The Power of Acceptance: Embracing Change for a Brighter Future
I used to be convinced that if I could only stop drinking, all of my problems would disappear. I felt resistant to the idea of alcohol rehab because it just didn’t seem necessary. I’d managed to quit alcohol without any help before, so why did I need it now? It was only after realizing that physical sobriety wouldn’t be enough to fix my life that the logic of entering an inpatient treatment program made sense. ~ Paul G.
It is possible to be physically sober yet still struggle in life. One of the reasons a lot of us turn to alcohol in the first place is we just can’t handle our emotions. Alcohol can appear to improve the situation initially because it makes us feel numb, but we pay a heavy price for this sense of release. If you want to live a happy life in recovery, you must find a better way of dealing with your feelings.Emotionally sobriety means developing the ability to experience your feelings without the urge to run away from them. It is often the resistance to feelings that causes the most suffering and not the actual feelings themselves. Emotional sobriety is all about ‘living life on life’s terms’, and the ability to do this is the key to happiness.
Emotional sobriety is made up of a number of different elements including:• the willingness to feel what you are feeling• the ability to live in the moment• the ability to avoid extreme emotions such as rage• a sense of growing serenity as emotional sobriety develops• the confidence of being able to deal with anything life throws at you
It is common for people in alcohol rehab to experience an ‘emotional rollercoaster’. These intense mood swings occur because of the challenges of early sobriety, and the fact that newly sober people just aren’t used to fully feeling things. This is why in Alcoholics Anonymous they like to say:“The good news is you get your feelings back. The bad news is you get your feelings back”The danger is that if you don’t begin working on your emotional sobriety right away, you are going to be at high risk of relapse. The feeling of being overwhelmed by your feelings can be frightening, and the obvious solution is to reach for your old coping mechanism. Even if you do manage to avoid relapse, lack of emotional sobriety is going to increase the likelihood that you turn to new maladaptive behaviors (e.g. comfort eating) as a way of coping.
Physical sobriety gives you a new start in life, but it is emotional sobriety that is going to lead you to happiness and fulfillment. During your stay at Serenity Vista Alcohol Rehab in Panama, you are going to begin picking up the tools you need to develop this capacity. Imagine how much better life is going to be once you no longer feel an urge to escape the present moment – it means you can once again experience life with the same wonder and openness as a child.
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