Going into treatment for substance abuse can be very frightening. There are so many unknowns and so many questions about the methods and outcomes. Can you really stop drinking or using? Will your loved ones forgive you or even still talk to you after all you have done? Can you forgive yourself? How will you function without your social crutch of alcohol or drugs? Will you miss getting high?

Saying Goodbye to Substances

Whenever you say goodbye to anything, there can be a lot of emotions surrounding that loss, even years down the road. You might think it is “wrong” or “bad” to miss getting high, but many people do miss that feeling. Addiction can be a big part of your life, so it is definitely okay to grieve any losses you feel in recovery. There’s no need for shame or guilt for missing the euphoric feelings you experienced, and there’s no shame in being nostalgic for the good times. What’s important is that you remain abstinent, and remember all the reasons that you’re sober. Saying goodbye can be easier when you remember the consequences that you’ve faced due to addiction, and all your progress through treatment and recovery.

The Grieving Process in Recovery

Getting high, whether alone or with friends, was a major part of your life. Despite probably having many negative factors, including addiction, there were probably some good times, too. Society may dictate that those in recovery should feel remorse for substance abuse, but to have feelings of grief and loss or to miss getting high is to be expected.

As with any other loss, you may experience stages of grief, including:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Bargaining
  • Acceptance

Much of the recovery process, in general, can cycle through those stages. In other words, grief is a non-linear process. It’s okay to miss the parts of addiction that may have actually been a source of relief or fun for you. The most important part is that you arrive at acceptance: you may miss getting high, but there are too many consequences to go back to that path. It is one thing to be human, but it is another thing to dwell on the past.

Filling Your Time in New Ways

Recovery can open your mind to new possibilities. One new discovery will be that substance use is not the only way to feel good. When you really dig deep in treatment and find the source of your addiction, you begin the healing process. That process can help eliminate your emotional and perhaps even physical pain, which means that you can experience joy and pleasure more fully. Some people call this getting “high on life,” but it can just be how you live your life now that you are free of substances.

One of the things that will help you find joy each day is to learn to fill in your time in new ways. In addition to developing consistent routines of exercise, meditation, checking in with your sponsor, attending meetings, and more, you can explore new ways that make you feel alive. Self-care is taking time each day to do something just for you that makes you happy or helps you grow. You can also fill in your time by learning new skills, volunteering or serving others, or giving back to the recovery community.

Finding New Friends in Recovery

Finding friends who are also in recovery is a great way to have new experiences with people who are on the same journey. They will not judge you for talking about your experiences in addiction, treatment, or recovery. You can create strong bonds with like-minded people who are going through similar circumstances. They will also help you to fill your time with new experiences to help you stay in recovery.

Looking Back vs. Looking Forward

To miss something is part of human nature, but dwelling on the past is not usually helpful. You can acknowledge that you miss having fun and then move forward. In fact, that is at the core of resilience – the ability to always look forward rather than dwell on the past. It is important to understand where you came from, it is important to learn from your mistakes. But that desire to have a better tomorrow every single day is a hallmark of successful people in general.

If something so fleeting as getting high was fun or pleasurable, imagine what is ahead of you when you are free of the bonds of addiction that came with those moments. Imagine how much more fun, how much more joy, how much more pleasure you can experience in life when you are working each day to create a better tomorrow.

Will you miss getting high? Perhaps. It is human to grieve, and it is hard to say goodbye to something that was so entrenched in your life. However, now you have all new opportunities. You have new chances to find lasting joy and to create permanent relationships with people who support your recovery journey. Instead of looking back or dwelling on what was, you can look forward each day to a brighter future. That future can begin by calling Rancho Milagro Recovery in Temecula, California at (951) 526-4582. Our beautiful ranch offers solace to heal, yet is still easily accessible from Southern California or major airports. We offer treatment with kindness, from those who are in recovery themselves. Our rescue animals offer empathy and compassion as you heal. Heal from addiction, find your healing, and learn to live again. Treatment for addiction can help you truly enjoy life without as many of the consequences.

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