Recovering from Addiction: What to Expect When You’re Getting SoberMay 6, 2019 5:47 pm
Recovering from a drug addiction or alcoholism is not easy work, but in the words of Mae West, “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.”
If you are reading this, I can only imagine that you have identified in yourself or another, that abusing substances or alcohol has caused a great deal of pain. Usually, abusing substances has been the solution to escaping pain or emptiness, but at this point, your solution has become the problem. Visiting our addiction treatment center’s resources is your way of acknowledging the problem. This is a major step in beginning the stages of recovering from your addiction, and Royal Life Centers at The Bridges is here to help you— offering guidance and support each step of the way.
Sobriety is hard to achieve, and even more challenging to maintain, but luckily, with the help of comprehensive addiction treatment and a variety of aftercare options, we lessen the challenge and will provide you with skills and tools to make getting and maintaining sobriety part of your life. Sobriety will become a way that you live, and you will be able to live a healthy, happy, meaningful, and sober life with ease. Our addiction treatment prepares guests for the balance of recovery and life, and gives each guest confidence as they move forward.
Recovering from addiction and alcoholism is very possible, and despite the challenges you may face, living a life of recovery will be well worth it. Here are some things you can (and should) expect in the recovery process:
- Facing Consequences
Usually, a variety of consequences may be the driving force that pushed you into sobriety. Facing these consequences is an integral part of your recovery journey. As an addict or alcoholic, we must face the consequences of our addiction— whether they be legal, financial, interpersonal, or personal. Our consequences are just one impact addiction has had, so facing these consequences brings you closer to overcoming the addiction that has altered your life— the time to take back control of your life is now. Facing consequences head-on will give you the motivation to re-build a life rooted in health, happiness, responsibility, and meaning. You will learn about the various consequences you’ve faced, why, and how to change so that they don’t reappear in your future.
Often in active addiction, we have grown numb and callous as drugs or alcohol have seemingly made our emotions disappear. One thing you should anticipate while you are getting sober, is getting your emotions back. This is one of the hardest (and most rewarding) experiences you can have in recovery, as your most troubling emotions will come back full-force, so will your best emotions— like happiness, joy, love, and excitement. The emotional rollercoaster you are dreading is not as dramatic or unmanageable as you think it will be, it is actually quite relieving and very human. Drugs and alcohol have robbed you of emotions and manageability for however long your substance abuse has lingered, in the moments where you are able to feel again, you are presented with an experience that offers you the opportunity to change.
In our addiction treatment at Royal Life Centers at The Bridges, we provide intensive therapies, including behavioral therapies. We use cognitive behavioral therapy to restructure the way that you think and dialectical behavioral therapy to teach you skills and tools that will aid in emotional regulation and distress tolerance. These tools and teachings will help you better understand your emotions and how to process through them in a healthy way.
Addicts and alcoholics operate according to instant gratification, and so part of recovery focuses on doing things that don’t yield results right away. The recovery process is not one of instant gratification, but it is one that provides lasting gratification. Your addiction recovery journey will take time, but it will also become easier with time. Soon you will see the results of the work you are putting in, as you begin to rebuild your life. The changes you make now will have a lasting impact on who you are. With time, you will see the endless results of the changes you made and healthy behaviors you have practiced. Seeing the impact of these changes is one of the most rewarding feelings in recovery; but these rewards take time.
- Just Because You’re Sober…
Just because you’re sober now, doesn’t mean: that the consequences of your active addiction disappear, it doesn’t mean that the relationships you harmed will be automatically restored, it doesn’t mean that everything will be easy, it doesn’t mean that life will have no obstacles, and it definitely doesn’t mean that your bad behaviors have ceased to exist. All of these things take work, like a solid effort, to restore in recovery. Also, just because you’re sober now, doesn’t mean you are cured; you need to do things to maintain your sobriety and keep yourself healthy on a mental, physical and spiritual level.
