Physical detox and abstinence from addictive substances are only the beginning of addiction rehabilitation. If your abstinence is based on willpower and “following the rules,” or if you ignore other difficulties, tension from unresolved emotions may build up, making you vulnerable to relapse. Emotional sobriety is a healthy alternative: learning to recognise and deal with your feelings, no matter how painful, illogical, or disgusting they may appear. “Real men don’t become emotional,” no matter how many times you’ve been told.
Are you seeing a therapist and attending a support group on a regular basis?
The path from emotional suppression to emotional sobriety is rarely simple or straightforward. Drawing everything out at once, especially when it comes to profound feelings tied to trauma, can be too difficult to bear. The ideal method is to seek counselling from a counsellor who has experience guiding clients through the process of confronting their feelings. Also, consider joining a peer support group to help you feel less alone and explore your emotions in a safe atmosphere.
Are You Willing to Accept Your Limitations?
It’s easy to see emotional sobriety as a goal to be attained fast and in clearly defined phases, especially if you’ve always been a fix-it guy. Don’t. As previously said, you may not be ready to face with the full impact of your greatest emotions (especially in the fragile early phases of physical sobriety). Even if you were, discovering long-suppressed feelings is never simple, and requiring immediate results simply adds to your stress. Stress, on the other hand, simply fosters relapse.
Do you practise mindfulness on a regular basis?
Mindfulness, or the art of lowering stress by fully experiencing current reality, is an essential component of emotional sobriety. As a first step toward understanding what real needs lurk behind those sentiments, mindfulness requires honestly admitting your feelings (even any you think you shouldn’t have). Such self-awareness is necessary for effectively designing solutions to address those requirements.
If you’ve been told your whole life that strong men don’t show emotion, the road to emotional sobriety could be just as difficult as the original detox. Sharing the journey is the best way to make it easier. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and it is the first step in overcoming obstacles.