18 Jun Why You Can’t Cut Corners in Drug or Alcohol Recovery
In today’s fast-paced society, we’ve all become jaded by modern conveniences. We take it for granted that we can download a two-hour movie within just a few seconds, or order anything from a pencil to a car online and have it delivered within a day or two. The fact that there’s no quick fix for addiction recovery can be a challenge, especially in the earliest phases, but here’s why it’s worth it to put in the work to get to the reward.
No Instant Gratification in Healing
Addicts become used to being able to control the way they feel, rather than processing their emotions naturally using healthy coping mechanisms. For people with an addiction, drugs, alcohol and other compulsive behaviors like overeating short-circuit the reward centers in the brain by releasing a flood of dopamine, muffling anxiety, depression and other dysfunctional emotions.
Rather than living in the moment and taking things as they come, people in active addiction become used to life in instant-fix mode, using substances to erase their problems. In the beginning stages of addiction recovery, therefore, it can be a significant adjustment to find yourself with so much time to explore your feelings and learn other ways to handle stress.
Detox Is Only the First Step
Once you’ve successfully completed an accredited drug or alcohol detox program and entered the next phase of your treatment, unrealistic expectations are a very real pitfall you’ll want to avoid. Many people mistakenly assume undergoing detox to clear their bodies and brains of toxic chemicals puts them on the fast track to fixing all the problems associated with years of drug or alcohol abuse. However, getting clean through detox is only the first stage in a lifelong process of healing and learning patience and acceptance.
During detox and early recovery, it’s common to feel bad, both physically and psychologically. As you move through the first year to 18 months of your recovery, you’ll continue to experience a range of symptoms known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome. During this phase, healing continues to progress at a gradual pace. This process requires patience and a commitment to staying the course with your recovery plan. Every day, you will take steps toward becoming a healthier, better-balanced individual.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
As you reach milestone after milestone of your recovery journey, you will learn how to identify the underlying causes that led to your self-destructive behavior, so you can learn to recognize them if you find yourself falling into the same cycle. While your long-term recovery unfolds over the years, one-on-one and group therapies can be especially helpful in complementing your progress. Keeping a recovery journal can also help you see how much you have grown as a person.
You can’t rush your recovery process any more than you can make yourself grow several inches taller through sheer willpower. You owe it to yourself to be patient with the process, and accept that you’ll continue to see progress at every step of the way — even if it doesn’t happen as instantaneously as you might like. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and your health is your greatest treasure in life. Contact our California detox center to begin your lifelong healing process today.