5 Emotions that Make Recovery Difficult
Dealing with negative emotions is an unavoidable part of life. Without our emotions, would we even be human? Consider when it has been in your life that you felt the most alive, and consider when you felt out of touch with life. You’ll find that the times we are feeling alive are when we feel positive, excited, joyous, open. Likewise, negative emotions can make us feel alive too, but too much of them can get us stuck in bad behavioral cycles.
In the case of addiction treatment and recovery, these 5 negative emotions come up a lot for people who have struggled with a substance use disorder or SUD.
Anger and Addiction
This may sound strange to say, but anger gets a bad rap. Anger is a valid emotion to feel in certain circumstances when you feel as if you are being wronged or that you have suffered some injustice. We are taught to suppress our anger for the sake of being pleasant or cooperative in school, work, or in the home. To a large extent, this is a good practice. It is not right to take your anger out on people, but oftentimes many people attempt to suppress their anger altogether. Many times, this anger is directed at ourselves, which can be the most difficult to deal with and leads to self-destructive behaviors.
Whenever you suppress an emotion, it always begins to indirectly affect your actions subconsciously. Unexpressed or unacknowledged anger quickly can turn to stress, hopelessness, despair, etc. These emotions are some of the most potent which make it difficult to break the cycle of addiction and substance use.
Guilt and Addiction
In group therapy or even one on one sessions, many people discuss their experience with dealing with tremendous guilt about their addiction. Strangely enough, this guilt keeps or kept them trapped in a cycle of abuse which only leads to more guilt. This is what is known as a vicious cycle, and they are incredibly difficult to break out of.
Guilt is an emotion that can weigh heavily on our psyche, but it can also be a guide that shows us where we must forgive ourselves most and take action to make amends.
Feelings of Shame Substance Addiction
Shame is one of the most commonly professed feelings that people experience with addiction. Shame is much like guilt in that it can make people do the opposite of what would hypothetically make them feel better. If they experience great shame surrounding their addiction, paradoxically, feeling that shame will make them turn back to their addiction as a maladaptive coping strategy.
Loneliness as a Contributor to Addiction
Loneliness is an epidemic in the West. While that is an entirely different topic, loneliness is a major contributing factor to addiction. You can be alone even in a crowd of people; many people suffering from a SUD report overwhelming feelings of social isolation, alienation, and being alone.
Addiction Post Treatment Support VA
Recovery Care Partner is your partner in addiction recovery. There are many facets to addiction treatment, but one of the most important is how post-treatment support is handled. If addiction treatment is there to get you clean and help you learn useful strategies and perspectives for staying sober, then post-treatment support is there to ease you back into regular life without missing a beat. Contact us today.