So you’ve taken the first step in dealing with your addiction. Now, here comes the tricky part. You’ve forsaken your old life and habits, and you’re ready to turn over a new leaf. It’s not uncommon to feel empty or unhappy right after quitting, however. Life doesn’t seem as fun anymore, and you feel on edge most of the time.
Many substance-dependent users feel energized after undergoing drug rehab. They might feel empowered to deal with their issues. Then the natural high starts to wear off, and their cravings slowly creep back. It’s essential to take things one day at a time while focusing on the long road ahead. Recovery often takes a long time and requires razor-sharp focus and an ironclad will to succeed.
Here are a few tips to improve your chances of staying sober.
1. Seek support from others
You can’t be expected to go through this journey by yourself. You’ll need the long-term professional help as well as the support of other people who understand what you’re going through. Only a few people know the challenges of sobriety, and coaches and mentors can help you unlearn destructive ways of thinking.
Support groups provide a welcome refuge for recovering users. Open your heart and mind to people who have gone through the same thing and allow them to take you to a place of love and healing. Allow yourself to talk about your past and present so you might pave the path to a better future.
2. Let others in
Addiction has a way of destroying your self-esteem. Even sober, you might feel dejected, and that affects your outlook and experience. It’s perfectly normal to feel defensive when well-meaning people try to offer advice or honest feedback. Don’t take it as an attack, though. If you want to move forward in life, you need to let other people into your life.
Surrendering yourself to a greater purpose helps in dealing with your destructive tendencies. Always remember that your old ways have led you down this path, and you might want to consider alternative strategies. You might be surprised by what you discover.
3. Express your feelings
You need to allow yourself to express your true feelings freely. Start by sharing what you feel or think at any particular moment. Suppressing your inner thoughts only sabotages the healing process and can lead to the reoccurrence of unhealthy behaviors and destructive tendencies.
Your support network is your bedrock, and you can trust them to safeguard your emotions. It will be difficult at first, but you’ll feel lighter once you unload your negative thoughts and feelings. Eventually, candor and free expression will become second nature to you.
4. Know your triggers
In the early stages of sobriety, it’s essential to remain in an environment that won’t remind you of your former habits. That may even include family gatherings if alcohol is served at the event. Know your triggers and stay away from places that bring back your cravings.
Recovery is a rare gift that few get to enjoy. If you’re fortunate enough to become sober, you owe it to yourself to stay honest and work as hard as you can. The journey will be difficult, but the rewards will far outweigh the work you’ve put in.