When we are in recovery, especially after we’ve finished a treatment program, returning to our former lives can be a huge challenge for us. We’re confronted with all kinds of things that threaten our sobriety. We’re faced with addictive urges and compulsions. We have to interact with people who themselves are not sober. We’re presented with things that trigger us and that automatically make us want to resort to our addiction to feel better. How can we help ourselves reintegrate into society and our regular daily lives without relapsing?
Mindfulness is one of the most helpful tools we can implement when faced with these kinds of challenges. Reintegrating into our lives, homes, families and neighborhoods can bring up a whole host of emotions for us. We might feel scared and anxious. We might be battling depression. We might have unresolved anger and are struggling to forgive ourselves or others. Usually we deal with our most difficult emotions by trying to avoid them. We want to distract ourselves from them. For many of us, this has been the role our addiction has played in our lives, one of avoidance, distraction and denial. These are attempts to minimize having to confront our emotions and be conscious of them. We’re trying to bury them where we don’t have to think about them.
Mindfulness does the opposite. It encourages us to look at things with honesty and courage, to be fully present with them and aware of them. This helps us to move through the difficult emotions rather than suppressing them where they stay stuck within us. When we face them, we take back our power. They no longer control us. We become desensitized to things that once paralyzed us with fear. When we’re reintegrating into our regular lives, we can use mindfulness to help us process what we’re feeling.
We can ask ourselves questions such as, “What am I feeling in this moment? How am I being affected? What deeper issues is this bringing up for me? What is triggering me and why? What is my default emotional response? How would I normally react to this? How can I respond to it with more mindfulness? How can I bring awareness and clarity to this situation?”
Take time to answer these questions for you as honestly as you can, while allowing yourself to feel any emotions and physical sensations that come up for you. Be patient with yourself. Try to take the reintegration process slowly, and reintroduce things little by little. When we are able to look at our emotions, our triggers and our responses mindfully and process them consciously, we can help ourselves move through all of the things that we’re confronted with a little more easily when reintegrating back into our regular daily lives.
Out of our beautiful custom home in Holladay, Utah, Pinnacle Recovery offers a premiere, customized clinical continuum of care for addiction, alcoholism, and co-occurring disorders. With the healing and inspiring scenery of the breathtaking Utah mountains all around you, you’ll be motivated to work toward deep, lasting change and recovery. Call us today for information on our programs: 866-301-0573