People use drugs and alcohol for a multitude of reasons. But when drug use goes beyond recreation and into the realm of abuse, the substances become more than just a fun time; they become a method of unhealthy coping or dealing with pain, whether it be physical or emotional. Early sobriety often resurfaces that pain and new healthy ways of dealing with these feelings need to be developed. The following article explains why some people are unhappy with sobriety and what can be done about it.
Loss of Relationships in Early Recovery
Active addictions often lead users into some unhealthy behaviors, causing pain or hardship for those around them. Loved ones distancing themselves from addicts and their havoc is completely normal and to be expected. Unfortunately, these boundaries usually stay intact even after sobriety has begun and should be anticipated to continue; just because the addict is clean and doing well, doesn’t mean there is no guarantee of relapse or further pain inflicted from their addiction. There’s also no guarantee that the friend or family member who has distanced themselves will ever come around again.
Sobriety is Not ALWAYS a Perfect and Happy Place
The newly sobered addict will want to reach out to the people and their past to share their successes and make amends. But not everyone is going to be receptive and this is an extremely painful fact. A newly sober addict may have to realize and deal with this. The best way to overcome these feelings is to talk about them with a counselor and/or other addicts who will understand. It’s only then that the recovering addict may be able to come to peace with the loss of their relationships, appreciating them for what they were without an expectation of reparations.
Learn About the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
Since so many social situations end up being risky for a recovering addict, the newly sober person finds themselves bored in comparison to their previous life. This is of course an illusion created by the subconscious addict brain to trick the adduct into thinking their life was better before. It wasn’t. Fortunately, the joy to be had from sobriety is much more fulfilling and long-lasting than any that drinking or drugging could provide. But it does take commitment to abstinence and a program with a support system before this joy is apparent. Seeing these other addicts who have overcome this stage and entered into the bliss of sobriety is integral in showing newcomers that anything is possible once the substances are out of the picture.
Do the Work to Stay Sober!
Since that pain resurfaces with sobriety, abstinence is often not enough to get and stay happy in your new life. This is why most programs have 12 steps and getting sober is step zero! Doing the work is essential to achieving what the old-timers have. For most people, sobriety is lifelong work and many with years of clean time have done the steps multiple times! Immersing oneself in recovery is the most effective way of discovering long-term contentment. So take a leadership position, head a meeting or sponsor a newcomer! There’s a certain amount of joy to be found in helping people who are going through what you have gone through.
Aftercare and Continued Sober Support
Many treatment centers offer aftercare support for those in early recovery, including Evoke Wellness. If you or someone you know is struggling with finding joy in their sobriety, there is hope. Contact us today for ideas and tips on staying sober and being happy about it. When addiction is concerned, relapse can be deadly. You owe it to yourself to receive all the benefits of overcoming a dependency.