When you're trying to overcome an alcohol addiction, the first few months that you spend sober are a critical time period. This is the time when you're most likely to experience a relapse. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of them is that recovery doesn't always look or feel like you think it will. When you don't know what to expect, it can be easy to backslide into behaviors that feel comfortable and routine for you, even if you know they're bad for you. Take a look at some important things that you should know about the early stages of alcohol addiction recovery.
It Starts Out Hard But Gets Easier
When you get used to numbing emotional or physical pain with a substance like alcohol, going without can be jarring. Even after the most acute withdrawal symptoms wear off, sober life can feel overwhelming, painful, and confusing. And when you feel that way every day, it can be easy to convince yourself that you'd be better off if you went back to drinking.
However, it's important to realize that you won't feel overwhelmed, pained, and confused forever. What is happening in the early days of recovery is that the coping skills that you need to deal with the everyday problems in life need to be rebuilt. If you stay the course and remain sober, you will rebuild these skills, and your days will be easier, and even pleasant. It's important to realize that the extreme negative feelings that you may have early in your recovery are a temporary condition that will fade with time.
You Need to Take Action
In the beginning, it can seem like recovery is all about not doing things. Not drinking, not going to places where alcohol is served, not associating with people who enable you to drink.
But recovery is as much about doing things as it is about not doing things. You will need to work on building healthy habits, learning new behaviors, and dealing with the underlying factors that led you to start drinking in the first place. Recovery is not a passive state of avoidance – it's an active state of improving yourself.
You Don't Have to Do it Alone
It's true that only you can make the decision to give up drinking, and you are responsible for your own recovery. But that doesn't mean that you have to go through the whole process alone. In fact, you're better off if you don't. Support from people who care about you can give you an incentive to keep working on your recovery, even on bad days.
It's often easy for alcoholics to feel isolated during recovery, even from their closest friends and family members. It can be hard to explain what addiction is like to someone who has never experienced it for themselves. If you feel distanced from your loved ones, it can help to seek out a support group for people recovering from alcohol addiction. This can give you a community of people who have been where you are and understand what you're going through.
Alcoholism is a common problem that affects more people than you think. Luckily, that means that there are plenty of experts, resources, and treatment options designed to help people in your situation. Contact an alcohol addiction treatment program like Oasis Behavioral Health & Addiction Services LP for more information.