Sobriety at last! The dark cloud of misery caused by abusing substances finally cleared and blissful existence can appear. The pink cloud of early recovery takes center stage: the newfound mental clarity, praise from loved ones, and the feeling of invincibility from taking charge of life. Until a few weeks, maybe a month or two passes and one day that warm, fuzzy feeling fades faster than it came on. What now? The thrill of new sobriety disperses; now that the pink dust clears some other feelings emerge: depression, anxiety, guilt, and many other discomforting nags.
You are not alone. This happens to everyone, the alcohol and drug usage are primarily just a symptom of underlying problems begging to be addressed. Unlike drugs and alcohol, this isn’t a quick fix. This process will take time and patience. Instant gratification looks pleasing, but it will arrive carrying bags of consequences, so putting in the work is worth it. Alcoholism and addiction mimics stage four cancer: not only does one have to remove the tumor, but continue on with rigorous chemotherapy and radiation. Going to treatment is a great start, but continuing maintenance for recovery like group and individual therapy is where long-term sobriety occurs.
According to www.drugabuse.gov, here are some facts and tips to achieve successful recovery:
- Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical.
- Counseling—individual and/or group—and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of drug abuse treatment.
- Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies.
- An individual’s treatment and services plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that it meets his or her changing needs.
- Many drug–addicted individuals also have other mental disorders.
No one chooses recovery to be anything less than happy and don’t think that it’s impossible. Engaging group or individual counseling makes a world of difference; it will take you off of the sidelines and put you on a team that fights for your recovery and fulfilling life. With the help of licensed professionals who understand what you’re going through, the battle becomes a lot less daunting. You can do this, but no one can do it alone. Call for help today and let the journey to happiness begin. Call Susan Berlin at Susan Berlin & Associates and take the hand of someone who can help you walk through this journey to a better life.
Ashley Madden, the author of this post, is a talented writer that works for Lakeview Health as their Aftercare Coordinator. She is a person in long-term recovery and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in mental health counseling. Her passion and dedication to the field of addiction and recovery moves me, as do her words.