Getting clean and sober is hard work, and every day is a day to celebrate if you don’t use. But there is always a period of adjustment for people who are newly sober. With that adjustment, you will find that you’re settling into new habits and making new friends. Life, in general, is better when you’re sober. But sobriety is only achieved one day at a time, and there are many obstacles or dangers you may encounter along the way.
Here are five common dangers to look out for:
- Overconfidence: Sometimes you might spend so much time feeling good about yourself that you become overconfident in your recovery. You may not be paying attention to triggers, or you may think you can handle tempting situations on your own. This kind of thinking can set you up for a relapse. Share about it at a meeting before you take any action.
- Denial: Some people in sobriety will find the longer they are sober, the more they believe that their drinking or drugging “wasn’t so bad.” This is called minimizing, and it’s a defense mechanism that can ultimately cause you to pick up a drug or a drink. If it “wasn’t so bad” then why on earth did you end up in treatment or at 12-step meetings? People without addictions don’t worry about if they do or do not have an addiction. You must have been unhappy if you sought out help.
- Fear: Believe it or not, fear is another trigger that you need to look out for. Being sober may feel very foreign to you. The fear of the unknown can drive people to relapse. Talk about your worries with your support group. Don’t forget to acknowledge if you are afraid of using, too. That is a positive thing to fear.
- Depression or Anxiety: Untreated mental health issues can cause a person to pick up a drink or a drug again. Self-medicating is very common for people who experience depression or anxiety. If you think this is you, there’s no harm in being evaluated for a mental health disorder. You’re not alone, and there is a lot of support available.
- Changing Addictions: Many people who suffer from a substance use disorder may start doing other things that are addictive. Spending twelve hours playing video games, starting to gamble, or refusing to put down your call phone can all be signs that you’re engaging in another compulsive behavior. While you may benefit from working the steps to treat this behavior, you should also consider consulting a therapist to find out more about new coping mechanisms.
Recovery is a journey, not a destination. Confide in your support network and don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself engaging in one of the behaviors above. Instead, speak with your support system. Let people know if you’re struggling. And make sure to reach out and get the help you need and deserve.
Getting Help for Substance Use Disorders
Do you or somebody you know have a problem with addiction? Help is available, but you’ve got to reach out. Make the call today! We offer a range of services for alcohol and drug rehab in San Diego County. Get in touch at 619-363-4767.