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Managing Mood

02 March 2017 Written by 

One of the hardest things about being a person in recovery is keeping one’s spirits up and perspective straight. I struggle with it, my friends in recovery struggle with it—I know ‘normies’ struggle with it too. But, it seems like for them, they see a good movie, shop, eat some ice cream and the bad moods are over.

Changing mood from bad to good

For a person in recovery, the mindset change of going from an unhappy, ashamed and often out of control person to a ‘happy’ person can be incredibly hard, and confusing. My friend Allegra has everything she ever wanted, but she called me this morning and cried. The old feelings were there. She didn’t see reality. She lost her perspective and a few bad moments and her feelings had globalized into the end of the world and put her back into her old state of thinking. I’m no good, my work is no good, etc. She said that despite the amazing reality of her life, why did she still sometimes feel like a junkie on the street?

Unhappiness is a habit

Most ex-addicts can relate to the phenomenon of being more comfortable unhappy and insecure than happy and secure. It’s a feature of the disease for many people. It’s part of what allows us to keep drinking and drugging. The disease tells us we’re not worthy. Add a little trauma or family dysfunction and you’ve got a God-sized hole inside that no carton of ice cream or new pair of shoes will fix.

Sober community helps

But luckily there’s a solution!! It’s called the sober community. And that’s what it’s all about. After Allegra and I talked through everything that bothered her, she sighed, relieved. She thanked me for the reality check and for always being such a good friend. I told her no need to thank me because I’d be calling her tomorrow for the same advice. Thank God, it doesn’t happen to us both on the same day….

Recovery is a lifetime job

Whatever your opinion on 12 step programs, rehabs, sober livings, what is clear as day, is that in order to get better when you have this disease you need other people who have this disease with experience in how to talk about getting through bad days. We love our families and friends but they just don’t always get it when we wake up crying even though everything is fine. They don’t realize we have a disease that makes "fine" feel abnormal to us. But people in recovery get it and know how to handle it. They empathize and say the things that flip the switch to right again. I’m so grateful for my sober community. They’ve taught me a lot. But even more, they’re there every day. And sometimes we really need them there.

Reach Out Recovery Exclusive by Lindsey Glass

Read 1787 times Last modified on Friday, 03 March 2017 20:20
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