As a way of introducing this topic of Challenges of Early Sobriety, I thought we would ask our listeners what they struggled with in their early recover. We asked, “What did you struggle with in early sobriety?” Some of the responses we received included
What do you think was our most common response?
Let’s start our discussion with Triggers
We must be aware of our triggers, those circumstances that can lead to a desire for drink. What were some of your triggers, then and what ARE some of your triggers now?
Cravings – The book would actually call this obsession of the mind, cravings, it the book, means that phenomenon of desire for more after you drink. What about drinking thoughts and dreams? Your experience? What tools do you use to combat obsession of the mind?
Withdrawal Symptoms – can continue for weeks after the individual has given up abusing the substance. These symptoms can impact the individual’s mental state and their feelings. The aches and pains of withdrawals can make the individual feel irritable. Your experience? How did you cope?
Overwhelming emotions – one of the reasons why people turn to substance abuse in the first place is to escape these feelings. Once the individual manages to escape their addiction it means that their emotions come alive again. If people haven’t really had to deal with these feelings in many years it can feel a bit overwhelming. You experience? Anger, sadness, guilt, grief, which emotions were difficult for you?
How did you manage your feelings?
Change – Early recovery involves making lots of changes. It usually means [saying goodbye to acquaintances who are still drinking or using drugs](http://alcoholrehab.com/alcohol-rehab/social-support-for-drinking/). It also means making new friends. Addicts will revolve their life around drugs so when they get sober they have a big hole that they have to fill with new activities. With so many changes going on it is hardly surprising that people become emotional. What was your experience with change? What changes did you go through? How did you cope?
Relationships – These will also change in recovery. These changes can be for the good, some are extremely painful. Grief is also part of this separation process. What was your experience? What steps did you use to try and evaluate current relationships? How was this healthy? How was this not healthy?
Sleep – Some people suffer from insomnia during the early days of their recovery. Sleep is needed for good mental health so lack of it will cause problems to the individual’s emotional state. Your experience?
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