After completing a treatment program, the hardest part is living sober and not falling back into old destructive patterns. Each day is a new opportunity at a sober life; it is also a new challenge to stay clean. Relapsing will often result in feelings of defeat, which can snowball into loss of hope and just start drug or alcohol abuse once again. A study done at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) showed that those who did not seek professional help with addiction were more likely to relapse. When it comes to differences between males and females, there are some real-world lessons that can be obtained for females working through sobriety and relapse.
Lacking confidence is a common occurrence for addicts. Many times, addicts have unresolved pain and depression which they try to hold down deep inside. When this pain isn’t properly addressed and treated, it can often manifest in lack of hope and end up forcing addicts to turn to substances to help with the pain. This also disturbs relationships among friends through unbalanced behavior patterns and instability.
You attend social functions and tell yourself that you can interact responsibly, only have one drink and take it slow, but it never ends up to be the case. One drink turns into two, three….ten. After this excess has been taken in, the amount of shame and disgrace you feel makes you revert back to hopelessness and keeps you down in the dark. You think to yourself, “Women don’t drink like this. It is a man’s disease.” The reality is, however, that there are over 2.7 million women that are struggling with addiction.
Even in a room full of kind faces, the addict feels lost on an island alone, which, in turn, leads them back to their substance of choice. As an addict, you feel emotional and as if no one understands what is going through your mind. Until you find healthy ways to handle these negative feelings and emotions, it is a never-ending cycle that won’t change.
The beginning stages of a sober life are very difficult for most, and women are no different. Emotions are still not ironclad and you’re still developing your inner strength. For women, relationships can be a means of validation. This can sometimes cause a female to end up in a toxic situation with another person. Even though you are working towards sober living, you may slip into relationships with others who are addicts, who are abusive, or who are emotionally unattached.
When this happens, women find themselves back in dangerous environments which will often sabotage their sobriety and cause them to relapse. Understanding that your sobriety and the strength that comes from it, and that relationships have to come after, is your number one priority and is an important realization that can help you stay on track. Until you are confident in yourself and your recovery, all relationships, from romantic to platonic, should be put on the back burner.
It is important to believe in yourself and tell yourself you can do it: that you can overcome addiction and stay sober. You have the power to make the determination to reach your destination. One way to do so is to start thinking about the other healthy things in life that make you happy, the other activities that give you joy. Finding your passion in life and finding your love of life will help you navigate who you are and build your inner strength. It will also help you feel better internally, aiding in allowing you to love yourself again and hold a higher opinion about yourself.
The good news is that women are often more open to asking for help or taking it when offered. This allows them to have a better chance of getting a grip on their addiction and finding healing. There are many components to healing aside from just detoxing. Learning how to live again, learning how to love life again, improving coping abilities, and becoming internally strong and confident all take time and work. Even if you have relapsed, you need to know you are not a failure and you can overcome the addiction that plagues you.
Discovery Place is a tremendous place to find resources that can support your recovery. With a rehab facility that is located in the rolling countryside hills of Tenessee, the soothing and healing therapies and treatments can be just what you need to get on the right foot. We have a residential component, in addition to our long-term care program. Call us today at 1-800-725-0922 and get some more information about our programs. Our friendly team is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We want you to be successful in your recovery.