Overcoming addiction and the disastrous life that it causes is a difficult process. It is one that many addicts can only accomplish with the help of a professional treatment center. Recovery is a long and arduous road that cannot be overlooked. Part of the recovery process is reading and understanding your feelings. It is difficult for some addicts to understand and accept this part of recovery, but it is necessary. Understanding and accepting our feelings is a difficult job for anyone, let alone someone suffering from an addiction. Feelings of depression, sadness, anxiety and stress are powerful and can lead to relapse. Coping with that sadness is a skill that must be learned and practiced during recovery. The isolation and alienation of addicts from their friends and family can be extreme. They experience pain and suffering every time they use again. The anguish and struggle of dealing with an addiction and the disappointment of letting yourself and others down is immense. There are healthy ways to cope with that sadness. Techniques that should be utilized often to increase happiness, decrease sadness and enhance the lives of recovering addicts. Here are some healthy ways that addicts can cope with sadness during recovery.
Coping with Sadness
The first step to coping with sadness is obviously to avoid it at all costs. The best way to not be sad is to stay happy; sounds easy enough. The truth is that it is impossible to be happy all the time. Recovering addicts have an enormous of amount of things to be happy for now that they are sober, but it can seem difficult to find them when the weight of addiction continues to press down. Staying happy is mostly a state of mind. Reminding ourselves of why we should be happy is a great way to remain happy and fight off those feelings of sadness. Avoiding sadness all together is impossible, but knowing what triggers your feelings of sadness is the start. By understanding the things that makes someone you sad, you can attempt to avoid those people, places or things. Conversely, staying happy is simply surrounding yourself with people and things that make you happy. It also means living and engaging in places or activities that promote happiness. For example, if the shore boardwalk reminds you of drinking or doing drugs underneath it or near it, then it is best to steer clear of it. Those places or people that remind us of substance abuse, which is a sad and depressing time in an addict’s life, should be avoided. However, if swimming, kayaking or surfing makes you happy, then those are places or activities to which you should constantly participate.
Sadness is Isolation
Sadness is often caused by being alone or secluded in thoughts and presence. Some people may enjoy their alone time, but that does not mean they do not enjoy good company or conversation. It is important as humans that we engage with others about our state of being. Expressing emotions with close friends or relatives is a healthy way that recovering addicts can avoid sadness. It is imperative that these individuals have someone they can open up to and share their thoughts and fears. Surround yourself with those who care about your wellbeing and those who can be your rock when you are feeling down.
Having a Plan
The best way to cope with sadness during recovery is to have a plan. It is easy to make a list of the things that make us happy. Write this list down and refer to it any time you feel sad. It could be as simply as reading a book or listening to some music. Refer to this list often to practice overcoming those sad feelings and share it with others. Addiction is a tough issue to overcome, but it does not have to be done alone. Sobriety is beautiful and worth the difficult process. Get help, get clean and get happy.