Everyone feels sad every once in a while. It’s an emotion that we’re often not prepared for but must cope with anyway. The world can be a sad place, and bad things happen in life from time to time. In recovery, sadness can take you by surprise. But, just like other feelings, this too shall pass. Having tools to cope with sad feelings is an essential part of recovery.
You may feel sad about something that happened today and then find yourself reflecting on things that happened in the past. For example, you may argue with your wife and then feel sad and guilty for all of the other arguments you’d had just because you were drunk or high. Or the death of a family member may remind you of another death you never adequately grieved.
Few people in the world haven’t experienced sadness. Feeling sad isn’t a bad thing – it’s a human thing. Getting through a sad period in life is something that helps build emotional resilience. You’ll have to work your recovery program hard when it hits you unexpectedly.
Share Your Sadness with Others
Sadness can be a powerful emotion, but it isn’t healthy to feel sad all the time. Hanging out with people will help you escape sorrow, even if it’s just briefly. It’s okay to embrace that escape every now and then. Go to a meeting, hang out with sober friends, and talk about what’s going on.
You don’t have to spend every moment of the day feeling sad. Sometimes the pain feels unbearable. That’s when it’s vital to talk to somebody in your support network.
Feel Your Feelings Alone, and With Your Higher Power
Sometimes you just want to be alone and have a good, long cry. When words can’t express your feelings, you may find comfort in your solitude. If you’re feeling blue, practice some self-care on your own. Take a long bath, do some gardening, or choose something else to treat yourself.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling sad. But you don’t have to go it alone – many people find comfort in prayer or meditation with a higher power. If you have a higher power, ask him or her to help you ease your sad feelings. Turn those feelings over to him or her every day. A burden shared is a burden lessened.
Find the Small Joys
Sometimes you feel joy in the middle of sorrow. Sadness may feel raw, painful, and awful. But every once in a while you can share a laugh with your loved ones, enjoy a great meal, or find inspiration in a song by your favorite artist.
You can experience positive emotions in the midst of sadness. Take some time to open your eyes to the world around you. Play with a pet or go to a movie. It’s okay, even during sad times, to try to snag a little joy every day. We all need a little joy to help us through the hard times.
Are you looking for a safe place to live with others in recovery in the San Diego area? You can find joy with kindred spirits in recovery housing. For more information on housing options, or to be listed in our sober housing directory, please give us a call at 619-828-2001.