Emotions are a part of life. You encounter these feelings every day, and they have a huge influence on how you live and interact with other people. Many addictions arise in response to different kinds of emotions, from intense sadness to anxiety. Perhaps you feel more comfortable numb, so you drink or get high so that you don’t have to feel anything.
During your Recovery, you may find yourself confronting a number of powerful emotions for the first time in a long time. Even the most basic emotions may leave you feeling uncomfortable and longing for the numbness your Substance Addiction brought.
Emotions don’t have to be destructive. In this post, we’ll discuss the most basic human emotions — sadness, anger, fear, disgust and happiness. Learning how to feel these emotions in a healthy way is one way to ensure a successful Recovery.
Different Types of Emotions in Your Recovery Journey
No matter where you go in the world, emotions are a universal human experience. Addiction can dampen or mask intense emotions. So, as your body is cleansed from drugs and alcohol, you may experience a rush of strong feelings.
Even the most basic emotions — sadness, anger, fear, disgust, happiness — may feel overwhelming. Here we will list the types of emotions you may be faced with in Recovery and what you can do to ensure your sobriety.
Sadness is characterized by feelings of grief, loss, disappointment and hopelessness. In most people, sadness is transient and soon fades away. However, for those recovering from addiction, confronting the things you’ve lost because of drugs or alcohol can lead to intense sadness or even depression.
To ensure this feeling doesn’t overwhelm you, root yourself in the Recovery process, enlist a support network, and find new, healthy habits that excite you. While it may take time to erase feelings of sadness, these positive connections and activities will give you new hope.
Anger is a particularly powerful emotion that is usually directed toward someone else. As you recover, you may find yourself hanging on to bitterness because of the hurt or pain another person has caused you. You may even be angry at yourself for the choices you’ve made.
Dwelling on anger is dangerous. If you focus on injustice, anger can serve as a trigger that drives you back to drugs or alcohol. Forgiveness, on the other hand, is a conscious decision you can make to let go of past wrongs and move forward with your life.
While fear is a natural biological reaction and part of our flight or fight response, excessive fear takes a lot of energy that could be put to better use. When you worry, whether it’s dwelling on past mistakes or dreading what’s to come, you’re focusing on things you have zero control over.
Take it one day at a time. Concentrate on the present and commit your energy to changing the things that you can.
Disgust is a natural reaction usually directed toward an unpleasant taste, sight or smell. However, as you recover and encounter behaviors and actions you experienced while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this feeling may be directed toward yourself.
Don’t allow disgust at your past actions to lead to low self-value or low self-esteem. Instead, use your feelings of remorse to motivate change in your life. Acknowledge your wrongdoings and work to make amends.
When in the grips of addiction, it may feel like your only source of happiness is getting high or drunk. However, there is a strong link between health and happiness. As you achieve physical, mental, and spiritual healing in Recovery, you’ll find a greater sense of overall contentment.
Confront Your Emotions in a Safe Place at 7 Summit Pathways
While we just touched on five basic feelings, there are many other emotions you’re bound to experience and confront during your Recovery journey. While facing these emotions may feel uncomfortable, 7 Summit Pathways is here to help. Our individualized treatment programs are designed to support you as you identify and address issues that require emotional processing so you can find hope and healing in Recovery.
If you want to break the bonds of addiction and you need a safe place where you can confront your emotions, contact 7 Summit Pathways today.