More of those difficulties that are still less painful than the symptoms of the addicted life.
Loss of Control: It is all too common for recovering folks to experience some loss of control over our emotions. As we begin to "feel" again, we recognize feelings that may seem a bit foreign to us. Those feelings can be upsetting and create confusion and fear. How to appropriately address those feelings take time, work, and patience. Being an active member of a support group is one really good way to not be alone in this process.
Partial Recovery: With regular attendance and participation in either NA, AA, or other similar organizations, many addicted persons can adequately maintain their abstinence and sobriety. For many though, after a while, we just get tired of going. Or, we did the steps and now we are done and ready to "move on" with our lives. Here's the rub. If we truly are either an alcoholic or an addict, we are going to be needing the support of others for a long time. Be brutally honest. Did we stop "working" the steps because we decided we had it down, or because we really didn't want to commit to letting our resentments go? We can stop drinking and using, but if we don't address what lies beneath the addictive behavior, we are going to repeat it. Holding on to control means we have a lack of acceptance. Without acceptance or surrender, sustained recovery is difficult.
Complacency: Recovery will suck if you are not 100% dedicated to it. Missing meetings, eliminating prayer, no meditation, falling into a general feeling of false security about our recovery makes recovery just a so-so experience.
Changes in Appetite: For some, the initial stages of recovery create a loss of appetite. For others, we eat anything that doesn't eat us first and can't get enough to eat...especially sugar. With exercise and proper nutrition, our appetites will balance again. Here's the hard part. We have to focus on it and work on it just like anything else.
Impaired Memory: As the neurons of the brain bounce around in a frenzy during the initial stages of abstinence, short-term memory can be affected. In fact, all phases of memory can be affected. We can lose thoughts of years gone by for a short period of time or lose thoughts of yesterday….or of five minutes ago. For most of us, this too will balance out. The process of healing may take a while, anywhere from 6-18 months. The good thing is, we will be able to notice the improvements as they happen, little by little. So, hang in there.
Dr. Candace McDaniel 8021 East Thornton Fwy, Suite A Dallas, Texas 75228