How to Get Through Depression After Sobriety?

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You did everything you knew you were supposed to do. You went to addiction treatment and finally got sober. You might have even felt the pink cloud and experienced a few days or weeks of extreme happiness and joy. Now, you’re wondering where it all went wrong. After all, people act like getting sober is all about feeling better and smiling as you toss frisbees with friends in a field full of flowers. The discovery that sobriety is not the cure for all of your problems is sobering in itself, but it is not uncommon.

Depression often persists after someone gets sober, and you might have been using drugs or alcohol to cope with this mental health condition long before you realized it was there. When being sober isn’t full of rainbows and sunshine, you can use these strategies to learn how to get through depression after sobriety and feel better in your new lifestyle.

Keep Using the Tools That You Learned In Treatment

The most effective forms of addiction treatment are designed to treat the underlying causes of depression. It is quite likely that you had depression when you entered your treatment program, and it is normal for your symptoms to return during any time of great change. The symptoms of depression can also happen without any known cause. Whether you keep waking up depressed or feel intense sadness about a personal loss, relying on the strategies that you already have in your sobriety tool kit helps.

A few of the tools that you may already have to rely on include the following:

  • individual and group counseling
  • deep breathing exercises
  • meditation
  • personal hobbies and recreational activities
  • specific friends and family members who are willing to listen

It may be hard to go to therapy when you are depressed and can’t get motivated to get out of bed, but it is important. Remember that depression doesn’t go away overnight, but it is possible to feel better a little bit at a time just like you handled your addiction when you got sober. Try telling yourself that you’ll meditate for one minute and see if you feel like going for longer. Often, those tiny baby steps add up to a greater sense of wellbeing over time.

Feel Better In a Supportive Environment

It is possible that you feel depressed because you are still in an environment that does not support your sobriety. If you returned from your treatment to a home where people continue to use drugs or alcohol, then you may be depressed about being in a messy or unsafe environment. The same goes for if you live with anyone that refuses to stop engaging in abusive behavior patterns. You could also be depressed that you are living alone and haven’t made many sober friends.

Sometimes, making a change in your environment is an effective way to cope with depression. Sober living homes are an option that opens up opportunities for you to find support and cultivate a more positive mindset. Moving to a place where you can instantly make friends who like being sober gives you people to lean on for support. You’ll also find it harder to ruminate on your feelings of sadness when you have frequent invitations to do fun things such as go swimming or hang out with your sober housemates in the backyard.

Stay Focused On Moving Forward

Depression has a frustrating way of causing people to focus on their past mistakes. You might have done things when you were on drugs or drinking too much that you regret, but you don’t have to be chained down by your past. Now that you are sober, you already have the basic things that you need to start working on your career or building healthier relationships. You can work with your mentor or counselor while you are living in your sober home to develop a plan for making progress in life. Setting goals and working towards them gives you achievements that you can recognize as they happen Whether you just cooked a meal for your housemates for the first time or found a new job, making it a point to pat yourself on the back helps to build positive memories in your mind that help with depression.

Do you feel like it is time to make another change to help you manage your depression? We can help you find the best environment for promoting better mental health. Give us a call today at 833-285-1315.

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