Maintaining Sobriety Through Painful Anniversaries

Though addiction recovery is a rewarding and fulfilling time, it is not always an easy journey to make. There are sure to be times in recovery that you are faced with challenges. Painful anniversaries, such as divorce or the death of a loved one, can make it difficult to maintain your sobriety. Acknowledging your pain, expressing your emotions and utilizing professional help can make it easier to work through painful anniversaries and avoid relapse.

Acknowledge Your Pain

One of the biggest mistakes recovering addicts can make is to ignore emotional struggles. When these struggles occur, such as during a painful anniversary, it can be tempting to suppress emotions and avoid dealing with them altogether. However, doing this allows your inner pain to remain unresolved. Underlying issues such as this can often lead to eventual drug or alcohol use.

Instead of suppressing the emotions associated with your painful anniversaries, you should instead acknowledge them. Remind yourself that it is normal to struggle in these times and that you are allowed to feel sorrow, anger or remorse. Your sense of self is not at risk when you acknowledge the emotional pain you feel. Rather, it empowers you to then take steps to manage it.

Express Your Thoughts and Feelings

Holding in your thoughts and feelings regarding a painful anniversary can easily lead to the use of drugs or alcohol. Expressing them, however, can help you to maintain sobriety even on the toughest of days. There are many ways to express your thoughts and feelings, whether through speaking, writing or creating art.

Many people find that verbalizing their emotions helps to make painful anniversaries easier. This can be done by simply calling or visiting with a trusted friend or family member. Talk with someone who will be willing to simply hear what you have to say and offer encouragement when you need it.

Writing provides another great outlet for expressing your thoughts and feelings. Journal the way you are feeling and why you think you are having those emotions. You could also write out a particular memory that relates to the painful anniversary. For example, if it is the anniversary of a loved one’s death, you could write about a favorite memory you had with that person before he or she passed away.

Making or enjoying art is yet another way to express your thoughts and feelings regarding a painful anniversary. Some people may find that painting or drawing helps to relieve some of the difficult emotions they experience, while others may create or listen to music as a way of coping.

Utilize the Help of a Professional

Acknowledging and expressing your emotions can make a huge difference on painful anniversaries. However, there are times when you must also seek professional help to maintain your sobriety on these days. Make an appointment with your therapist on painful anniversaries so they can help you to avoid drugs or alcohol and to cope with your inner pain in a healthy manner. Reaching out and getting the help you need also increases your sense of self.

Get Help for Drug or Alcohol Addiction

By choosing recovery, you are taking the first and most important step toward happiness and self-fulfillment. Therefore, if you or a loved one has become addicted to drugs or alcohol, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatments for drug or alcohol addiction.

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