If you’ve been “overusing” drugs and alcohol for years, your life is probably in pretty rough shape. It’s easy to think that simply putting down the booze and drugs is the answer to all your problems – that getting clean will make the mess disappear and life will get instantly easier.
While this does seem to happen for some people, it’s definitely not the rule. For far more of us, getting off the sauce was just the beginning. Early recovery was not easy, and we wondered where the so-called “pink cloud” was.
It’s easy to get discouraged and lose faith. If you are struggling with early recovery, read on for a little sustenance to get you through….
Give Yourself Time
The first message to the hopeless is this: wait it out. You didn’t get sick overnight and things aren’t going to get better overnight. While drugs and booze offered quick relief that didn’t last, recovery offers relief of a slower variety. It takes time to unfold but the results last. If you can manage to stick it out through the doubt and discomfort of the early days, a new life awaits on the other side. Hold steady, breathe deep, and try not to burn anything down in the process.
It Gets Better
For many people, the early days of recovery are a minefield. There are the trials of physical detox, awakening to the troubles your lifestyle has caused, and the flurry of emotions that seem like they could take you out at any moment. Anxiety, depression, fear, regret….these are not pleasant sober companions. And yet, to get to the other side, these are the storms we must weather. The good news is that beyond the difficulties, there are wonders to behold! This is what people often refer to as the “pink cloud” – a time early on when the chaos has subsided and there is some peace to be found. Hang in there – everyone has their turn. If, that is, you don’t pick up and do the real work of restoring your life. Questions? Refer to point 1.
What Matters is What You Do, Not What You Think
Here is another salient point: it doesn’t matter much what you think about early recovery. You can hate your counselor, your group, the 12 steps, or any other aspect of your sober life. Thankfully, you don’t have to like it (or even believe in it!) for it to work. Millions of people have found relief and freedom through the 12-steps and the evidence-based treatment models offered by reputable rehabs. If you do the work, lasting recovery IS available. Not convinced? See points 1,2.
If you are just starting out in recovery and are struggling, hang in there. If you think it will be impossible for you to find a good, happy life while clean and sober, we urge you to give it a shot. If you can survive the early days, you can survive just about anything. It WILL get better if you walk through the fire.
Need extra support? We got you. Reach out and one of our team will get back to you. We have a wealth of experience and a range of treatment options for those in need of help. Our top-notch team has helped scores of people find lasting recovery, and brings compassion, wisdom, and knowledge to help you through the early days and beyond.