Navigating the Raw Emotions of Early Recovery

People showing various feeling expression emoticons

Rehabilitation programs do an excellent job of orienting you to a daily routine that keeps you accountable for your commitment to substance abuse recovery. After you’ve left the comfort and safety of a facility, finding a new routine is one of the main keys to maintaining the success you’ve achieved from treatment and continuing your journey toward sober living. The emotions one feels in these early days of recovery are anything but easy, and having a plan of what to do when painful emotions surface helps reduce any chances of backsliding.

Finding the right approach for you when effectively managing the turbulent emotions in early recovery takes time. Everyone will have their unique formula of what works best for them. If you don’t know your preferred coping mechanisms, the list below details some good places to start calming any anxious thoughts about substances that arise.

Try Doing One of These When Your Emotions Start to Feel Heavy

  • Meditating
  • Go for a walk in nature
  • Call a friend or family member
  • Call your sponsor
  • Go to an AA meeting
  • Discuss your feelings in an outpatient group
  • Exercise
  • Write or journal
  • Practice a self-care routine
  • Engage in prayer or other spiritual practices

In the early days of recovery, the temptation to pick up and start using can easily sneak up on you and leave you feeling very anxious. By engaging with yourself and your emotions through whatever activity feels right to you, whether it’s through writing, talking to others, or spending time in nature, will help interrupt you from spiraling down a trail of anxious thoughts. Creating these positive habits will create a devoted time for you to be with your thoughts and understand yourself better, which, together, helps calm volatile emotions.

Recovery is a daily battle, but the early days of recovery when you are still trying to create your new identity of being a sober person are particularly difficult emotionally. Having practices to fall back on to support you when your emotions feel overwhelming is a key way to get through this difficult period. If you or a loved one needs help getting or staying sober, call Avalon Malibu. Avalon Malibu is a California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse treatment center that can help you in your recovery and mental health struggles. At Avalon, we specialize in creating an individualized treatment that addresses the needs of a whole person to get them back to living a life they are excited about. Call us today at (844) 857-5992.

We will work with most out of network PPO policies

Call 888-835-8075 to verify your insurance benefits today!
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Health Net
Blue Of California