Written By: Anjelica G
The Trick to Dealing with Disappointment in Sobriety
Disappointment in Sobriety Requires Acceptance
One of the first lessons I learned in my alcohol addiction treatment center was acceptance. Acceptance about the decisions I had made in my life to get me there and acceptance of the situation I found myself in. It wasn’t easy. However, what I have found is that acceptance is usually the first step towards making a change. Once I was able to accept I was an alcoholic and addict I was able to make the right decisions into getting better. In early sobriety, these decisions are simple but hard to implement. These would be: not picking up a drink or a drug, speaking up in group therapy, attending 12-step fellowship meetings, dealing with disappointment rationally, and getting a sponsor.
Doing the right thing
As we continue to do the right thing and things start getting better we come to expect this for ourselves. By this I mean, we expect things to work in our favor. It is easy to forget the bad feelings and manageability that came along with drinking and using. Nevertheless, things don’t always go our way. Sometimes even when we are doing the right thing life happens. I don’t know about you, but I used to use any excuse to drink and use drugs that I could find, especially when i was dealing with disappointment. I was not very good at handling disappointment and used it as the perfect excuse to get as messed up as possible.
How to cope with disappointment better
There are a couple tools I learned in my women’s alcohol treatment center that I still use today to deal with disappointments. The first is “move a muscle, change a thought”. Sometimes, the worst thing you can do is to sit around and mope. Take a shower or go for a run. Sometimes changing the activity can help you forget about the disappointment, even if it is just for a little while. The second tool is to talk about it. Use your sober supports, friends, therapist and sponsor. A lot of times talking about something can take the power out of it. Once you take the power out of something you can accept that maybe it was supposed to happen that way. Have faith that there might be something better for you on the horizon I one of my best tools in dealing with disappointment.
The last thing I learned in my alcohol addiction treatment center was how to change your perspective. Happiness and serenity has a lot to do with how you view your life. Write a gratitude list! Appreciate what you have instead of focusing on what you have lost. When I was using my mind was closed off to these types of suggestions, I thought drugs and alcohol were a way better way to deal with my issues. After I ended up in treatment for drug and alcohol abuse I realized that they weren’t. They were only a temporary solution to my problems and disappointments. When all else fails, appreciate that you are a person in the world and do something for someone else. A lot of times helping others can take us away from the disappointment. Go volunteer at a homeless shelter! You will realize quickly how lucky you are.