Dealing with Emotions in Recovery

While using drugs or alcohol, emotions often take a backseat to what seems to be one overarching concern: getting the next fix. However, after treatment begins and the recovery process is initiated, chances are that many of latent feelings and emotions that were suppressed during your addiction will come roaring back. It is important to assess these feelings, and to make a conscious effort to deal with them in a way that won’t infringe on the recovery process.
During addiction, individuals often feel isolated and cut off from the “normal world,” and are more content to spend time with friends that engage in the same activities. Once sober, then, those feelings of loneliness and isolation may quickly morph into a desire to make new friends. This is a great desire to have, and is certainly advisable to pursue, as long as the new friends have no connection to the addiction you once had, or its triggers.
Additionally, in sobriety, you may feel overwhelming joy, empathy, or sadness at the oddest of times, and make associations with things that you never knew could be associated. These feelings are tricky to navigate. If your associations are linked to old triggers, or if they in any way cause you to crave in the slightest, you should talk to a professional right away. He/she will be able to teach you some practical coping methods, and show you ways to build a strong “mind-body connection” that will hopefully give you more control over these urges. On the other hand, if the associations or feeling cause you to feel human, or to appreciate things you may have previously taken for granted, this is a good sign!
The key to all of this, according to researchers, is to become cognizant of your emotions. Keeping a small planner or agenda, and recording daily mood swings or thoughts (when you have the time) is a great way start tracking how and why you feel the way you feel. Specifically, record what you’re feeling at both high and low points of recovery. Believe it or not, the times you feel the most in control could also be the times you’re the most vulnerable, and visa versa. High, happy times are also known to trigger celebratory feelings that can wrongly encourage you to consider engaging in risky activities. Recording these feelings will help you better control them.
You’ll feel many things throughout the recovery process, and learning how to cope with these feelings will put you one step closer to conquering your addiction once and for all!

Recovery is a journey that starts with a phone call. At Oceanfront Recovery, we guarantee that phone call will be the best one you ever make. Don’t wait. Call us at (877)279-1777 today!