Emotions are something that are usually repressed while we are out using drugs and alcohol. Some use substances to solely block out emotions or repress negative or hurtful thoughts. This is why early recovery can be a very taxing time emotionally. Our thoughts and feelings are finally coming out and are not masked by drugs or alcohol. This can be very overwhelming for some people who are not used to dealing with their feeling or emotions. At times it can be too much to handle and cause and individual to experience depression or thoughts of resentment.
We have to realize that this is very normal in early recovery. Almost all addicts experience new emotions and feelings that they hadn’t been dealing with while in active addiction. Overtime these emotions will become easier to deal with and slowly become less of an obsession. In many cases the individual will learn to embrace these emotions and start to deal with them in a healthy manor. This can be extremely beneficial and help to teach someone a lot about themselves that they may not have realized.
Dealing with new emotions or feelings can be expressed in a healthy manor while in an inpatient facility or while being involved with a 12 step fellowship or outpatient program. Talking about these new feelings and receiving feedback from a counselor, therapist, or peers can really help take the weight off of one’s shoulders as well as relieving some of their stress. Dealing with these brand new feelings and emotions can be tough but will ultimately be a positive and strengthening experience.
Early recovery can be a very difficult time for most addicts. The physical symptoms can seem never ending and are a big challenge for most of those who are just starting to end their relationship with drugs and alcohol. Symptoms most commonly experienced by those in early recovery are; insomnia, decreased appetite, restlessness, chills, headaches, muscular and joint pain, mood swings, decrease in energy, inability to focus, and a variety of other symptoms depending on personal circumstances.
Every individual case is different, and depending on what substance one is dependent on the severity of symptoms can vary. It may be very hard at first to realize that our bodies will go back to normal, but as more time in sobriety is achieved the body will feel better and ultimately get back to its normal functionality. Everyone is different and some recover physically faster than others. Do not be deterred if it seems your physical recovery is happening slowly, it can be a slow progression but your body will recover.
Eating right and exercising can be very helpful in early sobriety. Exercise releases natural endorphins in the body, and can increase an individual’s mood and overall well-being. No matter how tough it seems at first keep in mind that it will get better. It takes time for the body to fully recover and get back to feeling normal. Each day that an individual maintains sobriety, it brings them one step closer to feeling physically healthy once again.