When you are struggling with complex emotions like depression, anxiety, trauma or grief, modern American culture teaches us alcohol and drugs are the easiest way to feel better. Unfortunately, while you might find the first days of usage relaxing, continued use of drugs and alcohol can cause a cascade of behavioral and mental health issues.
In early sobriety, you may be caught off-balance by the variety of emotions you feel after years of numbing yourself with various substances. During active addiction, feeling virtually nothing can become your daily norm.
In the process of recovery, all the emotions you haven’t fully dealt with might pop up unexpectedly, not to mention any new feelings that have begun to emerge in your process of getting clean and sober. To help you deal with these highs and lows, here are a few tips.
Go Through Therapy
One-on-one meetings with a therapist who understands what you’re feeling and how to manage various issues as they occur in your life will help you realize the root of your addiction and help you work through it.
Various types of treatment, such as the following, help people in recovery work through their difficulties.
- Case management
- 12-step coaching
- Aftercare advice
- Attending addiction meetings
- Peer support and guidance
In addiction recovery, you have a path to walk, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. You have family members who love and support you, as well as friends you have met along the way. If you’re having a difficult day, be sure you have a list of people to reach out to who will offer a sympathetic ear and help you get through whatever emotional challenges you’re experiencing.
Take Time for Yourself
Everyone needs self-care, but that is especially true of people recovering from a substance addiction. In sustained recovery, self-care is a vital coping mechanism that will help you stay calm and manage triggers and cravings. As part of your recovery routine, make sure to build in time every day to slow down and focus on doing something that helps you feel more relaxed.
Self-care activities look different for everyone, but ideas to try could include:
- Writing in your journal
- Taking a walk
- Having lunch with a friend
- Enjoying a cup of herbal tea
- Reading a book
- Getting a massage
- Doing yoga
Once you learn how to set goals in addiction treatment, you will give yourself something productive to work on, which will help eliminate distractions and keep you on a more even emotional keel. Working with a therapist will be to your advantage here, because you have the benefit of an objective observer who can help you recognize emerging patterns and see warning signs of a looming emotional problem on the horizon. That way, you can nip it in the bud before it threatens your recovery.
Put Your Needs First
If you need a “safety net” between leaving a recovery program and transitioning back into your everyday life, Segue Recovery Support is here for you. We offer a safe, sober lifestyle that helps extend the life skills learned in treatment and offers you the opportunity to start over while minimizing your risk of relapsing. Contact us to learn more.