Whether it is day 1 or day 100 since someone with a substance use disorder has stopped drinking or drugging, there is a range of emotions and thoughts that float around their head. Many of these thoughts will be self-destructive or self-deprecating, but not all of them. These individuals may find that as the days go on since their last drink or dose, they think less about their anxiety and guilt, and the more they are able to focus on more positive thoughts. However, these thoughts may never completely go away, and developing positive coping mechanisms is critical.
Let’s explore 5 negative and 5 positive thoughts that an individual in recovery might have at some point in time and how to cope with these thoughts.
5 Negative Thoughts A Recovering Addict May Have
Below are examples of different types of thoughts sparked by emotions an addict may feel:
- Cravings – “I need to find some heroin.”
- Defeat – “I relapsed before and I will relapse again.”
- Hopelessness – “I can’t do this and I’m done trying.”
- Anxiety – “My body is breaking down and withdrawal is going to kill me.”
- Guilt – “My addiction has taken opportunity from my children.”
Coping with Negative Thoughts During Recovery
If you are in recovery, a support system is key. When you have a negative thought, the first thing you should do is reach out to someone in that support system. This could be a family member, your therapist, sponsor, or anyone else that you know supports your recovery. Sometimes saying your thought out loud goes a long way in helping you cope. Your support team can help you work through your thoughts and move forward in a productive way. Additionally, you can always attend a support meeting such as an Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Some other great methods of coping that can work well in addition to talking include:
- Attending a yoga class
5 Positive Thoughts A Recovering Addict May Have
- Hope – “If I can take it one day at a time, then I can do this. There is a future for me.”
- Eagerness – “I am ready to show my loved one’s what I have achieved.”
- Relief – “Thank goodness I found the words and the will to ask for help.”
- Gratitude – “Thank you for my life and for all of the people who have supported me.”
- Excitement – “Sobriety is the best thing that ever happened to me!”
Positive thoughts and emotions can be difficult to process too. Sometimes positive thoughts lead to negative thoughts. It is important to accept your positive thoughts when you are doing well, but not to lie to yourself or to others.
When you really are doing well and taking the initiative to attend meetings, progress your career, and rebuild relationships, allow yourself to feel grateful and excited. Remember, there is nothing wrong with positive emotions when they are coming from a genuine place.
If you are a recovering addict struggling with your thoughts and are thinking about using, or if you have relapsed, do not be afraid to reach out for help. Our addiction treatment professionals at Level Up Lake Worth can provide the support you need. Contact us today to get help!