Sometimes as we progress in our recovery, there may be times of challenge. There might be, for whatever reason, an experience of more and more cravings to use drugs or drink.
There might be a desire to let yourself go and no longer care about what’s important to you. You might have recurring experiences of depression, anxiety, or mood swings that trigger your need to use again.
When it starts to get challenging, you might also feel the tendency to withdraw. You may want to avoid those people who have helped you through your recovery and drug treatment aftercare.
If they see you challenged, you might think to yourself, they might be disappointed, and that is only going to add to the discomfort you’re feeling.
In most cases, those addicted to alcohol and drugs feel the shame and stigma that accompanies a substance abuse disorder. And frequently this can keep them feeling alone.
The disease of addiction is frequently very isolating for people. In fact, a recent study revealed that the stigma of an addiction carries more weight than the stigma of mental illness.
It appears that many people believe that an addiction is an indication of a personal flaw. This can be another reason why you might find yourself pulling away from the people in your life. The stigma of addiction can easily come in between you and those you love.
Stay Connected to the Community
It’s common to feel that others might be judgmental of you, and that you don’t belong in other circles of friends. And sometimes, you might not completely withdraw. For instance, you might stay at the edge of a crowded room or you might sit near the window in a coffee shop or in a mall as you watch others. Or you might go to a community event and stay within without really connecting with anyone there.
An essential part of drug treatment aftercare is staying connecting to a community. In a community of others who are struggling with the same life challenge, you can find friendship, support, and safety.
For instance, a sober living community is a large fellowship of like-minded recovery addicts who have their eyes on long-term sobriety. In this sort of group, you might hear the personal stories of others who are also struggling and who are also experiencing the same inner challenges of cravings.
What’s also beneficial about being in a community is that you might also hear how others are handling their challenges. You can hear the insights and the ways that others are overcoming obstacles in order to stay sober.
Difficulty with Staying Sober
Of course, this is also the benefit of drug treatment. But once drug treatment is over and when you return home, it can be difficult to stay sober. When you are faced with the same friends, family members, and emotional situations that led you to drink or use drugs in the first place, you might not be able to fight the cravings.
For this reason, a significant part of drug treatment aftercare should include a commitment to staying involved in a community. It should include regular participation in a group, such as a support group, a therapy group, or 12-step meetings.
For instance, the sober living community in Los Angeles is quite large. The community includes over 3,100 Alcoholic Anonymous meetings per week where attendees tend to arrive early to mingle, meet, and support each other’s recovery process.
Most groups are the kind of communities where you can come and go. You don’t need to commit to anything. For instance, you can go to one AA meeting, and if you find that it’s not for you, you don’t have to return. You can attend one support group and never go back if you don’t want to.
But the point of drug treatment aftercare is making a commitment to stay in a supportive community. Although there might be parts of you that will resist staying involved with others, the relationships you form with others will be incredibly supportive, if you let them.
Resist The Withdrawal
Resist the tendency to withdraw when you start to feel your triggers and cravings. Instead, find a community of individuals who are working towards staying sober just like you.
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