What To Expect During Early Recovery from Addiction, Part 2

This is the second in a two-part series discussing some of the realistic challenges faced by someone new to recovery.  More importantly, we are also talking about possible solutions to those problems.

Keep this in mind -any difficulties that your face when you give up drugs and alcohol are just temporary as your mind and body heal and your life returns to normal.  More importantly, your life during recovery is infinitely better than it was during active addiction.

You’ll Feel Physically Unwell

Addiction wreaks havoc on your body.  In fact, the World Health Organization has identified over 200 diseases and chronic ailments that are caused by substance abuse.  Make no mistake -very often, these are literal poisons that you are putting in your body.

But when you are actively using drugs and alcohol, their effects can mask much of the damage.  In other words, you may be too drunk or high to know how sick you are.  Only when you are sober in recovery do you start to notice the harm addiction has done.

What are some possible solutions?

  • First and most important, you should always be medically evaluated by a physician before you begin any rehab program.
  • Eat right—substance abuse robs your body of essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals. The healthy diet will help you regain what you lost.
  • Exercise -stay physically active will help you regain your strength and repair much of the physical damage.

You’ll Feel Stressed and Overwhelmed

When you first start recovery, you may be confronted with all of the responsibilities and obligations that were neglected when you are actively addicted.  Not only will you have to work and take care of your bills, you may also want to attempt to make up for lost time with family and friends, all while diligently working your plan of recovery.

When you try to do EVERYTHING, you will start to worry how you can accomplish ANYTHING.

But here is the secret –take it easy.  You are only human, and there’s no way to regain the time that you have lost.  The best thing you can do is make the best of TODAY, while staying within yourself and your limits.

What are some possible solutions?

  • Put your recovery FIRST. Without that, you can lose everything else.
  • Learn the value of “NO”. You don’t have to accept every invitation.
  • Practice self-care and self-compassion. Take care of YOU—eat right, get plenty of rest, and take time to relax and recharge.
  • Practice stress reduction – exercise, meditation, journaling, etc..

You May Uncover Past Trauma

Did you know that up to 70% of people with a substance use disorder have a personal history of trauma?

This can be any number of things—childhood neglect or abuse, physical/sexual violence or assault, a serious accident, a major illness, wartime experience, or even a natural disaster.

Often, people aren’t even aware of the role that their past trauma and there are unresolved feelings and emotions play in their use of alcohol and drugs.

What are some possible solutions?

  • Share this information with your addiction treatment team. Top programs will offer specialized treatment for such a dual diagnosis of addiction and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • Understand that the best way to recover from each is to get simultaneous treatment for both.
  • Learn and practice healthier coping methods that don’t involve alcohol, drugs, or other problematic addictive behaviors.

Obviously, recovery is not easy.  But you can be successful with the proper help and support.  And if you live in Southern California, your best local resource is Chapman House Treatment Centers.  As one of the most-trusted drug and alcohol rehab programs in Orange County, Chapman House guides you through these difficulties until you are strong enough to stand on your own.

To get the help you need, contact Chapman House TODAY.

 

 

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