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What is Emotional Sobriety?

“Emotional sobriety” parallels the physical recovery of addiction but may not be fully understood by many. This concept is used in all areas of recovery, but it was coined and is a key concept in Alcoholics Anonymous  (AA). In AA, they teach that abstinence from a substance is not enough to achieve long-term sobriety. In order to prevent relapse, we need to confront and learn to accept all emotions, even the negative and painful ones.

Addicts use drugs or alcohol to ignore or suppress negative emotions. This is how we dealt with life—we self-medicated. The more time we spend sober, we realize our lack of proper tools for how to deal when things get difficult. The focus here is preparing a well thought out relapse prevention plan. Long-term sobriety encompasses all of these components.

Working towards emotional sobriety looks different for everyone, including the length of time needed to feel stable. This process may feel complex and long but learning how to deal with negative emotions is necessary to live a happy and fulfilling life. A proper treatment or recovery program will teach you new and healthier coping strategies. These will include: behavioral therapy, mindfulness practice, thought re-framing, and building a strong support system. Therapy will incorporate awareness strategies of thoughts and behaviors. We will learn mindfulness practices to help calm our thoughts and feelings while focusing on the present moment, such as yoga or meditation. Re-framing our thoughts is vital to changing the way we think—we learn how to challenge our irrational thinking by pausing to reflect on the internal chatter. This helps bring a different perspective to the conversation in our heads. Having a good social support network is important to your overall health and to your recovery. It is important to have a list of people to call or rely on when you feel you are in crisis.

Emotional sobriety is a state of being as well as a process. While there is no such thing as perfect emotional sobriety there is a better way which includes balance, greater emotional awareness, and overall healthier life perspective. While physical sobriety will help heal your body, emotional sobriety will help heal your mind and soul. Our trained therapists are here to help you improve your mental health and quality of life. If you are ready to make a change, give us a call. Our team is waiting.

Villa Tranquil Recovery stands as a new staple in the women’s treatment community, offering gender-specific services for women between the ages of 18-65. Our beautiful home in Jupiter Farms, Florida provides a transitional living opportunity for women to continue their treatment process while regaining the skills they need to thrive in sobriety. Owned and operated by clinicians, we offer exceptional care so women can build exceptional lives of recovery. Call us today for information 214-799-3080.