Giving Up Addiction in Glamorgan
Giving up an addiction usually involves facing lots of challenges. It is important that anyone in Glamorgan who is completing this step is aware that things are not going to be always easy. The benefits of breaking away from substance abuse more than make up for any discomfort, but it is important that the individual has realistic expectations about what lies ahead. This way they will avoid becoming disappointed and then using this as an excuse to relapse. In this article we will be examining some of the challenges that people are likely to face in early recovery.
The Challenges of Early Recovery
The challenges that people are most likely to face in early recovery would include:
- The person is likely to have mood swings during early recovery as their emotions defrost from the numbness of alcohol and drug addiction. These fluctuations in mood can be difficult to deal with unless the individual is prepared for them.
- Giving up alcohol or drugs means letting go of a maladaptive coping mechanism. The problem is that the individual might not have any new coping mechanisms to replace it with. This means that the individual will feel overwhelmed when dealing with life in early recovery. It is for this reason that people are strongly advised to consider drug and alcohol treatment centres. This will give them the opportunity to learn some new and effective coping strategies.
- When people break away from addiction they will often also be giving up on their drinking and drug using friends. Unless the individual manages to replace this network with sober friends they will likely feel unsupported and lonely. Making new friends is often vital to long term sobriety and it something that the individual needs to start doing from their first day sober.
- When the individual gives up alcohol or drugs family and friends may feel a great deal of relief. This does not mean that they may always be willing (or able) to just forget about all the hurt of the past. There can still be a great deal of distrust there and the wounds will still be raw. The individual needs to understand that it is going to take time and effort to get these relationships back on track. In some cases they may even have to accept that some relationships are irretrievable.
- The first few months of addiction recovery are all about learning new things and the person will also need to find out more about what they want for the future. This type of work will often be done more easily in rehab. Alcohol or drug addiction can be difficult to overcome alone because there is so much soul searching that needs to be done.
- The individual is likely to have days in recovery when things feel stressful. It is vital that they have the reserves to be able to deal with these challenges without resorting to alcohol or drugs. This is why people in Glamorgan who are serious about ending an addiction should really consider attending rehab as this will give them a firm foundation in recovery.
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The Challenges of Advanced Recovery
Once the person has been sober for a year or two they will have reached a stage known as advanced recovery. By this time the person should be able to do most of the things they need to do to stay sober automatically, and they should be far more comfortable in their new life. This does not mean that they have made it and can now sit back on their laurels. There are still plenty of challenges ahead including:
- One of the nice things about advanced recovery is that the individual can now go weeks and maybe even months without really thinking about alcohol or drugs – this length of time will increase the longer the person stays sober. This is great news, but there is a danger if the person forgets the pain of addiction. It is often stated that those who forget their mistakes are doomed to repeat them. The individual should certainly be pleased that they rarely think about drinking or using drugs, but it might be a mistake to forget the experience entirely.
- The goal is recovery is progress and not perfection, and this progress never ends. It is the work of a lifetime to chip away at those character flaws that drove the individual into addictive behaviour. The more they are able to eradicate these negative character traits, the bigger the gap the person will be putting between them and addiction. It is the continuing work with these character flaws that requires most of the effort in advanced recovery.
- The real goal of recovery is not just to stop drinking or drug using, but to build a new and better life. By the time the individual has reached advanced recovery they will be ready to begin making their dreams for life a reality. Now is the time to begin putting effort into new projects and the individual may do things like change careers.
- It is usually suggested that people in early recovery avoid romance or making any major changes in their life. By the time the individual has reached advanced recovery they are usually strong enough to deal with new relationships and other major life changes. It is important though, that the individual does not take on more than they can manage. A sign of growing sobriety is that the person understands their limits, and that this affects their actions.
- The person can now put more effort into repairing their relationships. The fact that they have been sober now for a relatively long period of time should help convince most people that they are being serious about change. It is important to keep in mind that these people will often have been badly hurt by the addiction, and they are under no obligation to forgive no matter how much the person has changed.
Twelve Step Groups in Glamorgan
Alcoholics Anonymous – Pontypridd Thursday Meeting – Thursday 20:00 – St David’s Uniting Church, Gelliwasted Road, Pontypridd
Alcoholics Anonymous – Treforest Meeting – Saturday 20:00 – Taff Meadow Community Centre, Broadway, Treforest, Pontypridd
We offer dedicated local treatment across Glamorgan including Powys, Cardiff, Swansea, Barry, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath, Pontypridd