Are You Avoiding Happiness in Addiction Treatment?

Published April 15, 2019 by:

Addiction treatment is the time to learn new skills and tools that will help you rebuild a healthy, happy, and meaningful life in sobriety. Because addiction treatment brings so many changes, hanging onto toxicity can happen in the process because alcoholics and addicts are fearful of the possibility that they may never feel better, or feel happiness, without a substance. After all, beyond drugs and alcohol, addicts and alcoholics are addicted to escaping reality.

So, are your fears contributing to you avoiding happiness in addiction treatment? When you allow your fear to win over your faith, you are ignoring the many possibilities to the contrary of your irrational thoughts. As people, we are driven by fear and motivated by dreams; so when are you going to start being motivated by the endless possibilities of your dreams and stop letting fear limit you? We avoid happiness, whether it be conscious or subconscious, because we are fearful.

Avoiding happiness can manifest itself in many ways during addiction treatment, here are just a few ways you could be avoiding happiness in drug and alcohol rehabilitation:

  • Holding back unresolved issues
  • Especially during therapy sessions, you should be open and honest. The only way to heal unresolved internal problems is by talking about them. If you never speak up about things that have bothered you in the past, or are bothering you now, then no one will ever help you get through them. You need to bring everything up that you could possibly be weighed down by, in order to process the emotions behind it and work through it.

  • Not building a sober support network
  • Building a support network of sober people will set your sobriety up for success. If you refuse to reach out to others and build relationships with them, your recovery will suffer. Building meaningful relationships will contribute to your happiness, so if you aren’t doing this then you are avoiding happiness.

  • Not trying new things
  • If you never try something, then you don’t know if it will work for you or not. Trying new things leads to self-discovery, and you could end up finding something that you enjoy doing and truly brings you joy.

  • Not putting forth effort
  • Most alcoholics and addicts are afraid to put forth all of their effort into something, because they are scared of failing. This fear is irrational because you will automatically fail if you do not try. If you truly put forth all of your effort into recovery, there is no doubt in our minds that you will succeed, and Royal Life Centers is here to guide and support you along each step of the way.

  • Harboring resentments
  • Holding onto a grudge, or resentment, will eventually hurt you. Things rooted in anger, like resentments, will weigh you down and do you a disservice as you are on the path of recovery. Talking about these resentments with your therapist will ensure that nothing gets in your way of finding happiness.

  • Keeping people at an arms-length
  • Not allowing others to connect with you, and not allowing yourself to connect with others is keeping you from creating meaningful relationships. The disconnection with other people will block you from happiness, as true happiness is bred in meaningful relationships or friendships.

  • Distrust
  • This point goes along with keeping others at an arms-length away from you. Not being open to trusting others will hurt your ability to create meaningful relationships. Not trusting others is usually done in protection, however, distrust for everyone will end up hurting you in the long-run.

  • Letting yourself sulk
  • There is a difference between sitting in your emotions, and letting yourself sulk in them. During the intensive therapies we provide at Royal Life Centers, guests are encouraged to feel their true emotions as they presents themselves, however, it is never recommended to allow those emotions to overcome you and effect your thoughts and behaviors. We use behavioral therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectal behavioral therapy to teach tools like emotion regulation and coping mechanisms. The tools and skills we teach, help guests with feeling his or her emotions without being controlled by them.

  • Taking other people’s inventory
  • Taking other people’s “inventory” is essentially keeping a tally of the things that everyone else is doing wrong. Usually, people do this when they want to avoid looking at themselves. By focusing on what other people are doing, you are turning a blind eye to your own problem behaviors. Focusing on yourself in recovery is important for personal growth. Worry about what you are doing, not what everyone else is doing; you are in drug rehab to work on yourself, not other people.

  • Being superficially compliant
  • Being superficially compliant makes you look willing during rehabilitation, however, you will not get the true work of recovery done if you are just going through the motions. Speaking up about things that you don’t want to do or don’t understand the point of will allow you to work through these things. This is the type of work you need to do to find happiness. Speaking your truth will only strengthen your recovery. Hiding from your truth is behavior linked to your alcohol abuse or substance use disorder, you need to bring attention to the things you don’t want to talk about, the things that make you uncomfortable, the rules you’re having a problem following— because from these conversations comes healing.

  • Looking for external things to make you happy
  • Happiness is in who we are and what we do, not in what we have. Material things, money, and how many likes we get on Instagram are all things that have no contribution to our true happiness. Instead of hyper-focusing on all the things you could have that would make you happy, focus on doing things that bring you joy and acting in a way thats respectful to yourself and others. By doing the next right thing and acting in a way that betters yourself, you are opening up a world of happiness. Don’t be overcome by racing thoughts that revolve around this obsession with happiness— thinking that happiness is in another destination, in another job, or another person; until you give up the notion that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.

    In our recovery programs, guests are encouraged to cut ties with negativity and embrace the beauty that a life free from drugs and alcohol can provide. Royal Life Centers offers both inpatient and outpatient programs, all using evidence based treatment that is proven effective. Alcohol and drug addiction will effect your mental health, but that doesn’t mean you have to let your addiction rule the rest of your life. We help guests recover in the mind, body, and spirit. At Royal Life Centers, we offer a variety of treatment options, including: medical detox, a residential inpatient program, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), an outpatient program (OP), sober living and graduate housing. Our treatment programs were designed to follow guests through the stages of the recovery process, treating alcohol and drug abuse to achieve long term and lasting sobriety. We also have services for the family members of our guests.

    If you are seeking addiction treatment, please reach out to our addiction specialists for guidance and support, at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837. Our team of addiction specialists are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.

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