Early sobriety is a time of major chafe and transformation. Most recovering addicts find that everything they have ever thought or believed comes into question when they are first sober and able to see with some clarity for the first time in what may be a while.
Because early recovery is such a period of major transformation, there are many experiences that a newly recovering addict can expect to have when they first begin to live a drug and alcohol free life. Here are 5 experiences that many addicts find they have early in sobriety.
1. You Realize Who Your Real Friends Are
For many addicts, a major part of addiction is realizing the function that certain people have in their lives. An important part of recovery is learning to avoid people who may be triggers to use.
Those who behave in a way that may be upsetting or disrespectful should often be avoided. Similarly, people who are still using, or those who pressure or cause you to use should also be avoided.
In sobriety, you begin to be able to see the difference between those who actually care about your well-being and those who are just using you or who do not actually have your best interests at heart.
2. You Feel Emotions More Strongly
A very common reason that many people use drugs and alcohol is that they are trying to avoid strong and uncomfortable emotions. Over a period of time, a person who is addicted to drugs and alcohol may become very out of touch with their emotions.
In sobriety, however, you will suddenly find that you are no longer numbing emotions and, in fact, that you are feeling them quite strongly. This may be somewhat difficult to deal with, especially at first, but know that as you continue to work with your therapist, you will be better equipped to deal with your emotions.
3. You Will Understand That You Are Not Alone
Addiction can be a very alienating experience. When a person is using, they often feel that they are very alone and that no one quite understands what they are going through.
When you were using, perhaps you felt feelings of guilt, isolation, and shame. In sobriety, however, you will learn early on that you are nowhere near alone.
You will likely attend twelve step programs and maybe even group therapy sessions, where the stories you hear from other recovering addicts will help you realize that you are part of a very big and supportive community.
4. Your Goals Will Seem Achievable
One of the most devastating things about addiction can be watching the goals that you once wanted to accomplish seem more and more unrealistic. I sobriety, however, your goals will once again seem achievable.
You will rediscover a sense of hopefulness that perhaps you had not had for a very long time. You will have a newfound sense of confidence in yourself and the goals you once had will seem more achievable than ever before.
5. You Will Feel Respect For Yourself For The First Time In A While
Addiction and low self worth often go hand in hand. When a person is addicted to drugs and alcohol, they often feel powerless and may experience seriously diminished self esteem.
Getting sober is a huge accomplishment and you will feel, for perhaps the first time in quite some time, that you are a capable and able person who is deserving of love and respect. The by-product of this is that you will be make decisions that lead to happiness and health.