Trauma’s Effects on our Lives in Recovery



When we transition from active substance abuse to sobriety, thoughts and feelings we have repressed with our using resurface in our conscious mind. This can be quite overwhelming, especially for those who have experienced significant traumas in their past. Traumas in our past can have a substantial and detrimental impact on our work in recovery, preventing our success at achieving lasting sobriety. How do past traumas invade our present and impact our thoughts and behaviors?


The main problem stemming from past traumatic experiences is the unhealthy beliefs we form as a result of the events. Often childhood abuse, either physical or sexual, results in a person believing themselves to be deserving of such treatment. They think of themselves as unworthy of love and caring, damaged somehow and unable to be repaired. These beliefs present a huge problem as you enter recovery, as if you maintain these beliefs you will be unmotivated to put forth effort in working your recovery program, as these beliefs tell you you are not worth the effort and are beyond fixing.


Another issue which gets in the way of your recovery is the overwhelming emotions attached to the traumatic experience. In active addiction, our substance use was a means to repress these negative feelings, escaping from their paralyzing effect on our minds. In recovery, we no longer have this unhealthy crutch used to repress these emotions, and as a result they resurface in our minds, triggered by our encountering something which reminds us of the traumatic events of our past. This emotional instability leaves us vulnerable to relapse, as you still have an instinct to avoid these bad feelings through substances use. Should you find yourself overwhelmed by negative emotion, you are likely to turn to your substance of choice for relief in early recovery, preventing your successfully achieving lasting sobriety.


Traumas in our past have a substantial effect on our present when we fail to process them in a healthy way. The emotions and beliefs attached to traumatic events in your past will prevent your success in recovery, as you feel unworthy of anything good in life including sobriety. This belief pervades your thoughts and actions every day, meaning you will not put forth effort in working your recovery program and are far more likely to return to your substance of choice. It is therefore crucial you confront the traumas in your past, working with a therapist to process the events so you can move on.


At Evolutions, our therapists are well-versed in helping clients process traumas they have experienced, either in childhood or in active addiction. If you are ready to attempt sobriety and desire to let go of your past traumas, call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 and let us help you restore a healthy mindset and return to the present, letting go of the past so you can succeed in sobriety!


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