Is It Normal to Keep Struggling Well into Recovery?

For most, if not all, early recovery is the toughest to get through. The first few months up through the first year of recovery after a treatment program can be the most grueling. Learning new habits and unlearning old habits is a lot tougher than it sounds to the untrained ear. Barriers to recovery are firm and stand tall, but it doesn’t mean they can’t be broken down or overcome. 

Once those struggling with addiction make it through this initial phase of recovery, they tend to find living in recovery a little bit easier. New habits have been formed, toxic relationships have ended, and building the foundation for a stronger, healthier lifestyle has taken place. Unfortunately, this may not be the case for everyone. 

Addiction can keep its stronghold over a person for years, if not a life time. That’s why they say that recovery isn’t a state of being, it’s a life-long process of striving to stay sober. Even the healthiest of recovering addicts with the best of support systems can fall prey to struggles, cravings, or relapses well into recovery. 

The short answer is yes, it is normal to have days or periods of time where you really feel like you are struggling with sobriety when you’ve already gained a strong foothold in recovery. You might be going through a stressful life event, you could be having trouble in your personal life, work life, or be going through a loss and/or the grieving process. Some people even struggle with sobriety because they’ve become complacent within their sober lives. 

Fortunately, noticing that you’re struggling is the first step in solving the problem. The next step is to figure out why you’re struggling, and lastly, how to resolve the issue. If work is stressing you out, make sure to destress and unwind periodically, if complacency is the issue, figure out where you’d like to see yourself other than where you are and make a plan to get there. 

Stay the course friends, this too shall pass. 

N.D. “The First Barrier to Addiction Recovery – Cravings”. Narconon East US. (Website). 2016
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