How to Deal with Your Feelings When Newly Sober

 In Recovery

The early days of recovery can be challenging.  Long suppressed feelings can rise to the surface when you are learning how to navigate your new life.  While it may sometimes feel like you are ‘white knuckling’ it, hang in there.  It doesn’t last forever.  Most can expect the first 90 days to be a period of discovery, learning, and some difficulties.  This is completely normal as you begin the process to start life anew and figure out a better way of living and dealing with problems as they arise.

Surviving the Early Days

With long-suppressed emotions suddenly coming forward, this can make the early days feel like a rollercoaster.   When you have felt numb for a long period of time, new raw emotions can be a little frightening and unusual.  Finding emotional sobriety is part of becoming physically sober.  Learning to handle new emotions as they come helps you to deal with them in productive ways.  Yes, often the frustration builds up and it seems that it would be easier to find the release of drugs or alcohol.  This is only momentary, though.  As you develop and grow, your skills allow you to cope more effectively when these feelings arise.

Feelings that often arise include guilt or maybe even shame about the past.  Anger and fear also come up.  The future can be scary while lingering resentments about the past continue to hold you back.  The worst part may be the self-hatred that can develop.  When you come face to face with your past, you may have some trouble working through what is now behind you.   This can lead to depression and anxiety.  Again, these feelings are natural but they do need to be dealt with.

Help is Available

Fortunately, you don’t have to go through it all alone.  You can find a meeting for the support of others.  Therapists that specialize in addiction recovery can help you sort through your feelings and create positive steps to move forward and build your new support network.  They will also help you with developing coping mechanisms and learning strategies to deal with the daily stressors that you encounter.  You’ll also learn how to give yourself some room and experience personal forgiveness.  It’s eye-opening to discover that we are all flawed and make mistakes.  The one choice that we have is to decide to continually improve while realizing that nothing happens overnight.  Finally, learn how to have fun again.  Go to an amusement park and enjoy silly fun.  It may feel weird but the play is an essential part of the human experience.  Just enjoy the benefits of laugher again.

When Strong Feelings Emerge

In the early days, you may feel conflicted about the best possible road for yourself.  That’s normal.  As you are beginning your journey, pay attention to those with more time than you.  They have insights that can help.  Literature can also provide helpful advice to navigating the first months of sobriety.   While everything and everyone one just says, ‘Don’t use or drink’, this may feel almost impossible but it should be a priority in your new life.  If it becomes too difficult, just make a promise to yourself that for one minute, you won’t drink or use.  Soon the feelings will pass.  Keep making this small promise to yourself every time the feelings return.  Soon, you’ll start feeling stronger and more in control.

Watch for Triggers

Everyone has triggers that can set off a pattern of behavior.  When you are new to recovery, it’s helpful to understand what sets you off.  For recovering addicts and alcoholics, it’s often stress and an inability to deal with uncomfortable emotions.  It’s easier to ‘check out’ for a little while particularly if you don’t have the tools to deal with what can sometimes seem to be overwhelming.  As you work your steps, go to meetings and meet with your sponsor, you’ll learn strategies that can help you meet challenges head-on.  The one thing you have to realize is that this takes time and sometimes patience.

Victory Detox Center provides a range of services in North Hollywood, CA.  Patients can go through detox services.  Inpatient residential services allow people to get started in sobriety with the tools and support that they need to be successful.  Aftercare and outpatient services support people in recovery as they start a new life.  This includes help with the difficult and uncomfortable feelings set in.  At Victory Detox Center, everyone is on your side.  They are ready to work with you to get through the tough times so that you can truly live your life.  No one ever said that sobriety was going to be easy but with the right team helping, you’ll come through it stronger and ready for the life you deserve. Contact us today.

Leave a Comment