Recovery from alcohol or drug addiction is a long process, but it is important to realise that you will eventually feel better, but this could take time. If you have been abusing a substance for an extended period, it will have taken its toll on your body and mind. Recovering from this damage can be a gradual process, so it is normal to experience a variety of symptoms in the weeks and months after you quit.

After a number of months and up to a year after you quit drinking or taking drugs, you should be feeling pretty good both physically and emotionally. However, at this stage, you may notice that some symptoms are still lingering, such as the occasional bouts of depression. Try not to worry too much as many recovering addicts feel like this. Nevertheless, it is good to know how to cope with these feelings so that they do not take over.

Depression

For some people, rehabilitation is like a huge weight being lifted from their shoulders. They are exhilarated at being free from the chains of addiction and breeze through the process. They experience unbridled feelings of joy at being sober and are delighted at the significant changes they have made in their lives.

Nonetheless, these feelings rarely last forever, and those who have felt free and happy in rehab may be plagued with episodes of depression when they return home to the ‘real’ world. This could be due to the fact that they no longer have access to constant care and support and begin to worry about how they will cope. This can lead to feelings of depression as they worry about what direction they are heading.

If you are feeling down or miserable, contact your counsellor or sponsor to talk through your feelings. To help prevent feelings of depression, think about your future and make plans that you can look forward to. Try to keep busy during the day and stay active. By doing this, you will have less time to think and worry and will avoid feeling down.

Mood Swings

Exaggerated mood swings are also common in later recovery. As you begin to get back to normal, emotions you have been suppressing for so long can come to the surface, and you may find yourself feeling euphoric one minute and crying the next. This is nothing to worry about. In most cases, it is just that you are unfamiliar with these emotions and are struggling to deal with them. You will learn how to handle your changing emotions as you progress through your recovery. Learn to accept these feelings as normal and know that they will pass.

Lack of Motivation

Once you have been in recovery for a while, your life will begin to settle down, and you may reduce the number of meetings you attend. This could mean your life is quieter than you are used to and you may begin to wonder what to do next. Some people feel as though they are just going through the motions every day and wonder if there is more to life.

They might begin to feel disillusioned with sobriety while some could start reminiscing the old days when they were abusing drugs or alcohol. Some will convince themselves that these were exciting times and will conveniently forget about the downside of substance abuse.

If you are feeling a lack of motivation or enthusiasm for life, you need to address this situation immediately. It can be hazardous to your recovery, but it is easily rectified. Think about things you find enjoyable or exciting. Try a new hobby or set yourself some educational goals. Think about something you always wanted to do but couldn’t due to your addiction. Now that you are free from addiction, you can put your mind to doing all the things you wanted to.