When you’re in a residential drug rehab program, you’re likely not just getting sober. Your experience, hopefully, isn’t only saying no to drugs and alcohol. It’s also the inclusion of new habits, new ways of responding to life, new perspectives and emotions that make life’s experience easier and more pleasant. Drug rehab isn’t just an experience of letting go of the addition; it’s also letting go of old habits to make room for new ones.
Actually, sobriety means a whole new lifestyle. It means finding new and healthier thoughts, feelings, coping mechanisms, and choices. Being in recovery means being in a whole new relationship with yourself. Whether you’ve already taken your first sober step by participating in a residential drug rehab program or you’re well on your way to recovery, below is a list of patterns to consider releasing and replacing.
Complaining about life goes right along with negative thinking and negative self-talk. When you’re thinking about your life in negative ways, it can be easy to think about the world in negative ways and complain about all that is going wrong. Releasing the need to complain is like finally letting go of a massive weight on your shoulders. Suddenly, rather than seeing what’s wrong you’re seeing opportunity and all that is possible for healing and transformation.
Being Afraid of Life
The experience of fear and the search for safety and comfort in relationship are core human experiences. They are not simply for those who have been traumatized. The search for safety is what drives us and serves as our primary motivation for the formation of our earliest relationships. When you feel safe in life, you feel secure enough to explore the world around you. When there’s safety, there is little to no fear. When you can slowly and gingerly move beyond fear, you can move forward without letting fear get in the way. Sure, you might feel the fear, but you move ahead anyway. Sure, the fear will be in your mind and you might feel in your body, but you take those steps towards sobriety nonetheless.
Obsessing About the Past
There are probably some valid reasons that one might obsess about the past. There might be experiences that were fearful, difficult to bear, or overwhelming. You might worry that a similar experience could happen again. An extreme form of this is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a psychological disorder that can easily lead to drinking or drug use. Another reason to obsess about the past is if it was an easier, better, more enjoyable experience than the present. Perhaps you yearn for the way it was. In both of these cases, it might be difficult to let go. It might a challenge to stop yourself from thinking about what was. Although it might be difficult, accepting the circumstances of the present and recognizing the opportunities ahead can facilitate living a sober life.
This is a difficult one if you have trouble staying true to yourself. In fact, there might be a pull between pleasing others and staying true to yourself. You might know what you want to do for yourself or what’s right but underneath there’s a feeling of not wanting to disappoint someone else. Along with not wanting to create disappointment in others, you might secretly yearn for the acceptance and approval of others. Your behaviors and choices might then be driven by how others see you rather than being true to yourself. Letting go of what others think of you can be incredibly healing and freeing. Of course, it’s a lot easier said than done, but practicing it little by little can help making choices that for your behalf alone.
Certainly, residential drug rehab is an experience that’s already a step in the right direction. Changing the above patterns can only further your sobriety!