Many men and women enter into the process of recovery thinking that they will stop using drugs or alcohol and go about life as usual. This is a frightening concept, considering that our reliance on substances was often an attempt to self-medicate our emotional problems. When drugs and alcohol are removed from our lives, we may fall victim to depression and misery because we have not engaged in a process of emotional healing. If we wish to know true happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety, we must also focus on treating our emotional natures.
An inability to manage our emotions was often a driving force in our desire to use drugs and alcohol. We found momentary relief in intoxication and came to rely upon it. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people.” If we are to successfully recover, we must address the emotional problems that led us into, and exacerbated, our addiction problems.
Emotional sobriety may mean different things to different people. In Emotional Sobriety: The Next Frontier, Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “For some, the next frontier in recovery from alcoholism may be letting go of faulty, unrealistic dependencies; for others, it may mean illuminating persistent character defects or the ‘Now what?” malaise that can afflict the long-timer.” Recovery is about more than just cessation of drugs and alcohol. We must take a deeper look at our emotional lives and faults that are impediments to the happiness and joy we could be experiencing in sobriety. Emotional Sobriety further explains, “Growing up in sobriety means different things to each of us, and one’s own idea of it may change over time. But one thing seems true: the rewards for reaching for emotional sobriety are serenity, emotional balance, and an increased joy in living.” If we are to reap all the possible benefits of our new way of living, we must look inwardly and focus on achieving true emotional sobriety.
Your life doesn’t have to be one of pain and suffering in addiction. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a brighter future of peace and serenity. The Lakehouse Recovery Center, located on scenic Lake Sherwood in Southern California, utilizes a highly successful approach to treatment that combines 12-Step, holistic, and alternative recovery services. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 762-3707