If you are suffering from a substance use disorder and have opted to get healthy, you should be proud of yourself for making such a difficult and courageous decision. However, many people report feeling bored, uninspired, or sad after quitting drugs.
This is a trying situation, and you might be questioning your sobriety. A time of sorrow or despair, on the other hand, is a common side effect of substance withdrawal. It is important to consider why this happens and what you can do to improve your situation.
I Quit — Why Don’t I Feel Happy?
Before you took your first courageous step toward recovery, you probably heard innumerable stories about how wonderful life can be once you overcome addiction. While better days are on the horizon, many people experience a difficult period shortly after quitting drugs.
These are withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant, especially for people addicted to alcohol, heroin, or methamphetamine as it includes an emotional component. They have irregular sleep cycles and may cry a lot. This contrasts with the elation you would have felt when intoxicated or high.
This moment of misery can be frightening if drugs were a big part of your life. Perhaps you are frightened that this is how it will be for the rest of your life. These emotions are common during the rehabilitation process. Depression and sadness will pass as your brain and body recover from the destructive effects of addiction.
How the Brain Changes Due to Drugs and Addiction
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter released in the brain when we engage in pleasure-inducing activities. A healthy brain rewards good habits like exercise, eating, and socializing. Addiction hijacks the brain’s reward circuitry.
Drugs rapidly release dopamine into the brain and the potential to obtain dopamine from smaller, healthier sources is dwarfed. Basically, addiction hijacks your danger-sensing mechanism.
You suddenly feel anxious and stressed without medications. The memory of drug use is powerful even after you stop, which means that everyday pleasures become difficult to enjoy without drugs.
What You Can Do to Feel Better
Do you just wait for your brain to heal itself? Not at all. You can train your brain to discover joy and happiness through the small things in life. To stay motivated, do things you liked before you started using drugs:
- Surround yourself with trustworthy friends and take pleasure in their presence
- Laugh out loud while viewing your favorite comedy films or binge-watching a superb TV show
- Look after yourself by getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising
- Take a walk in the woods or simply calm down and breathe
- Practice gratitude by writing down five things you are thankful for every morning
Getting well should be honored when you’re battling a substance use disorder, which is challenging and brave. When unhappiness tries to drag you down and make you question your recovery journey, remember that a substance-free life is worth fighting for. If you’re tired of battling addiction on your own, Avalon Malibu can help. We offer professional addiction treatment services that can help you find peace and joy in sobriety. Learn more by contacting us today at (844) 857-5992.