Addiction often influences a multitude of emotional changes. Many realize that help is needed but are unsure of how to pursue rehabilitation. Once this barrier is broken, people in recovery often find a sense of empowerment from defeating the addiction. Unfortunately, many find that there are residual feelings of guilt, isolation, weakness, and vulnerability to overcome.
It is understood that physical healing is only part of the journey toward recovery. In order to achieve full rehabilitation, one must aim toward emotional recovery. With help, accountability, and acceptance, focusing on emotional health can prove beneficial to overall healing after addiction treatment.
Talk It Out
Emotional recovery is an important journey after addiction. This journey can be made easier with the ear of a trusted friend, family member, or therapist. Many rehabilitation facilities offer resources to individuals to promote positive emotional recovery following a treatment program. While resolving to open up, you may also try:
- Group therapy sessions offer a soundboard for your thoughts and feelings in a group of people with similar experiences. Many members share tips, stories, and encouragement with one another to create an understanding atmosphere for those in recovery.
- Keeping a journal of thoughts and accomplishments can be useful in self-inventory, identifying triggers, and tracking improvements in recovery.
- Write letters, even if the addressee will never read them.
- Take pride in your accomplishments. Use your story as a tool to inspire positive change in others.
Talking through unexpressed emotions can assist those struggling to find peace, and move forward in recovery. It is all too common to assume that emotions are meant to be shouldered alone. Some feel guilty for reaching out or burdening others with their troubles. Guilt tends to discourage communication and overcoming this can be beneficial in rebuilding relationships and growing a support system in your life.
Growing From Guilt With Accountability
Guilt has a powerful impact on people struggling with addiction. Decisions made while under the influence are often regrettable. Relationships tend to suffer and many people are ashamed for their part in the disconnect. Accepting this responsibility may be difficult but it is a necessary step toward emotional recovery. In order to grow from guilt there are a few things to consider:
- Try to write out or verbalize your guilt. This is not a time to beat yourself up but a time to be aware of how the guilt is affecting you.
- When needed, reach out to make amends. Do not be discouraged if you’re not forgiven. Some people need time to process what has happened and may come around in time.
- Identify changes in your life that will prevent poor decisions in the future and take pride in the changes you’ve already made.
Many rehabilitation programs focus on accountability because accepting and understanding your decisions allows those in recovery to move forward and mend broken ties. Support systems, friendships, and families can be strengthened when guilt is resolved. This can reinforce positive changes and put you one step closer to emotional recovery.
Emotional Recovery Starts With You
A healthy mind influences overall well-being. A stagnant lifestyle, boredom, and negative self-image can significantly hurt the emotional health of those in recovery. By understanding the importance of emotional health you may find yourself wondering how to improve your own emotional well-being. Thankfully, there are many small steps to take to boost emotional health:
- Eat healthy and stay hydrated. This will not only impact physical health but mental health as well. Healthy lifestyle choices improve self-image, and encourage a positive mood.
- Pursue hobbies you once loved or try something new. This can stave off boredom and create a healthy distraction when you’re down.
- Yoga and meditation are excellent methods of relaxation. Many classes provide affordable guided lessons or you can find resources in your local library for solo practice.
- Spend time with people you love and surround yourself with positive people.
- Go for a walk in the sunshine. The UV rays provide vitamin D which is a natural method of promoting a positive mood.
- Read a good book or watch a good movie. Do things you like to do when you have time to do them.
It is important to remember that emotional recovery does not mean that you must always be happy. Coping with negative emotions is equally important, as well as the feelings in-between. Finding a good balance can take a very long time, but proves beneficial in all aspects of life. Taking some time to care for yourself is a step in the right direction.
The Long Road To Acceptance
Acceptance is a large portion of most addiction treatment programs and for very good reason. Few people see the light at the end of the tunnel following addiction treatment. Regret over the past and anxiety for the future can weigh heavily on the minds of those in recovery. This can be discouraging to those seeking relief from emotional adversity. The truth is, acceptance is a very long road with many rewards along the way.
Re-entering your home and community can be difficult following addiction treatment. Feelings of isolation often discourage a comfortable transition and make it hard to focus on recovery. Many resources exist to ease this transition including sober living homes, groups, and focused therapy. Ideally plans are in place prior to discharge and those in recovery are working toward a healthy mindset following addiction therapy. In time, the effort will encourage lasting sobriety and a healthier and happier you.
We Can Help
Emotional recovery is an important step in the rehabilitation process. If you or a loved one has dealt with emotional distress following addiction treatment, there are ways to recover. The caring staff at DrugRehab.org is here to assist you in finding positive methods of emotional recovery as well as resources to help you along the way. Contact us today.