Most people find that the hardest thing in getting over addiction is not actually quitting the drugs and alcohol.
It's having to live without the drugs and the alcohol forever that is the challenge. One of the many reasons for this is the fact that now you have to deal with the pain you have been running away from. The pain may have been a resultant effect of child abuse, abandonment, the loss of a loved one, being lesbian or gay and living in a homophobic society. These are not issues, which can be faced during the best of times, but they can assume difficult proportions when you combine them with the problem of recovering from alcohol and drugs. Regardless of the reason why you might have begun using alcohol or drugs; the pattern of the usage would have been established, and you may not have any other method to deal with life, and this does not consider the traumatic experiences that you are going through. You may not recognize that you have any other coping strategies, self-care techniques, problem-solving skills, or other processes of dealing with problems that are buried underneath the drug haze and drinking.
There are a lot of painful feelings that may also come up the moment you stop using drugs or alcohol and this can be particularly worse if you had been using for a long time. If you believe that this is what sobriety will always be like or if you don't know or weren't prepared for these emotions, this experience can be very hard to handle. Despite the best of intentions no wonder so many people run back to the drugs or bottle. If the description given above sound familiar to you, it will be a good idea for you to get some support. Try to discover ways to slow down the release of pent up emotions if you want to feel the pace in a more manageable way or not as overwhelming.
After withdrawal, many sink into a profound depression. You may have to come back down to reality if the drugs or alcohol you were using were the ones keeping you positive.
This will in most cases not just overwhelm you but also result in deep disappointment as you had hoped for an improvement in your life. Well, keep your head up. The situation will get better.
These are the moments when you need to find strength and when you require facts about the process. At this point, you can get to find out about others who've made it through despite being in the position you're in. You need to know what to expect and what to look forward to in the moment and also in the next few days and weeks. Remember that only a few of the possible benefits are increased self-love, self-respect, and self-confidence, and that other doors can be opened for you with the help of those things.
Every individual is different and a number of people who are trying to recover from alcohol or drugs will not respond similarly to the same therapeutic approach even though there are some approaches that often prove helpful.
At the very start, as a coping method, many people need a very pragmatic and realistic one.
Therefore, they'll need to learn practical ways of:
You can support the crucial element of recovery, honesty, by going with a realistic attitude. Being realistic doesn't mean to look at what sounds realistic but it means to look at what you can actually do. Don't give yourself a chance to fail, but you can try to achieve a bit more. You may find yourself lying or feeling ashamed by not attaining certain goals which is why setting objectives that can't be met is a bad idea. Staying realistic means that you need to work on some of the troubles before stopping substance abuse while you slowly decrease your alcohol or drug intake. Or, that you simply quit. The path you need to choose is the one that will work best for you.
More intense and longer term therapy may be what you need to help you stay free of drugs or alcohol.
This could mean dealing with emotional, physical, sexual or ritual abuse, being abandoned as a child, experiencing a significant loss, chronic illness or death, growing up in a dysfunctional family surrounded by alcoholics, feeling confused or ashamed about your sexual identity, Etc. For many, this might also mean dealing with an abusive or missing partner or any other current living condition.
The aid of a psychiatrist or some other professional privately or in a group setting may be quite important in dealing with these problems. Some people will not need this additional help to stay clean but others will. Many people usually find out that their initial alcohol or drug addiction stemmed from other issues they were not aware of. Addressing these issues can take away the need to indulge in the drugs and alcohol.
Facing these hurtful problems will commonly be painful before it starts getting better, just like with overcoming substance abuse. Long-term benefits, like being satisfied with yourself, living your life to the full and being free, happy and more alive, will make your dedication worth it even if you initially feel like you are not getting better.
It's tempting to say that there is only one way to quit drugs and alcohol. Many have the desire to believe that there is a solution that can help anyone or a firm answer for all. But life and people are rarely that simple. People have given up alcohol or reduced the amount they drink using various ways in the past and they've all worked. Trusting your instincts is the best option. Try the method that you feel will work. Sobriety in the long term may start with that single step.