When a lot of time, energy, and money has been spent on something, it’s natural to feel attached to it. Substances in particular can tug at our heart strings in the same way love does – for many people, substances fill in a void of loneliness, unhappiness, and more. Addiction can affect a person both physically and psychologically, making it difficult to separate when you want to recover. At the beginning of your recovery, it’s normal to go through a grieving process; recovery can involve many changes, including:
- A new lifestyle
- A new perspective
- New surroundings
- New social circles
- New daily routines
These changes will take place over time, but the initiation into them can cause a lot of distress since it’s not what you’re used to. With addiction recovery, detoxification in and of itself can produce feelings of depression, anxiety, fatigue and more, which can further exacerbate the mourning process.
A 2017 article published in the journal Psychodynamic Psychiatry emphasized that much like love, beginning stages of addiction are often marked by arousal, euphoria, and increased occupation with the subject (in this case, the drug). As a person becomes more involved with substances, they are likely to experience withdrawal feelings such as a sense of loss, dysphoria, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, and more when not using. The mind, body, and spirit become so involved in a person’s identity that for many, they feel lost without it. This makes it difficult for them to seek help, as they feel they cannot have a life outside of the drug.
If you’re currently in recovery from addiction, you may be grieving the following:
- The feelings of pleasure it used to bring to you
- Your old social circle
- Loss of job, relationships, finances, and more that occurred because of drug use
- Your sense of self
- The loss of freedom that is now being replaced with responsibility
- Not being able to be there for important life events in your loved ones’ lives
Recovery from addiction may evoke feelings of pleasure and pain. In a sense, it’s quite bittersweet – you’re leaving something that you once thought brought you happiness and joy, and entering a new phase of your life where you focus on things that truly do bring you happiness and joy rather than a false sense of it. It’s a different feeling, and it takes time, but it’s worth it. Stay motivated in your recovery. You will not regret this in the end.
Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program in Portland, Oregon, offering men the journey of finding freedom from addiction. Creating a sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men revolutionize their life through total transformation of mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474