Why Do We Get SO Emotionally Riled Up In Early Recovery?











Coping with humanity isn’t easy when they only way you’ve done it is with the “help” of drugs and alcohol. Though the euphoric escape provided by drugs and alcohol make us feel like we can better deal with the world, our addictions actually inhibited our ability to relate to the world at all. In early recovery, your emotions are raw because you’re feeling them for the first time in a long time.

As a result, you take just about everything personally and the reactions, which aren’t responses yet, feel way out of bounds. You aren’t out of place. You’re learning to cope. Keep growing and keep these few things in mind to take the edge off and settle into your new emotional life.

We Have to Remember That Other People Are People, Too

  • As we step more and more into our own humanity, we get to recognize that everyone is struggling with the same human condition of being a human. That means you’re flawed, they’re flawed, and everybody is flawed in some way. People in recovery like to say that we are “spiritual beings have human experiences”. Full of ego and pride, hatred and fear, humans can be pretty terrible.
  • We’ve been terrible to other people. We’ve had other people be terrible to us. We lose sight of the fact that when it comes to #Team Human, everyone is on the same team. It’s called empathy and compassion which allows to recognize that everyone struggles.
  • When someone acts in a way that is less than pleasant toward us, we get to remember the times when we act less than pleasant towards them or to others. We can never fully understand what is going on beneath the surface of any one person. Everyone is doing the very best that they can with what they’ve got, at that moment.

We Have to Embrace the Fact It Isn’t Us Versus Them

  • Being labeled with a term like “addict” “alcoholic” or “mentally ill” can feel polarizing. People who label those who struggle with mental illnesses have many labels of their own being pushed unfairly onto them by others. Labels are what helps us make sense of one another. It’s another thing that we humans do. By labeling, we can compartmentalize and try to protect ourselves against “others”. “Othering” helps us create space between ourselves and other people- instead of coming together as a collective.
  • When it comes to addiction and recovery, everyone wants recovery. Everyone wants addicts and alcoholics who are struggling to recover. Some people just have a hard time moving past the labels and seeing the truth.

We Really Like Holding Onto Our “Stuff”

  • However old we are, we have spent that many years developing our beliefs, values, notions, ideas, thoughts, and opinions. These are the very things which make up who we are as unique individuals. Letting go of that makes us feel vulnerable and raw. For those in early recovery, feeling vulnerable and feeling raw means feeling unsafe and feeling uncomfortable.
  • We simply don’t know how to just be ourselves, without holding onto our “stuff”. This isn’t unique to addicts and alcoholics in treatment. Everyone feels like they have to hold onto their “stuff” for dear life, because they aren’t sure who they might be, or what others might think of them, if they didn’t have that stuff. Recovery is about learning to be free in being who you are, for whoever you are, as you are, no matter how emotional you might be.

Lakehouse Recovery Center strives to show clients how to fully thrive in recovery. Our residential treatment programs include clinical, holistic, integrative, recovery, and non-recovery therapies as well as activities to keep our clients engaged in their healing. For information on our inpatient, detox, and aftercare programs, call us today at  877.762.3707.


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