Substance Abuse Recovery
Do You Worry That You’ll Have To Deal With Relapse For The Rest Of Your Life?
Are you recovering from an addiction, but you feel frustrated at your lack of progress? Do you feel like you’ll never be completely clean or sober? Maybe you find yourself surrounded by the same people and places that trigger your cravings. As much as you want to cut substances out of your life, doing so would require a major shakeup of your daily routine and social habits.
When you’re recovering from an addiction, everything else in your life may seem small by comparison. Perhaps you feel distracted at work and unable to enjoy yourself with friends and family because of how much your habit occupies your mind. You may hide your struggles because you’re afraid that others will judge you or won’t be able to relate to your suffering. Loved ones may ask you: “Why can’t you just stop?” As a result, you may feel lonely, misunderstood, and angry at everyone around you.
Oftentimes, the hardest part of the recovery process is knowing that, for all the progress you’ve made, there is no magical cure. It probably feels like you’ll have to deal with the possibility of relapse for the rest of your life. And while addiction recovery is a lifelong journey, it doesn’t have to be a stressful one. Whether you want individual or group therapy, SMPsychotherapy & Counseling can help you manage your triggers and cravings and widen your support system in ways you never thought possible.
Most Addictions In Our Culture Are Viewed Too Casually
Nearly 20 million Americans suffer from an addiction¹. And when you consider how many cases of addiction go unacknowledged and untreated, the number is probably even higher. From alcohol to illicit drugs to pornography to social media, there has never been an easier time to form unhealthy dependencies than now.
Part of the reason so many addictions go unreported is because of how casually our culture views most of the activities that spawn compulsive behaviors. While there may be nothing inherently wrong with drinking alcohol, viewing pornography, or spending lots of time on social media, all of these activities in excess can lead to harmful dependencies. But because these habits are often seen in such a neutral light, many people are reluctant to accept that they can be damaging.
On the other hand, a lot of Americans are raised in homes where addiction is looked upon as shameful and embarrassing. They may be afraid to admit they have a problem because the people in their life will view their addiction as a character flaw or a personal weakness.
In reality, addiction is not a flaw or a weakness—it’s an illness. Once you see it as an illness, it becomes easier to be kind to yourself and accept that healing is a lifelong process. On your own, however, it’s easy to lose perspective and forget this fundamental truth. By coming to counseling, you have a chance to reframe how you see addiction and work through it with a kind, compassionate professional.
Recovery Treatment Can Help You Process Unresolved Emotions And Embrace A Future Free Of Substance Abuse
Let’s face it: most rehab clinics for addiction treatment are highly impractical. They are too expensive for the average person and require constant participation and little room for flexibility.
Thankfully, SMPsychotherapy & Counseling provides a chance to get support at your own convenience. Because our sessions are generally conducted on a weekly basis, you don’t have to worry about squeezing therapy into your busy life. Whether you want individual counseling, group therapy, or both, we want to meet you wherever you are in life and teach you skills for managing and overcoming addiction.
In sessions together, we will help you figure out why you started using substances to deal with your emotions. In particular, our practice often explores the connection between grief and addiction. After all, addiction often begins as a means of coping with grief, whether it’s grieving the loss of a job, a loved one, or simply a way of life.
Even when you’ve recovered from an addiction, a sense of grieving still persists. For instance, you may find that you had to cut out certain social activities and certain groups of friends who made it easy for you to use drugs or alcohol. Perhaps you’re mourning their place in your life and wishing you had them back. We want to help you work through your grief so that you can process the unresolved emotions in your life and adjust to the lifestyle changes you’ve made.
Nonetheless, true recovery involves more than just letting go. It involves adding new pillars of protection and relief into your life. We want to help you rebuild your social support network and seek out relationships that encourage you to stay clean or sober. In this way, group counseling for substance abuse recovery often acts as a starting point. It’s a chance to get support and validation from people who share the same struggles as you and can provide accountability in day-to-day life. And if you’re not ready to share your story with other people, your counselor can still connect you to local resources for extra support.
Our practice draws heavily from an approach called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The goal of CBT is to help you explore the connection between negative thought patterns in your life and the triggers and cravings you wrestle with. Because addiction is an illness of the brain, changing the way you think can help you change how you respond to these triggers and cravings. For instance, if you have a tendency to use substances when you feel bad about yourself, reframing your thoughts and beliefs can prevent you from spiraling down in the first place.
No matter how stuck you feel, it’s important to remember that setbacks are natural and recovery does not happen overnight. The most important thing is simply having the right support in your life. Becoming sober or clean may start from a personal choice, but it takes a village to get there. Here at SMPsychotherapy & Counseling, our goal is to be that village for you. We want to help you be more mindful of your triggers and more equipped to face a future without substance abuse.
You may have some concerns about substance abuse recovery…
I’m fully recovered and everything’s great. I don’t think I need any help.
Right now, you may be on your “pink cloud”—the stage of recovery where it seems like nothing in your life could ever go wrong again. If so, then congratulations—that is a testament to how hard you’ve worked and how much progress you’ve made! Nonetheless, recovery does not eliminate the potential for relapse. Slip-ups are always possible. By coming to group therapy and getting regular help from an addiction counselor, you will be more prepared to deal with slip-ups and can ensure that you have a strong support system to fall back on in times of need.
I don’t have a support system because no one understands what I’m going through.
This is often the worst part of coping with an addiction: the fact that the people around you—even those you love and trust—may not be able to relate to your pain. If this is the case, then we would highly encourage you to pursue group therapy. Whether you want treatment for drug addiction, alcoholism, or any other harmful dependencies, group counseling is a chance to meet people who understand your experience and know what it’s like to feel alone in the midst of your pain.
I have a lot of past hurt, and I don’t feel ready to forgive the people who caused it.
There may be people in your life who unwittingly caused you to fall into your addiction. Perhaps they fed your drug or alcohol habit without knowing it. Deep down, you probably find it impossible to forgive them because of how much you’ve suffered. At the same time, in order to fully recover, it’s essential to let go of grudges and resentment. Just as addiction springs from a place of hurt, healing can only come from a place of forgiveness.
Widen Your Support System In Ways You Never Thought Possible
Recovering from addiction can be a lonely process. At SMPsychotherapy & Counseling, you have the opportunity to get support from a caring professional and meet people on the same journey to healing and sobriety that you’re on. To get started, you can email us or call 203-800-9778.
At the moment, because of COVID-19, all our substance abuse recovery sessions are held via telehealth.