Maybe you hear about emotional sobriety alot but have no idea what it means. It is not about being emotional, or a state of emotions, rather it is your state of being in recovery. When people are stuck in addiction, emotional sobriety can be a long, distant thought, if any thought at all. Emotional regulation and really getting honest with yourself is the only way to move forward in recovery for the long haul.
Defining Emotional Sobriety
Emotional sobriety can be a term used to describe a state of mind that goes beyond physical recovery. Recovery does not always mean there will be rainbows and butterflies. It actually means being pushed to the edge by recovery, and life, and learning how to cope with those feelings in a healthy way so old habits die to let new ones take over.
If we did not have feelings, we would not be human. Emotional sobriety is less based on how you feel than the ability to feel your feelings in the first place. These feelings can be a roller coaster, especially in early sobriety. When you are in addiction, you may push your feelings down with substances. Whether it is to drink to feel happy or use drugs when you’re upset, the act of sobriety is a process physically, but also mentally. There is no getting rid of your feelings, they are part of what makes you human. When you learn how to think first, you can live an easier life.
Interpersonal connections are important in sobriety. When you get sober and shed old friends, you are able to form new relationships. Once bonds begin to form, you can develop commonalities and begin to see people for who they are. These bonds reconnect us with friends and with those who were once close to us. Addiction can take a toll on a person’s self-esteem and confidence. Without substances, we can begin to see who we are on a deeper level and recognize what kind of person you want to become. Self-reflection is part of emotional sobriety.
Even while you are in the throes of addiction, life is happening all around. You may not notice it for the time, but when you become sober, it all comes full tilt at you. This can be discombobulating, especially if you are not used to hearing, seeing, tasting, and experiencing all the life around you. Emotional sobriety is about seeing your struggles as beneficial and grief as a tool to grow. You cannot put yourself and move forward. You can, however, start to use new tools to build your life and take measures to get your life to where you want it to be. There is no timeline for how to achieve emotional sobriety. It takes little steps built on days, weeks, years, and even decades to achieve a sense of peace. But, take heart, you are going to feel better with all those little steps and it will make a huge difference to not only you but the loved ones around you who care about your sobriety as much as you do.
Sound Recovery helps you get present in the moment with our programs, services and resources. If you are struggling with emotional or physical sobriety, we can help. Our programs and resources are designed with your personal recovery in mind. Call us at 561-277-3088 to get started.