It’s often thought that the early stages of addiction recovery are most crucial in sustaining long-term abstinence from drugs and alcohol. While it may be true that the early days are among the most difficult, recovery is not a linear process. In fact, as time progresses, individuals may have to work harder to maintain sobriety. Negative emotions in recovery are commonplace and may progressive worsen if not addressed or managed.
Deciding to overcome an addiction is the first step in a long process, but with the right strategies and support, it’s possible. A lot of people who struggle with recovery can mistakenly view it as a weakness. In fact, addiction is a chronic disease defined by its relapsing nature. Many triggers of relapse should not be viewed as a weakness, but instead as a method to move toward long-term sobriety. There are different relapse prevention strategies to consider.
This article will take you through some of the emotions that can be experienced during the recovery process. In order to better manage emotions in recovery, it’s important to consider where they stem and what you can do to help find relief during times of struggle.
Mental Health And Addiction
Experiencing negative emotions is a very common starting point for people who begin to develop an addiction. Stress, anxiety, and depression can contribute or even exacerbate substance abuse issues. For one, these emotions can have a huge impact on mental health. Similarly, when recovery begins, negative emotions can be fueled by guilt, shame, and even anger. Additionally, family members who are within close proximity may also experience overwhelming emotions.
The recovery process can cause stress and an overwhelming desire to find immediately relief. One of the primary reasons for relapse is setting unrealistic expectations and the stress brought on by unmet goals.
With stress comes a sleuth of other emotions such as low self-esteem, guilt, and even shame. Instead, focusing your energy and thoughts on the positive aspects of recovery can help you to combat these feelings. Through dual diagnosis therapy and addiction treatment, individuals can learn the strategies and tools meant to help address negative emotions in recovery.
Family & Emotions During Recovery Process
It’s not uncommon for family members and friends to also experience strong emotions. Family who have a loved one suffering from substance use disorder (SUD) often endure a host of negative emotions. It make evoke feelings like sense of loss or helplessness when witnessing their loved one battle with addiction, while remaining unable to help.
On the other hand, family members can assume healthy roles and behaviors to help encourage or support recovery. For example, a family member may help a loved one by encouraging positive thoughts and promoting healthy lifestyle choices. Family can help by doing any of the following:
- Show non-judgmental love and support
- Encourage healthy habits like working out, or healthy eating
- Encourage treatment by also participating in family groups or programs
- Promote a sobriety nurturing home or safe space
- Create a healthy family environment that is communicative and honest
- Educate yourself on addiction as a disease
- Learn to set boundaries
Managing negative emotions in recovery begins on all fronts. Find family resources to help move you or other loved ones through the process of recovery.
Role of Emotions in Recovery
There are numerous stages of recovery that all have emotional impacts on an individual with SUD. One of the most important stages of recovery to be aware of is the final stage. This stage can be a difficult time for the client due to the emotional aspect of life after treatment. Reintegrating with society can bring rise to several different types of emotions, including negative ones.
One of the most common emotions to be felt during recovery is hopelessness. Lots of people feel hopeless during recovery as they struggle to imagine their lives after recovery. Common questions individuals may have include:
- How do I handle shame about my drug use?
- How do I begin to repair damaged relationships?
- What activities can help to overcome negative emotions?
Support groups at centers like AspenRidge can help you to stay on the right track and find a strong support network to keep you motivated.
Addiction And Relationships
Different relationships can be impacted by addiction, which is why it is important to have a strong support system to help you overcome the process. For people who suffer from addiction, the signs of substance abuse are not always evident.
Irritability, no motivation, weight loss, paranoia, and poor sleep can be a few signs of a larger issue. Spotting the signs of addiction may seem simple, but making sure that your loved one receives the right help and support is vital to recovery. AspenRidge offers a wide range of services to help clients during their recovery with strong support in place.
It is important to be aware that the feelings and emotions that are experienced by a person with an addiction can be caused by a variety of factors. During recovery in specific, however, negative emotions may be caused by withdrawal, internal conflict, and external triggers. It may not necessarily involve a family member directly.
Recognizing negative emotions can help prevent relapse and provide support when it’s needed most.
Emotions & Addiction Recovery Process
During the recovery process, relapse is a common stage. A person can experience mental relapse, physical relapse, and emotional relapse. Unfortunately, relapse can also increase negative emotions. In turn, these can hinder long-term recovery.
Honest communication about your feelings is very important. Having a strong support network is necessary as it can help you to deal with your emotions. On the other hand, isolation can intensify negative emotions and even increase likelihood of relapse. It’s important to focus, instead, on positive thoughts and outcomes.
Having a relapse prevention plan can help you to avoid relapsing, and it means that you need to do some self-reflecting. Thinking back to the reasons for your addiction can be distressing, but it is necessary to make changes in your life.
How AspenRidge Can Help
AspenRidge can help treat co-occurring disorders with lots of different support networks. There are several different support networks available at AspenRidge as they have very effective dual diagnosis treatment. This treatment helps the clients at AspenRidge to deal with managing their addiction but also offers support for other aspects of mental health.
As addiction and mental health are linked, dual diagnosis offers effective support for people at AspenRidge. Treatment is available in different forms, such as behavior therapy and trauma therapy, but they all aim to help the client’s recovery process.
What To Expect In The Recovery Process
Feelings of hopelessness and low self-esteem are common during recovery, which is why it is so important to have strong support systems in place.
As there is a strong link between mental health and addiction, dual diagnosis treatment from centers like AspenRidge can be very effective during the recovery process. Addressing emotions is not straightforward, but with a tailored approach, individuals can be more equipped to handle setbacks. Contact us directly at 855-281-5588.