So abstinence is simply not using, but what is recovery? Recovery is a multifaceted, necessary and ongoing process. A common misunderstanding is that the addict will learn what he needs to learn in treatment, go home and be done. We are all somewhat conditioned into that sort of mentality, and because in general addicts don’ t adapt well to change, they want to see an end in sight – “when will this be over so I can get on with my life?”. Couple that with the feeling that so much time has already been lost, the impatience and immediacy will become apparent right off the bat.
Dealing with Life
But the need to learn better living skills and to be supported in the process is so important to long-term sobriety that nearly all forms of treatment include instructions for continual care and relapse prevention. If one’s financial issues have left him on the brink of sanity, if all one’s relationships are in turmoil, or if he can’t keep a job because he can’t get along with others and be on time, those issues will certainly rear their ugly heads, abstinent or not. Without coping skills and reflective insight, the addict most likely revert to his old coping method – escaping reality by using.Read more: Recovery Help
Emotional Ups and Downs in Sobriety
Early sobriety is fraught with ups and downs, mood swings, adjustments and unresolved issues that create confusion at best, depression and hopelessness at worst. Not only are brain chemicals adjusting to the change, everything in life may seem different. The addict literally needs to relearn how to live, since judgment and consciousness have became skewed through the mire of addiction. Plus, coping with the immediate gratification a mood altering substance provides is no longer viable. With education, ongoing mentoring (with professionals as well as by other recovering addicts), and continual engagement in learning new methods of handling old problems, a recovering addict can expect to gain a level of emotional maturity that his addiction has robbed him of. Recovery is less about “busy work” and more about commitment to acquire skills to lead a happier, healthier life.
Testimony has proven that an addict without recovery (sometimes called “dry” or a “dry drunk”) becomes mostly unhappy as the mountain of problems becomes ever more evident as time goes on – not to mention the new ones he may be inadvertently creating. Many “dry” addicts will relapse if all they see ahead is a bleak future. Many have even lost the ability to have fun without being under the influence. Those who have went before know the solutions, both immediate and then down the line as one progresses through the stages of recovery. Well meaning family and friends aren’t really equipped to provide the type of support called for, because continued escapism has interrupted the normal growth pattern others experience. It has been said that once the addiction has taken hold, maturation has been hindered. Addicts don’t learn to handle things, they learn to escape from them.
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