man suffers through painful emotions

It’s Going to Hurt: Dealing with Painful Emotions While Sober


Sober Recovery Expert Author

man suffers through painful emotions

Throughout life, all individuals experience a wide range of emotions—from joy and ecstasy to grief and depression. However, not everyone is able to take the bad with the good.

People who struggle with addiction tend to be especially quick to kick and scream or attempt an escape tactic when it comes to any emotional pain. This is true due to one simple fact: we’ve spent the duration of our addiction trying desperately to suppress and deny pain. And, typically speaking, when the drugs, alcohol, and numbness wear off and the physical ramifications of withdrawal have dissipated, the guilt, shame, grief, and pain floods in, along with numerous other overwhelming and sometimes mixed emotions.

Just as successful recovery from addiction requires a multi-faceted and somewhat individualized approach, successful emotional recovery demands the same.

The Need for Healing

Grief is a process and is generally intensified in recovery because people are required to let go of many things they know, including the identity they have acquired during their active addiction. This is why emotional recovery is such a vital part of the process. Though it may take more work and require the assistance of a counselor, the added steps to achieve holistic healing are certainly worth it. After all, leaving emotional pain unaddressed tends to pose a high risk for relapse.

For those in recovery, this means adding individual therapy to deal with the emotional pain stemming from addiction. Additionally, seeking added support groups, self-help books and other important resources recommended by the therapist or counselor is important. Just as successful recovery from addiction requires a multi-faceted and somewhat individualized program, successful emotional recovery demands the same.

Pain Makes Us Human

The experience of pain doesn’t always equate to a diagnosis. More often than not, it’s simply part of being human. Everyone—whether they’re addicted, recovering, or not—benefits from some emotional growth and healing because, at the end of the day, we are all supposed to feel pain. In fact, we are supposed to feel, period. It’s how we know we’re not just alive, but living.

Pain lasts longer than detox. It extends past 28 days. For the sake of successful recovery and your life itself, you have to accept the pain and all the uncomfortable feelings that come with human existence. And, if it is too much to bear alone or seemingly overwhelming, do as you did when the pain of active addiction proved to be the same—get help.

If you or someone you know would like help dealing with emotional pain, please visit our directory of counseling and therapy centers or call 866-606-0182 to start the path to recovery today.

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