Recovery is an extremely fulfilling and rewarding process, but it can be difficult in the beginning. We may face all sorts of mental, physical, and spiritual problems during the beginning of our journey. However, if we can get past the common stumbling blocks of early recovery, we will find that it become much easier. Our recovery practices will become second-nature; we will get involved with the recovery community, develop support systems, healthy coping skills, and find that we can progress with ease. A common problem in early sobriety is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). According to the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, PAWS “refers to a set of impairments that can persist for weeks or months after the abstaining from a substance of abuse. PAWS may also be referred to as post-withdrawal syndrome, prolonged withdrawal syndrome, or protracted withdrawal syndrome. The condition is marked by symptoms similar to those found in mood disorders and anxiety disorders, including mood swings, insomnia, and increased levels of anxiety even without any apparent stimulus.” PAWS symptoms are much milder than the symptoms we face during acute detoxification and are entirely manageable without the use of substances. PAWS symptoms include difficulty with cognitive tasks, memory problems, irritability, anxiety, pessimism, increased sensitivity to stress, and depression. It is a good idea to take some time away from any major stressors during the early stages of our recovery because they can cause us to feel tempted to use drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication. As we continue on our journey of recovery and the symptoms of PAWS subside, we will find that routines around our recovery become important. We may find it helpful to have a schedule of fellowship meetings that we adhere to, engage in recovery practices such as prayer and meditation, and begin getting involved with our local recovery community. As we solidify our recovery habits and practices, we no longer see them as chores or something we have to do. Rather, we become excited and full of joy at the prospect of going to a meeting or helping someone who is struggling. Every day becomes a day of personal and spiritual growth, and we no longer have to struggle to remain sober.
Your story can become one of serenity and peace of mind in sobriety. You can make the courageous decision to reach out for help today. Oceanfront Recovery, a men’s treatment center located in the heart of beautiful Laguna Beach, was founded with the goal of providing the best care and service possible, at an affordable price, and in a location where men would want to get well. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777