Addiction is a complex issue, and not just because it’s challenging to get clean. The behaviors of addicts in early recovery often make it hard to tell what they are doing. Understanding the problem behaviors presented in early recovery can give you greater insight into how your loved one feels and help you better understand the steps they need to take on the road to recovery. Here are some problem behaviors you may see in early recovery.
Cravings can come in many different forms. A person may feel a strong urge to snack, drink water, or do anything else they may have previously avoided. They are challenging for most people to deal with. Since addicts are used to getting what they want, it is easy for them to give in. The patient will look for a fix for their physical and emotional pain, even if it means turning to drugs or alcohol. This is also seen in food cravings, as the addicted person will eat a lot to make themselves feel better from their emotional pain. To reduce the chances of this, it is crucial to understand that cravings are a normal part of recovery. Try to recognize them as a sign that they need to seek other forms of help and support.
If your loved one had a drug of choice, they likely used it with someone else and may now feel alone in their sobriety. The person may also be afraid to be left alone with their thoughts. In early recovery, there are so many unknowns for the patient and so much time spent thinking about the past that it can be challenging for them to handle these feelings without help. Loneliness is one of the main reasons that people relapse so quickly. To help with this issue, find a group or a sponsor for your loved one to talk to about what they are going through. Look for a group that will give your loved one a sense of belonging and support. A person trying to get clean should never be completely alone. Strive to ensure that your addict has a support system to lean on.
3. Difficulty Sleeping
Making changes in early recovery can be exhausting for the mind and the body. The addict’s problems usually have roots in their past, such as family issues or abuse. These issues can affect sleep. The addict may have nightmares and wake up in a sweat, having trouble calming their brain and body down. They may also have insomnia, an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. If this is the case, try to find a professional who can help your loved one with counseling or other types of treatment methods that will help them overcome these issues.
4. Poor Mental Health
A person in early recovery may end up in a downward spiral of depression. This is because the patient may feel a sense of shame from their past and worry about the future. The addict may start to lose motivation and interest in everything around them. They may lose focus on what is truly important or have any motivation to move forward in their recovery. To combat this, try understanding the importance of reaching out for support, so your loved one doesn’t lose hope completely. Take time out with your loved one and ensure they get the treatment they need.
5. Mood Swings
The patient’s mind-body changes in early recovery. This can cause the addict to become extremely moody and difficult to deal with. They may get angry at a moment’s notice or switch moods often throughout the day. This is simply a reaction to their body changing, so try not to take these mood changes personally. When you notice a difference in their mood, ask what is wrong, but try to avoid trying to fix the problem. Instead, use this time to talk about how they are changing and why they feel that way. If you can, try and be understanding and supportive of the issues they are going through, as they may not be trying to upset you.
Keep an eye out for these behaviors to get the most out of early recovery. These are general problem behaviors you may see in your loved one’s first few weeks at home. With time and patience, you can help your loved one beat these problem behaviors and reach the lasting freedom, and happiness recovery brings. To get started, call us today at 833-680-0165.