While everyone has a different opinion of what discomfort means, recovery is difficult for anyone who goes through it. There is a reason deciding to get sober and maintaining that sobriety is difficult, but it’s the discomfort that actually brings about the strength in your recovery. Each step of the recovery process will have its own challenges, but you learn a lesson within each challenge and progress in your recovery. Due to this gradual process of improvement, discomfort helps addiction recovery.
The Steps of Recovery & Their Discomfort
From the day that you decide to get sober, there will be pain, struggles, and challenges along the way. However, you must also recognize that there will be triumphs, joy, victories, and more. After putting in the work through the struggles, you can have success.
While everyone has a different definition of what constitutes a difficult situation or a struggle, the common parts of recovery that tend to be the hardest are withdrawal symptoms, avoiding cravings and other temptations, leaving behind your home, being vulnerable, and maintaining your sobriety. However, whatever discomfort you may be feeling during these steps will only strengthen your recovery and help you grow as a person in your new sober life.
In early recovery, perhaps one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is the withdrawal symptoms you will be facing while going through detox. While cleansing your body of the toxins that were being put into it, your body will be craving the very substance that was causing it harm. Of course, the severity of the symptoms will depend on the substance you were using and how long you were using it. The symptoms also depend on your overall health, age, gender, and other factors.
Common symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Tightness of the chest
- Racing heart
- Poor concentration
- Muscle tension
- Muscle aches
- Poor appetite
- Heart palpitations
- Difficulty breathing
While these symptoms are not pleasant and bring about quite a deal of discomfort, they establish the foundation for your treatment as you progress to the next step of recovery. After going through these symptoms, you will come out cleansed and ready to take on treatment.
Avoiding Cravings & Other Temptations
After going through the difficulties of withdrawal, you may be discouraged when you still feel the temptation to use drugs or alcohol. This is normal, as addiction rewires your brain to use these substances as a coping mechanism for when you are upset, stressed, or angry. It will be hard to fight against the cravings and other temptations that want to lead you back; by fighting against them, you prove to yourself that you can be sober and don’t have to rely on substances. Treatment will help you by giving you different, healthy coping mechanisms.
Leaving Behind Your Home
Oftentimes in early recovery, while at a treatment facility, you cannot communicate with family members and friends as often as you normally do. This can be an isolating feeling, causing you to miss your loved ones and your home. However, the limited communication you have with loved ones back home is enforced for a reason. It helps you stay focused on recovery and keeps you away from potential triggers. While you may be sad because you miss them, remember that they are supporting you from a distance and waiting to welcome you back home to your new sober life.
For some people, this may be one of the most difficult times in recovery because it can be hard to open up to others about what harmed them in life and drove them toward a dark path of substance abuse. It can be overwhelming at times to bring up difficult memories with others. However, you must remember that discussing your past will help brighten your future. The facility professionals can take the information you offer and help you learn coping mechanisms to overcome negative memories. Being vulnerable can be difficult, but it is vital to your recovery and overall healing.
Maintaining Your Sobriety
It is normal to leave treatment and go back to your life with a mixture of excitement and fear. It takes a lot of work to get to this point, and the thought of relapsing can be overwhelming at times. The bad days will come, and there will be times you may want to return to drugs or alcohol. However, leaning on your support system and using your coping strategies will help in hard times. Sobriety can be uncomfortable, but it will also give you your life back. You will find joy and have a fulfilling life once you make it through the struggles of recovery.
At Northstar Transitions, we understand how difficult the process of recovering from addiction can be. This is why we work with our clients individually to create a recovery plan meant for them that moves at their own pace. This will keep you moving along and progressing, even when the journey seems difficult. We don’t want just to see you go through the motions; we want real recovery to take place so you can live your best life. For that to happen, there will be times of discomfort and discouragement. That is what we are here for. Together we can get you past the pain and into a life of happiness and joy. We can help you along your recovery journey and get you to a lifetime of sobriety. Call us today for more information at (303) 558-6400. Remember that to have a rainbow, you have to go through the rain.