Taking the first step to getting help for substance abuse is by far the most challenging. But, deciding that you want to get sober isn’t the only challenge you’ll face during early recovery. Unfortunately, many are unprepared for all that they may experience during their time getting sober. So, when they experience challenges or difficulties along the way, they’re more likely to become upset. And, may lose sight of their recovery goals.
To help prepare for recovery, it’s helpful to know what you can expect. Especially, during the beginning, as this can be the most critical and challenging part of recovery for many. In this article, we’ll discuss 5 things you may experience in early recovery that may shock you, or that you didn’t know. This way, you can better understand what to expect in the first few months of sobriety. This way, you can tackle these challenges as they come; one at a time.
1. Your Cravings Might Transfer to Your Dreams
Once you start to meet people who are also in recovery, you’ll surely begin to hear stories about vivid, using dreams. It’s not uncommon for people in early recovery to have dreams about using drugs or alcohol, and this may come as a surprise. But, in reality, this is probably only true because in the beginning, you’re likely to think about your sobriety and cravings during the day. And, worry about whether or not you’ll be able to maintain sobriety. So, these worries and thoughts can illustrate themselves inside of dreams.
2. You Might Have to Stomach Losing Some Friends
Losing friends is never easy. But, sometimes, it’s a must for successful recovery. Especially, if your friends don’t support your sobriety or are using drugs or alcohol themselves. While this is certainly not something anyone wants to do, it’s important to surround yourself with ONLY people who have your best interests in mind. And, right now, your best interest is staying sober and maintaining recovery.
Often, past friendships fade away naturally as you begin to move forward and better yourself. But, other times, you may have to be upfront and let your friends know that you need a break in your friendship so you can work on yourself.
Don’t worry. You’re sure to meet many new people in treatment that share your new values. And, who may even understand how you’re feeling and what you’re going through – as they’re experiencing the same thing for themselves.
3. You May Have Extreme Mood Swings
When you’re used to turning to alcohol or other substances to ease the pain of your unwanted emotions, it gets hard to manage emotions without this crutch. So, often, many people find themselves showcasing extreme moods in early recovery. But, don’t worry – this won’t last forever. During treatment, you’ll be given the tools you need to address and manage unwanted emotions so that you can conquer them without the need for mind-altering substances.
4. You Should Watch What You Eat
Drug abuse is often accompanied by weight gain or weight loss. In either case, it’s important to address these issues in early recovery. And, develop new skills for healthy eating. This way, your body can get the nourishment it needs to heal. Plus, give you tools to use outside of treatment so you can nourish your body in a way that promotes your sobriety and wellbeing.
Here at Willow Place for Women, we understand the importance of proper nutrition and nourishing our bodies during recovery. So, we provide women in our programs with educational resources and nutritional therapy that teaches them how to eat with their mental health in mind.
5. You May Feel Unlike Yourself
It’s normal to feel weird during early recovery, as you’re likely used to living a life of active addiction. Certainly, this isn’t an indication that things are going badly, but that you’re not in your comfort zone. And this is a good thing! If you’re feeling awkward or not like yourself, just remember that you will soon feel more like yourself than you ever have before. This is because you’ll finally be experiencing your true, unaltered emotions. And, experiencing life with clarity – free from the haze of addiction.
Get Help for Substance Abuse From Willow Place for Women
Here at Willow Place for Women, we offer outpatient treatment for women struggling with substance abuse and other mental health issues.
If you or a loved one needs help, we’re here for you. Contact us on our website or give us a call at 1-888-651-4212.