Graduating from a residential alcohol treatment program and maintaining one’s sober transformation is worthy of celebration. Not only has an individual taken action to regain control of their lives, but they have also embraced new strategies and perspectives to create a sober future.
However, graduating from a treatment program doesn’t mean that one’s recovery journey is over, and there may still be battles ahead. Between urges, cravings, and stressors, there can still be a great strain on one’s emotional state. Coping with lingering feelings of depression is crucial for maintaining a sober focus while carving a path to a healthy lifestyle.
Tackling the Ongoing Journey
Maintaining sobriety is a process, even for an alumnus, and coping with unforeseen stresses, urges, and cravings and rebuilding relationships are all ongoing parts of the journey. These stresses can be incredibly difficult to process and compound to create a complex situation. Depression is normal for those balancing their sober lives with the responsibilities and stresses of daily life, and it is important to prepare for these inevitable emotional hardships.
Symptoms and Dangers of Depression
Depression is an uncomfortable experience, bringing feelings of self-doubt, hopelessness, low mood, and furthering a feeling of emotional instability. Those suffering from depression may compromise their own feelings of hope for a continued sober future and can even become irritable or angry at those around them. All of these complex emotions can actively work against one’s hard-earned sobriety.
For some, crippling self-doubt can make one’s sober efforts feel fruitless, even when evidence suggests otherwise. This heavy, weighted sadness can cause an individual to seek comfort in anything at all, increasing the chances of slips or relapse or compromising even the most practiced grounding strategies in sobriety.
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Coping With Depression
Preparing for and coping with depression is crucial, especially for those navigating their newfound sober lives. Luckily, there are daily strategies to cope with depression while building on one’s healthy, sober lifestyle.
Communication is a cornerstone of recovery, and finding a way to communicate with friends, family, and support is paramount for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For some, sitting down each evening for dinner and having a conversation with family is the most effective avenue for communication. Others may prefer to send daily emails or texts or make regular phone calls to keep connected. However one chooses to communicate, making it a daily practice is essential for mitigating lingering feelings of depression.
Not only does regular communication reinforce the feelings of camaraderie and acceptance necessary for coping with depression, but it also allows trusted support to act quickly on signs of depression, helping them to take action before more destructive coping strategies set in.
Create an Outlet
Emotions will continue to build until they are released, and feelings of doubt, sadness, and depression are no different. Having a regular outlet to express oneself, either through art, writing, music, sport, or any other avenue or hobby is crucial for molding one’s emotions into a more tangible, understandable form.
Acknowledging one’s emotions is crucial for creating a proper outlet. Having a dedicated space or activity catered to this purpose ensures that it is constantly being practiced and refined, all while providing the space necessary to release such complex emotions.
Each day can be filled to the brim with stress. Workplace expectations, personal responsibilities, and just trying to get enough rest all in one day can be a tall task. It may be difficult to reflexively see where it is possible to take a few minutes to break for oneself. Scheduling self-care strategies can help manage feelings of depression, and they are just as much a part of one’s daily needs as any other responsibility or obligation.
Whether an individual schedules their self-care around the air time of their favorite television show, takes a few moments after work to process the stresses of the workspace or engages in a hobby, self-care is a crucial part of each day. Just because something is fun or relaxing doesn’t mean it isn’t important. In reality, self-care practices, hobbies, and personal time are all key strategies for processing feelings of depression while maintaining a sober focus.
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Keep in Contact With Communities
While a person may have graduated from a treatment program, keeping connected with supportive professional facilities is a powerful resource. Effective recovery facilities will continue to support one’s sobriety even after graduating from a program, including providing ongoing outpatient care, serving as an ongoing educational resource, or helping direct an individual to other effective communities.
Recovery, sobriety, and depression are all ongoing battles, and there is no one way to overcome them. However, by creating the best combination of efforts, from daily therapeutic exercises to engaging with ongoing care with professionals, any person can maintain a healthy and sober mindset for a healthy future.
Depression can be a constant battle for those in recovery and managing their sobriety. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we understand the unique battles you face each day, whether you are just beginning your journey to sobriety with us in detox or residential care, or looking for outpatient rehab in Hawaii. Our unique approach to recovery allows us to personalize your time with us to find your best practices, all while connecting you to a supportive atmosphere of peers and professionals and the rich and fulfilling Hawaiian culture. We understand that addressing depression is essential for sustaining sobriety, and we are committed to helping you find a truly transformed, sober future. For more information on how we can help you with drug or alcohol and depression treatment, or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation, call us today at (866) 390-5070.
Get Help Today!
If you or a loved one need help, call Hawaii Island Recovery toll-free right now.866-390-5070