Most people find that the hardest thing in getting over addiction is not actually quitting the drugs and alcohol.
Living free of drugs and alcohol is the real challenge. You have to face the pain that you've been fleeing which is one of the many reasons that may occur due to this. The pain may have been a resultant effect of child abuse, abandonment, the loss of a loved one, being lesbian or gay and living in a homophobic society. When psychological issues of recovering from an addiction are thrown into the mix, problems that are hard to deal with even in the best of times become more daunting. You may not know any other way to deal with life, never mind how to deal with traumatic experiences once a pattern of using ahs been established regardless of the reasons why you originally started to use alcohol or drugs. You might feel like you don't know any other coping methods to overcome the problems that are in the root of your substance abuse issues, such as self-care methods, or problem-solving knowledge.
You will probably experience many difficult emotions after you quit your substance abuse, especially if you did used drugs or alcohol for a really long time. This can appear significantly overwhelming for you, (and your loved ones) especially if you don't know what to do or what is happening, weren't prepared for it, or you think that sobriety is always like this. It is not so surprising then, that despite their good ambitions, a lot of former addicts go back to substance abuse. If these are familiar things to you, finding help is advised. You should try to find some other way to get rid of these built-up feelings so it doesn't get too overwhelming and to take things at your own speed.
There are other people who slide into serious depression following withdrawal. If you were being held together by the alcohol or drugs, you could easily tumble down after quitting.
It doesn't only appear to be overwhelming but discouraging too since you probably desired that life would get better. You are advised not to give up at this stage. You can rest assured that the feeling will give up by itself.
This the time when you need to find and hold on to hope by collecting information about the process. At this point, you can get to find out about others who've made it through despite being in the position you're in. You'll wish to know that what you can look forward to, and what you can expect, even if not right at the moment at least in the near future. Remember that only a few of the possible benefits are increased self-love, self-respect, and self-confidence, and that other doors can be opened for you with the help of those things.
Since every individual is different, not all former addicts in recovery respond well to one healing method, there are many other methods that can help.
A very practical and realistic approach to coping is the necessity for most of the people in the beginning.
This involves learning practical options for:
During the procedure of a recovery honesty will be an essential element, and you can encourage honesty by adopting a realistic approach. Being realistic involves being able to identify what you can actually achieve versus what sounds like something you would like to do. Don't give yourself a chance to fail, but you can try to achieve a bit more. You need to avoid making plans or decisions that are impossible and that will make you feel embarrassed if you can't accomplish them or even adhere to lying. A realistic approach may be about progressively bringing down your drug and alcohol consumption while resolving some past issues before stopping. Alternatively, you can simply decide to quit. The right road to go is the one that suits you the most.
It may take a longer time and more therapy for you to be able to go without alcohol or drugs for the long term.
This might mean dealing with emotional, sexual, physical or ritual abuse; growing up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional family; experiencing a significant loss, chronic illness or death; being abandoned as a child; feeling ashamed or confused about your sexual identity, etc. For some people, facing the present living situation, like an abusive or absent partner may also be involved in it.
Professional help of a psychotherapist (individually or in a group) may also be required for this kind of issues as it's not easy to face them. While there are some individuals who can achieve and maintain sobriety without additional work, others cannot. Many people find the deeper issues are intimately connected and are the reason why they abused alcohol or drugs initially. Addressing these issues can take away the need to indulge in the drugs and alcohol.
Similar to what happens when quitting drugs and alcohol, overcoming painful circumstances will often hurt before it can get better. Initially it could look and feel as if things are becoming worse but long term benefits like finding greater satisfaction in life, freedom, enjoying a fuller life, and happiness are worth the effort it takes.
It is rather tempting to make the comment that there is only one way to get off alcohol and drugs. Some people want to believe that there is a definitive solution or answer that works for everyone. However, life and people are not usually that simple. People have given up alcohol or reduced the amount they drink using various ways in the past and they've all worked. At the end, you need to believe in what you are feeling inside, what your guts tell you. Give it a try if it feels right. Sobriety in the long term may start with that single step.