Overcoming the addiction isn't the toughest part of the struggle for many people.
It is staying sober and living a life without substance abuse. One of the many reasons for this is the fact that now you have to deal with the pain you have been running away from. This pain may come in various forms such as a past trauma or having to live with a condition that has made you feel unwanted. The issues can be much harder when combined with the additional problem of recovering from alcohol and drugs while these issues aren't easy to handle at the best of times. You may only know how to use drugs to deal with your emotional issues once you've become addicted to the habit no matter why you started using and traumatic issues may be even harder to deal with in such a case. Dealing with the issues that hide behind the addiction using methods such as problem-solving skills and coping methods may feel like something unattainable.
You may be flooded with an avalanche of painful emotions if you stop using alcohol or drugs, particularly after the long history of substance abuse. You may find it incredibly overwhelming along with your loved ones, especially if you were not prepared for it, do not understand what is happening or the actions you should be taking, and even get the feeling that sobriety is similar to what you are experiencing. This is why many people end up going back to drugs and alcohol even when they day the best intention. Seeking help is for the best if you too have experienced some of these things. Make an attempt to find the methods which can slow down the release of pent-up emotions as the pace will begin to feel manageable rather than overwhelming.
After withdrawal, many sink into a profound depression. The alcohol and drugs may have propped you up when using the substance but a crash will inevitably follow when you make an attempt to give up.
This cannot just feel overwhelming but also discouraging because you had probably hoped that your life would get better. Even so, don't throw in the towel. The situation will get better.
It is important to find a reason to be hopeful at this point since you're only starting to process the information you're receiving. Hearing about how others have turned around and how they have managed to do it can also be helpful in this regard. You will want to understand what you can expect and the things you can look forward to even if they are not right, for the moment, but will be right in the near future. There are many things that will change as soon as you regain your confidence and learn to love and respect yourself once again.
Every individual is different and a number of people who are trying to recover from alcohol or drugs will not respond similarly to the same therapeutic approach even though there are some approaches that often prove helpful.
At the very start, as a coping method, many people need a very pragmatic and realistic one.
Therefore, they'll need to learn practical ways of:
Openness is a critical component to recovery and you can work on this by being realistic. Being realistic doesn't mean to look at what sounds realistic but it means to look at what you can actually do. Don't give yourself a chance to fail, but you can try to achieve a bit more. You should not be creating a plan or contract that sounds unrealistic because it is the last thing you need and will leave you telling lies or feeling ashamed that you are unable to manage it. Staying realistic means that you need to work on some of the troubles before stopping substance abuse while you slowly decrease your alcohol or drug intake. Or, that you simply quit. The option that works best for you is the path to follow.
To remain clear of drug or alcohol you might do a more extensive healing job or do a longer term.
This can include dealing with emotional, sexual, physical or ritual abuse; feelings of a great loss, chronic disease or death; being left as a child; feeling embarrassed or unsure about your sexual orientation; being brought up in an alcoholic or similarly dysfunctional family, etc. Some people may find that this also includes facing their present living situation such as an abusive or an absent partner.
Professional help of a psychotherapist (individually or in a group) may also be required for this kind of issues as it's not easy to face them. Many have to do this comprehensive work in order to stay sober, while others don't. Many people usually find out that their initial alcohol or drug addiction stemmed from other issues they were not aware of. The need to depend on drugs or alcohol can be relieved by looking at these issues.
Quitting alcohol or drugs is not easy and can be painful and is similar to dealing with painful issues, which usually hurt in the beginning before they get better. Long-term benefits, like being satisfied with yourself, living your life to the full and being free, happy and more alive, will make your dedication worth it even if you initially feel like you are not getting better.
It is tempting to declare that there is only one way to quit drugs and alcohol. The idea that there is a single solution that will work for anyone is tantalizing. But life and people are rarely that simple. There are many people who have achieved sobriety while others have managed to significantly cut down on intake though various approaches. Ultimately, you must be prepared to trust your intuition, which will be deep inside of you. Give it a try if it feels right. A life without addiction might be on that very path.