Beginning the journey to recovery from numbing and medicating behaviors can cause a wave of emotions, including fear, anxiety, and shame. It can also bring about a sense of urgency, excitement, and readiness. At the beginning of the treatment process I often hear clients say, “I am ready to dive into all my past trauma so that I can get better as quickly as possible.” I hear you, I understand you, AND I will support you in doing so safely. The first step in beginning your recovery journey and looking at past trauma is to ensure that you are living a life of complete abstinence. Are you using less, but still sometimes using? Are you using to numb feelings or emotions? Are you using to cope with current stressors?
These are a few of the questions that you can ask yourself to guide your own reflection on whether or not you are truly living in abstinence. If you are not, no judgement. Processing through each struggle and developing healthy coping skills to take the place of a substance, is part of the recovery journey. Once you can identify what coping skills work for you, implement these coping skills in a healthy way, and show consistency, a slow progression into deeper trauma work can begin.
Recovery can feel like its getting worse before it gets better. Recovery is a process. You deserve all that recovery has to offer.