Embarking on a journey of recovery and a life of sobriety is challenging from a physical, mental, and emotional standpoint because it presents new challenges while not eliminating all challenges from when you were struggling with addiction. The physical challenges are fairly straightforward but still difficult, while the mental and emotional difficulties can show up in many forms that make them hard to talk about and deal with.
We are going to focus on the emotional burden of going through recovery and how you can better overcome the unique challenges it presents.
Managing emotions is often a major cause of the abuse of drugs or alcohol. Many people turn to drugs or alcohol when emotional feelings become too strong to handle easily. This means that handling emotions without this crutch can be an immensely difficult activity. Additionally, many new emotions are felt while you address personal relationships and lifestyle changes in your newfound life of sobriety.
It is vital to understand how you are feeling and why you are feeling that way, even if it takes a lot of energy and learning. Understanding and acknowledging your emotions will enable you to stay sober, grow as a person, and better enjoy your life in sobriety.
So how do you do it?
Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all guide to handling emotions, but there are important tips and guidelines that will help you handle emotions of all kinds.
Remain Open to Change
Embarking on a journey of recovery means you have made drastic life changes already, which is a great start to staying open to change. Now that you are living a life of sobriety you are going to have to change many things.
The first major thing you will have to change is the relationships in your life. Everything from your relationship with your parents to your casual friendships will come under the microscope. Diving deep into these important relationships will put a great strain on you emotionally because you may find you need to cut ties with people you trusted in a past life.
It is important to know that these feelings will present themselves while remembering that the short-term emotional strain will end up leaving you in a better position. After you properly address your relationships you will be left with a support system you can trust, instead of a group of people that do not have your best interests in mind.
Manage Your Expectations
Like anything in life worth doing, embarking on a life of sobriety and learning to understand your emotions is something that will take time to properly figure out. You must go into this process with reasonable expectations.
You will not be able to handle everything in a short period of time, instead, you will be faced with emotional issues for the rest of your life. If you are open-minded and handle your expectations effectively then the issues you face will become fewer and further apart. Meanwhile, your ability to deal with the associated feelings will become better and better.
Embrace Your Feelings
Before your life of sobriety, there is a good chance you used substances to alter your mind when difficult emotions presented themselves, because of this it is important to completely reevaluate your process.
Instead of stuffing your feelings deep down inside to deal with problems on another day, it is vital that you start embracing and evaluating your emotions. This process will be far more painful in the moment but will lead to better feelings in the future.
When you come across a difficult moment on your journey to recovery it is important to think about what has caused you to feel this way. Once you have addressed the cause of the negative feelings it is then vital that you properly think and process them. Truly understanding how you feel will then enable you to take action to limit feelings like that in the future.
Limit is the key word there, you must remember that no matter how in touch with your emotions and in control of your life you are you will still be faced with difficult times out of your control. Only by understanding and embracing your feelings will you be able to properly handle similar challenges in the future.
At the same time when you meet a goal or meet a new person, it is important to repeat the same process. Think about what is making you feel good and remember how you feel while experiencing these emotions.
It is vital to balance the good with the bad and remember to not get too high with the good feelings or too low with the bad feelings. Balancing these feelings will bring you peace of mind and joy throughout your journey of recovery that will bring meaning to your life of sobriety.
Emotions and dealing with the feelings that come with them is a deeply personal space, but it can still help to have a support system around you that you can trust. Support systems can guide you on your journey or just lend an ear to let you know that you are not alone.
Support systems come in the form of family, friends, and professional support groups, all working together to help you battle back against stress, overwhelming feelings, and challenges. It is vital that you stay connected with these support groups so that you always have somewhere to turn when things get tough.
As you enter your life of sobriety and continue on a journey to recovery you will be faced with difficult emotions in a number of different aspects of your life. Only through remaining open to change, managing your expectations, embracing your feelings, and staying connected will you be able to grow as a person and move out of the difficult periods of your newfound life.