Drugs and alcohol conceal feelings, emotions, and symptoms of mental illness. People often turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve stress, anxiety, or depression. After using drugs or alcohol for a long time, the brain becomes dependent on the substance to function. The dependent brain is at high risk of addiction.
Addiction is a complex disease of the brain. Ending drug or alcohol use takes a lot of hard work and determination, but does happen. In early recovery, feelings and emotions will resurface and you can experience joy, sadness, and empathy in ways that can be overwhelming. The feelings that have mental associations with drugs or alcohol may trigger the urge to use. Learn how to cope with triggers and avoid familiar habits of using drugs or alcohol.
After years of repeatedly responding to feelings or emotions by using drugs or alcohol, it will take time to establish new ways to cope. A journal can track feelings and emotions and will help you become more aware of patterns and reveal progress. Here are 10 healthy ways to cope in early recovery:
- Go for a walk or run
- Talk to someone
- Get involved in sports
- Listen to calm, peaceful music
- Perform breathing techniques
- Exposure to nature
- Meet new people in group meetings
Over time, the urge to use drugs or alcohol will lessen. Getting restful sleep will help to minimize depression, anxiety, and any urge to go back to the addictive behavior. Avoid isolation by talking to friends, getting professional support, or staying in group therapy. Establish connections, talk about your difficulties, and listen to theirs in return.
There are people in group meetings who can help during difficult times. In a high-risk situation for relapse, call someone who can offer encouragement through challenging moments. Avoid triggers and have a plan for coping with the strong emotions that come with a new, sober lifestyle.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help now. Do not wait another day. There is hope in recovery and treatment is available.
Cypress Lakes Lodge specializes in addiction treatment and is located in a serene, remote, lush-green, oxygen enriched environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy and offers yoga and meditation for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204