Awkwardness of Early Recovery
Let’s face it. For many people, early recovery seems awkward. One viewer likens it to a second period of adolescence where it feels like you have to re-learn social interaction and find a way to re-establish your place in relationships, the workplace, your romantic life, and other social settings. How do we navigate through these ‘awkward’ feelings in early recovery?
We are often told that early recovery is about “people, places, and things” and that we do well to examine our exposure to these. People can drag us down. Places can lure us back. Things like stressful circumstances can sometimes feel counterproductive to our progress in recovery.
Foremost, we feel the weight of our closest relationships. Family and romantic relationships have undergone significant stress due to our former days of drinking or using. We used to say things like, “I’m not hurting anyone but myself.” But we came to find out that this wasn’t really true. Many of these relationships require “amends” — not merely saying sorry (again), but choosing consistently positive actions over time to back up and prove the words we say. We feel the weight of being watched. We feel the stress of making the cut when it comes to all our vital relationships.
Then there’s the reality that so much of life is social. Beyond immediate relationships, there are social settings, social norms, social media, etc., all these things can place a heavy burden on us and we feel a nagging need to “perform.” We wonder things like: Who knows what about my recent treatment experience? What kind of amends might I need to make? What are my boss and co-workers thinking or saying? These kinds of issues make us feel like we’re learning to be human all over again — and this time, without the “assistance” of so-called social lubricants.
Roc & Doc talk more about it in this latest episode.