03 Nov Early Recovery
By Richard Evans
The stages that occur between active addiction and entering long term recovery can be the hardest and most unstable times for an addict for alcoholic. Most people who enter treatment think that if they only could stop using or drinking, nothing more will need to change and they can continue on with their lives no longer inhibited by their addiction. They find relatively quickly this is not the case. Not only are they not relieved immediately of intense cravings and rationalizations of going back to using in some cases, but they are often left with extreme feelings of loneliness, boredom, hopelessness, discomfort, irritability and more emotions that are extremely difficult to sit with for someone so used to medicating these feelings away at the slightest hint of their presence.
The acute problems to address then in early recovery is to learn how to live with feelings of discomfort and displeasure while completely changing all the “normals” the addict or alcoholic has become accustomed to. This includes people, hang out spots, sometimes jobs, apartments and whatever else that has been associated with the process of addiction as to better support recovery. This of course sounds like a greatly unfeasible task, specifically for someone who is still in active addiction. Thus a treatment center is an effective mechanism to teach pertinent recovery skills and reset unhealthy patterns. This makes the addict more prepared and motivated for the task of changing everything from the ground up and rebuilding a new life.
Other challenges occurring in early recovery include insomnia, feelings of guilt and or shame, financial challenges. These are nagging worries that are unresolved making normal activities harder to accomplish. These setbacks are a result of addiction that can also drive more using. Once addressed, the addict has hope to overcome these but during this process it can be discouraging and fear provoking.
The good news is that although these challenges are overwhelming and ominous, they are surmountable and once this has happened, the person suffering from addiction issues can go on to live without these burdens that at one time may have seen their absence as unimaginable.