Early Recovery - Richie Evans Consulting
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Early Recovery

Help for Getting a loved one into treatment

Early Recovery

By Richard Evans

See article at Banyan Mass

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.

  • Dawna
    Posted at 21:47h, 14 January Reply

    Great write up Richie- so true , when I first go sober I did not know how to live life on life’s terms. I had to change the person I brought in. The Problem was I didn’t know who that was. I also, as you Mentioned, and this was and still is huge for me- changed hang out spots, friends, jobs etc! I had no business being in any of the places I used to be and I still do not today over 6 years sober, life is good, one day at a time!

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