Why Addicts Struggle in Early Recovery
Finding the courage to commit to sobriety is a journey all on its own. Recovering addicts live each day with one thing in mind, give in or be strong. Those new to life in recovery are still readjusting to life without alcohol or their drug of choice.
In order to achieve and maintain sobriety, one has to undergo lifestyle changes. These changes will affect every aspect of a person’s life from relationships to hobbies, to coping skills and so on. Particularly in early recovery, such drastic changes can make individuals vulnerable to relapse.
Below you’ll find some of the most common struggles alcoholics and addicts encounter in early recovery:
Guilty By Association
Those we keep around us in recovery can make or break us. Keeping company that still use whether it be family, friends or co-workers will most certainly make things difficult. Certain smells and sights alone can trigger cravings so it’s best to stir clear of those who still abuse substances.
Go to meetings or find new hobbies or activities where you will be able to make sober friends.
Anxiety, anger or frustration can trigger a relapse. Even Small irritations can be enough to bring on intense emotions in early recovery. These emotions, if left unchecked, can make a person more vulnerable to self-medicating.
Emotions such as Depression and anxiety in the past were dealt with poorly, driving you to self-medicate. But establishing new, positive, coping strategies will allow you to deal with strong feelings appropriately.
Emotions are a normal part of being human, so finding balance is essential. A healthy diet, exercise, proper rest, daily routine, counseling, and meetings can make all the difference in early recovery.
Trouble going to sleep is common in early recovery and could lead to relapse. The most beneficial natural methods to a quality night’s rest involve physical activity, meditation, relaxing sleep environment and even journaling things that keep you up during the night.
Shame and Guilt
Once hooked on drugs or alcohol, people hurt the friends or family they take care about. They manipulate, lie, cheat and also break the law.
As soon as they are sober, they must acknowledge the damage they’ve caused, make amends and strive to rebuild trustful relationships. You have to learn to forgive yourself as well as others.
Flaws and All
It’s tough to embrace the reality that everybody slips ups and even more difficult to actually set realistic expectations. If you can’t escape your mistakes with the help of drugs or alcohol, learning how to accept flaws is a part of coping. In a healthy way.
Relationships and Codependency
Dating in early recovery isn’t generally recommended. Many people haven’t entirely learned who they really are and why they sought out drugs and alcohol to cope, so they definitely aren’t equipped to meet the needs of another person.
Romantic relationships are a significant factor to relapse, as many individuals merely shift their addiction to drugs or alcohol to an addiction to relationships or even intimacy.
Even though romantic relationships are typically difficult in early recovery, isolation is just as dangerous.
The pressure to get and keep employment could very well be a sizeable source of anxiety and stress for the newly sober. Anyone who has returned a high-stress career that played a major part in their addiction in the first place will definitely feel stress or overwhelmed.
Setbacks are a normal part of addiction recovery, with regards to all obstacles in early recovery , every one of the above challenges are surmountable for those who have a plan, a strong support system and willpower to live happy and healthy life free of addiction .