Sobriety involves more than just a physical component. While physical sobriety means not using substances that can be addictive, emotional sobriety involves learning to effectively manage the emotions that can lead to substance abuse and relapse for many.
Why Emotional Sobriety is Important
Emotional sobriety can have a direct impact on the success of physical sobriety. Nearly all who abuse substances can trace their tendency toward that abuse to emotional traumas and the urge to avoid negative feelings by getting drunk or high. Learning to confront and process negative emotions is a key facet of long-term sobriety.
The reality of life is that you will never be free of all problems and traumas. Part of any successful recovery will include learning to deal with stressors in a constructive and healthy way so that they will not derail the progress you may have made in treatment and recovery.
Components of Emotional Sobriety
Balance. At the core of emotional sobriety is learning how to balance the different parts of your life. Many who struggle with addiction tend to substitute something they consider more healthy for the addictive substance, leading them to put nearly everything into work, family, or some other part of their life. When that thing inevitably breaks down or becomes difficult, relapse becomes a strong risk because life is still out of balance.
Thinking before acting. Impulsiveness never leads to good decisions. Learning to think before acting is an absolute necessity to arrest the cycle of automatically reacting to thoughts and feelings that can be largely unconscious much of the time. Without taking the time to think through your feelings and decide what the best course of action is, you are left with a knee-jerk reaction that is not healthy and could result in poor decisions about substance use.
Accepting reality for what it is. The unpleasant things in your life will never be easy to accept, but the alternative, escaping into substance abuse, is not at all pleasant either in the end. Being able to accept where you are and make the best of it will help you to stay on a more even emotional keel and be less affected by everything that happens.
Doing what you can to improve and move forward. Once you have accepted reality, it is time to think about what you can do to move forward and improve your life. It is possible that some painful or difficult things in your life, like your economic circumstances, living situation, or career path, do not have to be accepted forever, but can be improved with effort and hard work. Even relationships can sometimes be repaired over time.
Part of emotional sobriety comes from life experience and maturity over time, but you can help it along by working at being more emotionally healthy and increase your chances of resisting relapse at the same time. Recovery Village at Palmer Lake teaches emotional sobriety to help people protect against relapse and be more successful in their recovery. Contact us today to begin your journey to emotional sobriety and better health.