Recovering from addiction is most certainly a layered process. Simply abstaining from utilizing addictive substances is not necessarily going to be enough to keep you sober. This is why many medical professionals suggest receiving help from addiction treatment centers. They are facilities that provide a safe and secure place for those suffering from addiction to receive layered levels of treatment that can pinpoint both the physical and mental effects of being addicted.
Reflections Recovery Center, a treatment facility offering rehab for men, points out that abstinence is only the beginning to becoming completely sober. Through helping participants learn how to focus on making effective lifestyle changes and dealing with their problems in a more productive way, can lead these participants to have an easier time returning to a normal lifestyle without the need for substances.
What is Emotional Sobriety?
While most know what it means to be physically sober, not many know what it means to be emotionally sober. Though negative feelings are a part of life, becoming emotionally sober means that a person has the ability to feel their feelings (positive or negative) and cope with them in a more positive way.
The belief is that when someone is suffering from addiction, it is because they are using a substance or behavior as a means to mask their feelings or avoid having to deal with them. By learning how to have these feelings but deal with them in a more effective way, it essentially helps the addict to refrain from using various substances or participating in certain behaviors when certain feelings arise.
Why is Emotional Sobriety is Necessary?
Addiction not only takes a toll on a person’s body but on their mental state of being. In fact, for many individuals, addiction and mental illness tend to go hand in hand. Someone suffering from depression has a more likely chance of abusing substances. For reasons like these, it is important to minimize the root of the problem so that the addiction then becomes a lot easier to overcome. If you simply deal with the physical effects of addiction but do not resolve the underlying cause, it defeats the purpose as an individual will continue to carry out the bad habit that got them there in the first place.
What Are the Characteristics of a Emotionally Sober Person?
With the right level of support and continued efforts towards making lifestyle changes, one should be able to overcome their emotional hindrances with time. Below are some signs that a person is emotionally sober:
- They do not have a hard time living in the present moment (meaning they’re not always looking to the past).
- They have a more positive outlook on life
- They are not easily overwhelmed by stress or other extreme emotions
- They have an easier time developing positive relationships with people
- They no longer act on any desire that might be lingering to use a substance or behave recklessly to avoid dealing with life or emotions that sometimes come with life.
How Can I Develop Emotional Sobriety?
If you’re not quite at the point where you can handle life, emotions, and relationships in a positive or more effective manner, don’t be discouraged. Addiction is a serious illness to overcome and just as physical sobriety took time, so will emotional sobriety. Here are some suggestions on how you can get started on your road to complete sobriety.
Realize that things will not happen overnight. Don’t give up on your effort to become emotionally sober because the progress is not happening as instantly as you’d imagined. Though success is what you want, keep in mind that there is the possibility of a few setbacks and roadblocks along the way.
Write it down. When dealing with your emotions or events that happen throughout the course of a day writing them down can help you immensely. Keeping a diary or journal allows you to get your emotions out on paper which can keep you from wanting to act on them. It also gives you a reference from which to see how much you’ve progressed.
Practice meditation. Never underestimate the healing powers of meditation. Meditation is a great way to get in tune with yourself and your feelings. A few minutes per day can be a great way to channel positive energy and to release any negative tension you might be feeling.
Attend therapy sessions. Continued therapy is a must if you’re going to become mentally sober. Working with a highly trained therapist can help you to pinpoint emotional triggers and learn an improved way to deal with it. Your therapist also understands the road to recovery and can provide an unbiased ear when you just need to vent.
Becoming emotionally sober is a quest that can take days, months, or even years to tackle. The main idea is to continue striving for that level of sobriety as you learn to deal with life. Take it day at a time and face each challenge and fear head on. In time, you will learn to overcome your fears, channel your energies, and effectively cope with whatever circumstances may come your way. Remember, as you continue your road to recovery, working with a highly trained therapist is ideal to put things into perspective.