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How Overcoming Your Trauma Will Allow You to Live Freely in Sobriety

Working through trauma will make living a sober life worth it.

  In active addiction, many people use drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism in order to mask the feelings they may not know how to deal with on their own. In direct result, these feelings and emotions begin to build up, sitting dormant inside our minds as we continuously numb ourselves rather than asking for help with working through our trauma. As the years go on and the trauma accumulates, addicts are typically missing the opportunity to learn how to cope with their average emotions because the drugs numb them for them. Over time, we find that the substances aren't masking those feelings anymore and we begin to feel desperate and hopeless. These emotions have been bottled up for so long inside of our psyche that they almost seem to implode on us; the smallest inconvenience will feel apocalyptic. This will cause an emotional bottom, and can lead an addict to break down and seek help. 
  Once sober, we begin to feel our emotions clearly for the first time in a long time. These emotions have been bottled up for so long inside of our psyche that they almost seem to implode on us; the smallest inconvenience can appear apocalyptic. A recovering addict may be triggered and tempted to relapse by the sudden reappearance of the feelings they were attempting to numb in the first place. This is why working through trauma is vital in order to live a peaceful and sober life. 
  As a recovered addict myself, I found it extremely hard in the beginning of my sobriety because I had not learned how to process my thoughts and emotions in a healthy manner. I remember having outbursts of anger and guilt with no idea how to respond. I felt like I was losing my mind, when in reality I was simply learning how to process emotions normally and regaining my sanity. This phenomenon led me to talk to my therapist, who explained to me that my constant inappropriate emotional responses were a direct result of unresolved trauma. We addressed the traumatic events of my life, dating all the way back to my childhood. Recalling the things that happened to me brought up a lot of emotions that I didn't even know existed. I worked on coping mechanisms like meditation, breathing exercises, and simply talking about my feeling with someone I trusted. 
  Slowly, I began to notice that I was handling my feelings with ease. I was allowing myself to feel my feelings and then letting things go, rather than attempting to ignore my problems which would always ultimately lead to a mental breakdown or a relapse. After I learned how to properly respond to my feelings, I finally felt like I could breathe. Activities that once felt like impossible chores started to finally become a part of my day that I looked forward to. I could have social interactions and be open with my peers without fear of rejection, go to the store without having an anxiety attack because someone looked in my direction, and I could even have intimate relationships with other people in a healthy manner. Working through my trauma allowed me to find an inner peace that I couldn't have even dreamed of. 

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