When an addict admits that he or she has a problem and seeks help, they will usually partake in a rehabilitation programme. On completion of the programme, he or she will go back to the real world and have to work hard to ensure that long-term recovery is a success. However, the first few days and weeks can be extremely difficult for a recovering addict, and they will often suffer extreme highs and lows.
One of the hardest things for a recovering addict to deal with is the emotions that are experienced in those weeks and months after rehabilitation. It is necessary to learn how to deal with these ever-changing emotions because succumbing to them could lead to relapse. A number of emotions can be especially dangerous for recovering addicts, and these include anger, boredom, loneliness, fear, guilt, and disappointment.
Why Some Emotions are Dangerous
- Anger is a dangerous emotion at any time as it can cloud the judgement of the affected person and make them unable to think straight. Many people will do things when they are angry that they regret later. For recovering addicts, it is dangerous because it may lead to resentment and, in turn relapse. It is important that those in recovery learn how to deal effectively with anger.
- Boredom is another precarious emotion for recovering addicts. This is one of the primary triggers for relapse in recovery, but many recovering addicts will experience boredom at some stage. Boredom makes people feel unsatisfied with their life, and it can lead to negative thinking. The recovering addict may then begin to remember good times when he or she was using and will glamorise their substance abuse. In their mind, the time when they were taking drugs or alcohol was a happy time full of excitement. This can often lead to relapse. To prevent boredom from triggering relapse, recovering addicts need to find ways of occupying themselves and keeping themselves busy throughout the day.
- Loneliness is an intense emotion that can affect recovering addicts. Many addicts will have to give up a particular set of friends in order to get clean and they may feel isolated when they come out of rehabilitation because they no longer have their fellow drug users or drinking friends to socialise with. Loneliness is another trigger for relapse, but those in recovery can prevent this emotion by joining support groups and building new social networks.
- Fear of what life will be like without addiction can cause many recovering addicts to fall off the wagon. They may be afraid that they will be unable to cope without the substance to which they were addicted. They may also be afraid that they will feel unfulfilled or unhappy living a sober life. Fear can often cause a recovering addict to begin taking drugs or alcohol again.
- Many recovering addicts will feel an immense sense of guilt about past wrongdoings. While it is understandable to regret past actions, constantly feeling guilty will serve no purpose. Making amends is the best way to avoid guilt.
- Another dangerous emotion is disappointment. Many recovering addicts will expect dramatic improvements in their life once they give up their addiction. However, their expectations can often be too high which, in turn, leads to a tremendous sense of disappointment. When life does not turn out exactly how they expected, they may decide they were better off using drugs or drinking alcohol.
Help is Available
If you find yourself suffering any of the dangerous emotions when in recovery, the team at Rehab Helper is here to provide you with a listening ear. We will support you through this tough time and will help to get your recovery back on track. Call today for free, invaluable advice.