Overcoming the addiction isn't the toughest part of the struggle for many people.
It is the job of staying away from alcohol or the drugs which are the most difficult part. There are various reasons why this is the case and one of them is that you now have to confront the issues you have been running from. The pain may have been a resultant effect of child abuse, abandonment, the loss of a loved one, being lesbian or gay and living in a homophobic society. However hard these situations are under normal circumstances, they are even more difficult if a person is in recovery from substance abuse as well. When a pattern of abusing has been created, regardless of the causes that spurred the substance abuse, you might be unfamiliar with other ways to live your life, especially to overcome traumatic situations. You may not begin to feel that you have any coping strategies such as problem-solving skills, self-care techniques and other methods of dealing with issues that are buried underneath the haze of alcohol and drugs.
After quitting drugs or alcohol after a long period of abuse you are likely to be overwhelmed by many negative feelings. This feelings can be severely overpowering for you and the people close to you especially when you are not ready for such emotions and you are uncertain of what to do which might leave you thinking that a life of being sober is like that. This is why many people end up going back to drugs and alcohol even when they day the best intention. If these are familiar things to you, finding help is advised. To help you feel less overwhelmed, you should also try to find ways of dealing with these overwhelming emotions that lie underneath the surface.
A number of people slumps into deep depression after withdrawal. 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 will in most cases not just overwhelm you but also result in deep disappointment as you had hoped for an improvement in your life. You are advised not to give up at this stage. It will.
This is precisely the time when you need information about the process because it can help you to find and hold on to hope. 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. Some of the most common benefits which you can avail of are increased self-respect, self-confidence and self-love, which can again set you on the path where you came from.
People react differently to the various approaches used during the addiction recovery process and it's important to find one that works.
Most people will need to have a practical and realistic approach for the coping techniques which will be provided from the beginning.
This indicates that you should be finding practical methods to:
Taking a realistic approach helps you encourage the honesty which is an essential element of recovery. Being realistic doesn't mean to look at what sounds realistic but it means to look at what you can actually do. It is important not to set yourself up for failure even when trying to push yourself to achieve 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. Being realistic will mean that you make a beginning gradually by reducing your alcohol and drug use even as you continue working on some of your issues before quitting. Or, to completely stop. The option that works best for you is the path to follow.
It may take a longer time and more therapy for you to be able to go without alcohol or drugs for the long 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. For some people, facing the present living situation, like an abusive or absent partner may also be involved in it.
It might be necessary to receive expert help from a psychotherapist (alone or in a group) since dealing with these problems is very hard. Despite a number of people remaining alcohol and drug-free without going through the deeper therapeutic work many others cannot manage the same. A lot of people realize that their substance abuse was initially caused by these underlying problems. The need to depend on drugs or alcohol can be relieved by looking at these issues.
Just as with quitting drugs and alcohol, dealing with painful issues usually hurts before it gets better. At first, you may feel as though you're getting worse, but the long-term gains, such as enjoying life more fully, feeling good about yourself, and feeling more alive, free and happy are worth the hard work.
It's tempting to say that there is only one way to quit drugs and alcohol. Many have the desire to believe that there is a solution that can help anyone or a firm answer for all. However, 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 should trust your instinct, deep inside of you. Try it out, if it feels right. Sobriety in the long term may start with that single step.