Dealing with Emotions During Alcoholism Treatment
For the duration of their active addiction, most alcoholics report feeling numb to most emotions, except anger or deep depression. When they stop drinking, they are often surprised at the range of emotions they experience and the comparatively small events that seem to trigger those emotions. A look from someone can cause self-doubt, worry or fear. A kind word can completely turn their outlook from sad to exultant. It can be disturbing, but it’s something that should be expected as you work through the serious issues that accompany alcohol addiction.
Here’s what to expect and what you can do to get through it as smoothly as possible.
Accept that Emotions Will Be an Issue
You’re used to alcohol numbing your emotions, making you somewhat callous in the face of others’ pain – and your own pain. Without alcohol, you not only will experience a return of feeling but may end up with a flood of emotions that have been pent up during your addiction. Events that occurred while you were actively drinking and any sadness you felt that may have propelled you to begin drinking in the first place will now surface. All you can do is work through it, and let time and psychological treatment do its work.
Learn How to Recognize What Triggers Certain Emotions
Throughout the day, jot down when you notice a strong and unexpected reaction to things people say, things you see on TV and events you witness or hear about. If that’s not possible, take a moment at the end of the day to write down what you can remember. Describe how you felt immediately before, during and after, taking a special note of the changes. Did your skin feel hot? Did your heart race? Did your breathing change? Learning how to recognize these changes will make you better prepared so you can get your reactions in check, even if you can’t yet stem the emotions.
Commit to Working Through the Most Difficult Emotions
One of the things that you should be focused on during alcohol addiction treatment is working through the issues that bring up the strong emotions that are difficult for you. Addressing these issues during treatment helps to protect you from relapse later on, so as difficult as it may be, committing to work through your harder issues as much as possible during alcohol rehab will serve you for the rest of your recovery.
Alcohol Treatment at Michael’s House
Contact us today to learn more about our alcohol detox and addiction treatment program here at Michael’s House.
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