If you are serious about your recovery journey, you may wonder whether there is a typical treatment roadmap to help you set some expectations. The belief that everything is going to get better quickly after starting treatment is a common misconception. A realistic roadmap helps you manage your expectations and stay motivated.
When Will I Feel Better After Beginning Treatment?
The first stage most people go through in recovery is the withdrawal phase after they quit substances using medically-assisted detoxification. You will likely experience physical discomfort, including intensified cravings, low energy, irritability, insomnia, and even mental chaos. In short, the answer to this question is that you are not likely to feel better immediately after treatment begins.
Because of the unrealistic expectation for a “quick fix,” many people feel frustrated during the withdrawal phase. Some think that withdrawal only takes a couple of days, though, in reality, it can take up to several weeks because your brain is reacting strongly to the absence of substances. When your brain no longer gets the rush of chemicals it’s used to from drugs and drinks anymore, it can cause a range of unpleasant reactions.
Usually, within a month or two, things start to feel better. By then, your brain has started to heal itself from the influence of substances. You can function without cravings or anxiety. Most people feel hyper-motivated in this stage, and they begin to have high hopes for post-recovery life.
What Are the Dangers of the Early Stages of Recovery?
Due to improvement in physical conditions, this early sobriety stage may make some people think that they have arrived at full recovery. Overconfidence and complacency may lead to discontinuing your healthy routines. You may feel less motivated to put in hard work because you’ve made so much progress. However, with overconfidence comes the risk of returning to old habits and lifestyles since you’re not maintaining the things that kept you sober.
The second to sixth months of early sobriety can be challenging because many people hit a wall in their progress. This phase may feature an inability to enjoy normal pleasures, anger, irritability, mood swings, and cravings. You may feel defeated and lose hope. Frustration creates barriers to your desire to work on your recovery.
This phase can be the hardest time because most of the excitement of early sobriety is gone. You may feel defeated, thinking you might as well go back to using or drinking again. This is part of a normal progression to full recovery. Though it’s hard now, you’ll get through it and be better for it.
When Will Sobriety Stabilize?
From the sixth to the ninth month after detoxification, you will enter an adjustment stage. Your brain and body begin to level out. You might regain some confidence and become lax on keeping up your healthy routines. Meanwhile, underlying trauma and life issues will continue to pose challenges.
However, this adjustment phase is also when you will develop deep insights into your own health and well-being. You begin to see through patterns of unhealthy relationships. You may realize how bad your life had become during active addiction and never want to go back. These changes are because you’ve gained self-awareness that comes through therapy, patience, and dedication. By now, a lot of healing has occurred and you may begin to see significant improvement in your relationships and life in general.
What Continued Care Practices Help Maintain Recovery Progress?
After maintaining sobriety for more than six months, you will likely enter a more stable stage of recovery. However, you still need continued care and a strong support system. These include outpatient therapy sessions, 12-Step group meetings, and support from loved ones.
You should always have someone to talk to about your recovery progress and mental health conditions. These people might be your sponsor, a trusted friend, or recovery-supportive family members. Verbalization and personal accountability are key.
Who Can Help Me Make a Personalized Recovery Plan?
The importance of having a plan for recovery cannot be overstated. Without this plan, you can either deplete your motivation or get lost in the process. When you begin working with recovery experts, prioritize creating a personalized plan. They can help you create a list of specific areas to focus on.
Even when you have a roadmap, you should regularly review and revise the plan. Form a habit of writing things down, including daily and weekly improvements to keep your plan up-to-date. Remember to list specific actionable steps so your goals are manageable and realistic. Add time frames for each piece of your plan.
Your recovery plan should include reaching out to enlist a support team for yourself. You will need family and friends to hold you accountable. Regularly check in with them about your needs and progress and discuss how they can help you realize certain goals.
Recovery plans should incorporate a crisis or emergency intervention plan. When you experience intensified mental health challenges or are on the brink of relapse, follow this intervention plan closely. Include names and phone numbers of people or agencies you can call for immediate help when you are in crisis mode.
Do you want to know when things get easier once starting treatment? If you need a mental roadmap to guide your recovery journey, you are not alone. People need clarity to gain the motivation to put in the work. As much as general guidelines for treatment can help, you also need a personalized treatment plan to meet your recovery needs. At Laguna Shores Recovery, we provide both short-term and long-term care to help you achieve sobriety. We offer many programs and therapies as part of our addiction treatment plans. Laguna Shores uses methods such as detox, medication, 12-Step groups, and relationship skills coaching. We also offer outpatient programs that you can use after finishing residential treatment. Schedule an appointment with us today at Laguna Shores Recovery. Call 866-934-5276, and we will be happy to help you with short-term and long-term planning.