The road to sobriety and recovery can be an exceptionally difficult one. As your body cleans out any remaining drops of liquor and you begin to force your mind to stop relying on alcohol to cope with problems, intense emotions will quickly arise. You’re probably wondering why that is. Sobriety compels you to break the habit of running away from your feelings.
You’re trying to deal with problems and emotions without alcohol, and that can be frustrating at first. The same triggers are still there and now you’ll need to learn how to address your problems in a sober state, that alone naturally brings anxiety and anger.
Coping With Early Stages of Recovery
In the early stages of recovery, there tends to be a senseless feeling of confusion. You may having difficulty with:
- Being overwhelmed by the world around you
- The intensity and depth of the emotions you experience
- The opinions of “normies” toward your past actions
- Your old friends who feel abandoned by the “new you”
- Leaving behind many aspects of your former lifestyle
All of these things are weighing in on your stress levels, making you apt to extreme mood swings.
This stage is often described as a ‘rollercoaster ride” because people can experience intense highs at one moment and intense lows the next moment. This phase is a time of great change and people may feel like their emotions are out of control. These emotions may stem from various factors.
Agents of Emotional Rollercoasters
These intense emotions can sometimes be seen as withdrawal symptoms. Such symptoms can last for several weeks after one had quit the given substance. These symptoms can affect one’s mental state as well as emotions. The withdrawal aches can make someone emotionally unstable and irritable. Other factors to consider include:
Dealing With Emotions
No matter how long one had a substance abuse problem, coming to sobriety still requires you to deal with your emotions. People drink and use drugs for different reasons, but for most people, it’s used to avoid reality. Now that one is choosing a sober lifestyle, they are forced to deal with real-life emotions. If they haven’t dealt with them in a long time, it can be quite overwhelming.
Battling Mood Swings
Change can also cause one to feel these mood swings. Letting go of an old friend who is still drinking and using drugs, even old habits that revolved around some sort of substance abuse, now leaves a big gap in your life that needs to be filled with something positive. With your whole world flipping upside down, it makes sense to be so emotional.
Confronting Your Past
Oftentimes, coming to sobriety means dealing with your past. In most cases, people feel guilty and even shameful for what they have done. Deep guilt and even shame can be triggers for relapse. It’s important to understand that you aren’t that person anymore and those things are behind you.
Insomnia can be found in the early stages of recovery. Sleep is vital for a good mental state, so a lack of it may cause harm to one’s emotional state.
Moving Beyond Addiction
Leaving behind addiction comes as a relief for most people and this emotional rollercoaster isn’t just for the negative feelings. This feeling of overcoming such a huge obstacle will make you feel high on life. Be sure to not be so overconfident because that may be a trigger for relapse.
One part of the emotional rollercoaster that most people experience is the “pink cloud.” The “pink cloud” is an AA term that refers to those who are intoxicated on life itself, to a point that they have lost touch with reality. People who are in this stage may be more prone to relapse. Too much of a good feeling might cause someone to feel overconfident, to the point where they neglect the things they need to do to maintain recovery.
Emotional rollercoasters can happen in the early stages of sobriety. As time goes by, it gets easier. Maintaining recovery in the midst of these extreme emotions is challenging. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with this alone.
Need Help Remaining Sober? Call Us Today
Seasons in Malibu is a premier residential treatment center for those struggling with substance use disorder. We provide exceptional aftercare programs for individuals who have completed treatment. Our comprehensive approach to long-term recovery includes a focus on relapse prevention, family support systems, and continuing therapy. We specialize in creating individualized plans that meet the unique needs of our clients.
Our team of highly trained professionals can help you build the foundation for a life of sobriety and provide the resources needed to remain sober in the long term. When you call Seasons in Malibu, we’ll help you get started on the path toward recovery and discuss how our programs can benefit your healing journey. Contact us today at 424.235.2009 to learn more. We’re here to help you take the first step toward living a sober life.