It is always sad to hear about individuals who have worked hard to overcome their addiction problems, only to continue to struggle when it comes to finding happiness. The reality is that if things do not significantly improve for you after you have quit your addiction then it is a sign that more action needs to be taken. Here are the six most common reasons why people fail to find happiness after quitting addiction.
1. Failure to Continue with the Work Started in Rehab
It is very important to understand that there is no real graduation day from rehab and the work really only begins once you return home. If all you really do is stop drinking, it is very unlikely that your life will move in a positive direction; the problem is that you will be at high risk of turning to new maladaptive behaviours. Giving up alcohol or drugs is a vital first step, but it is only the first step in a much longer process.
2. You Have an Untreated Dual Diagnosis
Many individuals developing addiction problems have a dual diagnosis (usually a mental health problem such as depression) alongside the addiction. Most in this position are not even aware of it, but the other untreated problem prevents them from finding happiness in recovery. If you have been trying your best since quitting alcohol or drugs but things are still not improving, it may be best to speak to your doctor to find out if you may be dealing with a dual diagnosis.
3. Ambivalence towards Recovery
If you still hang on to a hope that you will one day be able to drink or use drugs safely again, it will prevent you from finding happiness in recovery. The problem is that this type of ambivalence means that you are not going to be fully committed and may just be looking for an excuse to relapse. Sobriety requires 100 per cent commitment and anything less will hold you back from getting the most from this new life.
4. Spending Time with the Wrong People
The people you spend most of your time with can have a huge impact on your behaviour and thinking. It is therefore recommended that you try to be around positive influences as much as possible. The danger with spending time with those who are still drinking or using drugs is that these individuals can actively try to sabotage your recovery. If you are having problems finding new friends after getting sober, you will probably benefit from joining a recovery fellowship.
5. Becoming Stuck in Recovery
If you become stuck in recovery, it could mean that you experience a great deal of stress and dissatisfaction, which is a common reason why people relapse. This usually happens because individuals are faced with a situation that they refuse to confront. If you feel that you may have become stuck then it is vital that you get the help needed to become unstuck; a therapist or sponsor can be a great help in this type of situation.
6. Taking Sobriety for Granted
The key to getting the most out of your new life is gratitude and continued effort to improve things. If you just take your sobriety for granted then it is doubtful that you would be able to put in sufficient effort to get the most out of your opportunities. Staying sober does not need to be a struggle; in fact, it should not be if you are doing it right but you do need to be always working at moving in the right direction.