- Be Prepared to Make Changes
In addiction recovery, you will be adopting new healthy habits to replace the bad ones. Healthy habit-making will set you up for a life of health, happiness, and meaning in sobriety. You will have to prepare yourself to try new things, meet new people, discover new hobbies, and find ways to enrich your recovery. You cannot be sober and have the exact same lifestyle, you need a new lifestyle to match the new person that you will become. Allow yourself to make changes that serve the new you.
- Be Prepared to Lose Friends
Speaking of making changes, being in recovery will give you the opportunity to reevaluate many relationships in your life. Any toxic relationships, you will be encouraged to drop. In addition to the many “friends” who will no longer associate with you because of your sobriety, there are countless people who you may need to cut off in the best interest of your health and recovery. Any “friends” or relationships that are not conducive to your recovery, must be let go. This includes anyone who brings toxicity into your life, including: friends who you used to use with, anyone who is triggering or a threat to your sobriety, relationships that lack reciprocity, relationships that hold the power to emotionally trigger you into a dark place, any relationships that don’t support your recovery, etc.
- Tap into Hidden Strength
In recovery, you can expect to tap into a source of hidden strength that you never knew you had. Overcoming an addiction takes courage and strength, and this courage and strength will present itself to you as you continue to do the next right thing. You may think that you have been beaten by your addiction, but you will find that you are able to tap into a source of strength unbeknownst to you— an endless strength that will continue to help you through the recovery process.
With our intensive therapies, each guest has the opportunity to really explore themselves. We know many addicts and alcoholics struggle with their identity once substances are removed from the equation. Many people in recovery feel like they are left not knowing the answer to the philosophical question of “who am I?” Our intensive therapies allow guests to dig deep into their past, present, and futures, discovering what they want out of life, what they like to do, what they value, etc.— and in the process, guests begin to uncover who they are. Drugs and alcohol distort our self-perception, which is why our therapy brings guests back to their roots.
- Get Ready to Face Behavioral Issues
Taking drug or alcohol addiction out of the equation doesn’t automatically make the rest of your behaviors follow suit in your journey to better health. Sometimes, removing a drug or alcohol addiction will cause behavioral addictions to sprout or intensify in its absence, like an eating disorder, gambling, sex and love addictions, etc. In addition to other behavioral addictions, other problematic behaviors can arise— like looking for validation from the opposite sex, impulsivity, compulsive shopping, excessive eating, etc. Basically, you could be replacing one addiction with another, engaging in behaviors that give you the same type of dopamine rush that you once found in drugs or alcohol. In addiction recovery, you will need to face all behaviors that are not conducive to your recovery.
- Admit your Faults
Part of addiction recovery is taking responsibility for your actions. This means you must understand and admit to your faults. Although this process seems draining, it is actually a freeing experience that boasts change in your life. In recovery, you will have the opportunity to restore everything you once harmed— including anything from your goals to your interpersonal relationships. With our behavioral therapies, guests will learn about interpersonal effectiveness, which is vital in teaching the skills needed to communicate effectively and is the foundation of reciprocal relationships. In admitting your faults, you are able to learn from them and move forward with confidence that you will be different in your abilities to show up as a person with reinforced values.
Although the obstacles in life don’t just go away, you will be able to handle them effectively and with ease. Part of the beauty of sobriety is a clear mind, a strong focus, and a strength that conquers all obstacles. You will find yourself able to handle circumstances that used to seemingly break you. Sobriety will give you the power to handle any stress and circumstances with ease, the situation may be difficult, but you will see any obstacle as a series of achievable tasks that you can handle without breaking down. This is perhaps one of the best gifts of sobriety.
The Biggest Thing to Expect
Expectations can be dangerous, however, one thing you can definitely expect from sobriety is that it will change your life for the better. Get started now, bettering yourself and your life is only one phone call away. Take the courageous first step and reach out to us, to see how we can help you on this journey in recovery. Expect positive change, confidence, manageability, and the power to control your story; you will be able to finally create a reality that you will never need or want to escape from. These promises come with doing the work in recovery, and we will help you each step of the way.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, please reach out to our addiction specialists at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837. Our team of addiction specialists make themselves available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.