Addiction Recovery - Sobriety - Relapse Prevention

3 Challenges Recovering Adults Face Each Day

Read about three common challenges recovering adults face each day. Outpatient care at The Forge can help you face them.

3 Challenges Recovering Adults Face Each Day

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

May 21, 2022

The Forge Recovery Center

Conquering the challenges of recovery is no easy task. It requires dedication and commitment right from the beginning. If you want to overcome a substance use disorder, you must first go through a drug detox.

During a detox, the toxins from harmful substances leave the body, leading to unpleasant physical, mental, and emotional symptoms of withdrawals.

Once the detox is completed, you move on to various treatment options that present new challenges. Gradually, old habits are broken, and new ones established.

The Need for Continual Motivation

This process, as rewarding as it is, continually requires new motivation and effort. Fortunately, with the right guidance and professional addiction help, the challenges become easier to manage as time goes on.

You can gain confidence in your ability to face challenges and change your life the more you practice these skills, and recovery is a great place to practice them. Having group therapy or otherwise hearing with peers who are also on a recovery journey can provide inspiration and new energy for these challenges.

In Recovery, Watch for These 3 Challenges

If you or someone you love struggles with a substance use disorder, it can be helpful to learn more about the recovery process, including the challenges that many individuals face on the road to recovery.

Understanding these challenges can help you feel prepared for them, or they can help you provide greater support for any of your loved ones who are working toward recovery.

#1 Feelings of Failure

Unfortunately, one of the most common challenges recovering you may face is feeling like a failure. This feeling can happen after completing treatment, as well as while going through it. When struggling with feeling like a failure, you may lose sight of your strength, progress, and potential. 

Instead of appreciating how far you have come in recovery and using that as a source of motivation and self-confidence, you might undermine your efforts and prevent further progress by focusing on past mistakes. You may find it difficult to see the end goal and even more difficult to stay engaged in the present moment.

How to Handle Feelings of Failure

The emotional journey of recovery can feel like a rollercoaster ride. Some days, the challenges of recovery will feel suddenly much more manageable, and you will feel pride and confidence in your ability to respond to them. Other days, you might be plunged back into thoughts of the past and feel like you have failed and will fail again. 

The important thing is to hold on and not let negative feelings prevent you from living the life you want for yourself. After all, mistakes happen. Learning to accept that and use your mistakes as learning opportunities rather than fodder for self-hate can make all the difference.

In rehab, you will learn coping mechanisms and be given strategies that you can use whenever you experience feelings of failure. You will be able to identify these feelings and become more curious about your emotions. Why do you believe what you do about yourself? How is that belief helping or hindering you from your goals?

Your treatment plan may help you discover creative activities that you can do to redirect emotional energy and de-stress. These activities may provide other benefits as well. For example, keeping a journal can help you track your emotional journey. On days you feel more negative emotions and self-doubt, you can read entries from days when you felt more positive emotions and self-confidence to renew your excitement for recovery.

#2 Cravings or Triggers

Another common challenge you might face includes managing your triggers and cravings. While the cravings and triggers often ease up over time, they can resurface at unexpected times.

How to Handle Cravings or Triggers

The strategies rehab provide can help you handle cravings or triggers that threaten to push you back into unhealthy habits. When the coping skills are used often and developed with time and practice, they become the new normal response when stressful cravings and triggers occur.

Additionally, drug and alcohol treatment can help you build a strong support structure, in which you can hold yourself accountable and have others help keep you accountable. Through relationships you build with others in recovery, you will be able to learn from their experiences, hearing what worked and did not work for them. 

You may be able to implement similar techniques when you face challenges too. This environment will push you to resist cravings and surrounds you with encouragement that you can draw on whenever a craving or trigger tries to set you back.

#3 Boredom

The last common challenge that you may face each day is boredom or restlessness stemming from the newfound time in your schedule. You could find yourself feeling misplaced because you do not know what to do with your time. This can create irritable feelings which may open the door to cravings or the temptation to relapse.

How to Handle Boredom

A great cure for the void of boredom is to have a goal or purpose you care about and an engaging way to work toward it every day. This can be easier said than done. If you do not have a driving influence or vision for your life that you can use to motivate yourself to make decisions that improve your life, you may suffer from boredom.

Fortunately, addiction centers and sober living homes are great places to eliminate this challenge in the short term and develop plans that can help you give your life direction in the long term. They will help you work toward purpose, fulfillment, and greater self-discovery in a healthy and encouraging environment. 

Recovery from a Substance Use Disorder Involves Many Challenges

Feelings of failure can decrease motivation and prevent further progress. Cravings or triggers can lead to relapses. Boredom can open a door to the temptation to use again. Fortunately, treatment for addiction gives people tools and strategies they can use to overcome these challenges whenever they occur. Feelings of failure can be overcome through motivation; cravings or triggers, through support from professionals and peers; and boredom, through a greater vision for your life.

An addiction center is an excellent place to learn and practice these strategies. If you or someone you love struggles with a substance use disorder, help is available.

To learn more about the challenges of recovery or how rehab can equip you to handle these challenges, contact The Forge Recovery Center today.

Newsletter banner

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay updated with the latest news, resources, and updates from The Forge Recovery Center.