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How to Deal with Your Emotional Health When You’re In Early Recovery

Your emotional health and well-being is vital for sustainable joy.  One of the most frustrating components of beginning your recovery from drugs and/or alcohol, may be the both unfamiliar and uncomfortable feeling of dealing with, well, feelings.  Processing feelings of your emotional health that range from extreme lows to skyrocketing highs can be tricky.  So, what is there left to do when you feel your absolute worst and would like nothing more than to say “forget this” and pick up right where you left off with your drugs and/or alcohol?

Just as life generally does, recovery requires patience.  It may be frustrating to hear, but this is going to be a necessity.  Nobody wants to spend even so much as a moment sitting in anger, fear, and apathy.  Who would want that? Isn’t that the reason you took to substances to begin with?  It’s important to remember that there are going to be moments of unhappiness, but you should not let this derail you on your road to recovery.  Pain and emotion are sensations that urgently fight to be felt.  No matter how you resort to numbing the feelings, they will remain unless you stay with them and conquer them.  In doing this, you should realize that you will smile and laugh again.  No matter how defeated and broken-down you may feel, it will pass.

Dealing with Emotional Health

Let Yourself Feel

Your emotional health ultimately depends on you giving yourself permission to feel whatever it is that you are feeling.  It doesn’t matter if it is wrong, right, confusing, judgemental, or whatever it may be.  Concealing what you are feeling, or pretending it to be something that it isn’t, will not make you feel any better.  It may, however, make what you’re feeling build up on the inside until it comes out in disastrous ways.  After you let yourself feel, you can try to reverse it or seek a healthy coping skill to aid you in overcoming it.

Challenge Uncomfortableness

Feeling uncomfortable is something that addicts tend to run away from right off the bat.  Entering recovery is uncomfortable enough, so dealing with unwanted feelings isn’t exactly desired.  When you are able to be brave enough to tackle unfamiliar territory in your emotional health, you take a huge step and the end result is only going to benefit you.  What other choice do you have in the end, anyway?  Sure, you could let the fear get the best of you, return to the endless pit of your addiction, and continue to suffer.  But the alternative has a far greater outcome for you.  If you keep trudging through your journey and get to know yourself, you will see the positive changes, however small, coming to light gradually.  So, be a little uncomfortable, be a little confused, be a little depressed.  Whatever comes your way, just let it come your way.  Realistically, you won’t feel this instantaneous, steady-set, never-ending, all-is-right-with-the-world feeling.  Recovery is a process and through it, a joy with being your authentic self and gratitude for life is discovered, but the only way to achieve this is by doing the work to get there.

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