November 9, 2017 No Comments

Sometimes we give ourselves too little credit for the emotional trauma we withstand. We think that we can just take everything and keep getting beat down and don’t need help to get through things. You may even find that you keep things to yourself instead of talking about them in order to avoid being a burden on others. You think that you need to handle things by yourself. The truth is this causes more harm than good. It can make you try to self-medicate using drugs or alcohol, and it is something that needs to be resolved in order to enter addiction recovery.

Treating Emotional Trauma During Addiction Recovery

Here at Willow Place, we take emotional trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder seriously. It is an integral part of our addiction recovery program. We understand that things can have various effects on people, and as long as it does have an effect, it is important enough to get treated.

Like addiction and recovery, no two people are the same when it comes to trauma. One person may be able to withstand something like a death in the family, while another person gets brought down to their knees. There is no right or wrong response. People just react differently and have different situations they are dealing with. So, the first step is not to think anyone is judging you for your reaction.

Many times when you go through a traumatic event, you turn to drugs and alcohol as a crutch. Even something as simple and benign as having a glass of wine to “take the edge off” can turn into an alcohol addiction when someone is in a weak place mentally. One drink turns into a bottle and then you can’t function without drinking. It is a vicious cycle that is difficult to stop once it starts.

One of the worst things you can do is bottle things up and not speak about them. When things get pushed down, they will eventually spill over and explode. When it comes to addiction treatment, we make sure to address your emotional trauma head on to find healthy ways to cope with it. We bring the event to the surface to discuss it and speak about what happened. While this can be painful, it helps to process the trauma, recognize that it was a real event and that it is in the past. By putting it behind you, it is possible to look towards the future and realize that whatever happened in your past doesn’t need to define you.

Addiction Recovery is Made Possible by Addressing Trauma

During treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, you will learn healthy ways of coping with your emotional trauma and ways that you can move past it. For example, you may find that exercise, yoga, or writing is a healthy outlet for you to occupy your mind when you have any intense feelings that are associated with the event. Also, you need to realize that feelings are ok, even when they are bad. You need to go through them and ride the roller coaster in order to be able to come out on the other side ok.

Keeping things bottled up will only prevent you from being able to move past your addiction in a healthy way. If you keep things inside, they will always be right there, ready to resurface and send you on the path to a relapse. As part of your addiction recovery, you must be willing to face these things head on in order to resolve them and move forward.

It may not sound pleasant, but it is worth it. Just like going through detox from your drug of choice, you can rest assured that in treatment you will be in a safe place. A place where you can be emotional and go through the ups and downs of rehab in an extremely safe environment. It won’t be easy, but by going through it, you’ll be set up for a great chance at recovery from drugs or alcohol.

 

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