Recovery from addiction to alcohol is an arduous process. While an individual may have successfully navigated a treatment program and emerged with a transformed mindset, there may still be hurdles that need to be addressed.
Addiction comes with long-term effects, and navigating these struggles while maintaining sobriety can be exceptionally difficult. However, understanding the difficult intricacies involved with long-term sobriety can help individuals create a plan to address these consequences, setting goals to continue challenging themselves and their future in sobriety.
The Long Terms Effects of Alcohol Addiction
The effects of addiction can be different for each individual. However, while coping with the impact of addiction and stresses of recovery on a daily basis is challenging, it is still important to acknowledge one’s long-term goals.
The long-term effects of alcohol addiction can come in a number of different forms, depending on the individual. For some, despite one’s newfound sobriety, there may still be a great deal of physical damage done to one’s body, particularly to one’s liver, resulting from one’s drinking. This can be common if an individual engages in excessive binge drinking before their turn to healthy sobriety.
However, disease in one’s one’s brain, heart, and kidneys is also possible. An individual may still be coping with the physical ramifications of one’s alcohol use far after they have ceased their use through various damaged organs as a result of one’s compromised regular bodily functions.
Others may find that their relationships are still damaged as a result of one’s actions while under the influence of alcohol. Despite one’s sobriety, there may still be many aspects an individual and their loved ones must reconcile.
Anger, hurtful language, or addiction causing one to choose substance use over the needs of their loved ones can cause complex, strained relationships. The damage from one’s actions can be difficult to forget for those close to an individual who suffers from addiction, and it can take time for these wounds to heal even long after an individual has stopped their drinking habits.
It is also possible that an individual may still have legal repercussions that plague their recovery. Probationary time, license suspension, or obtaining an ignition interlock system as a result of receiving a DUI charge and outstanding fines can all continue to impact one’s daily life.
These long-term effects of addiction can continuously complicate one’s recovery journey. For some, they can serve as a constant reminder of one’s use, introducing stress or unwanted feelings of depression, anxiety, or guilt, even while an individual is successfully maintaining their sobriety.
These constant reminders can also cause an individual to feel “stuck” in their recovery, as if they aren’t making the progress they want, producing additional stress or compromising one’s motivation to continue maintaining their sobriety.
Combatting the Long-Term Effects of Addiction
Overcoming these hurdles can take time, which can be frustrating on its own. However, that doesn’t mean that an individual should wait until these feelings pass. Healing will continue to take effort.
The first step towards overcoming some of the long-term effects of alcohol addiction is accepting their presence. While some may internalize that their digestive system may be compromised and that a change in diet is necessary, others may need to accept that they cannot force their friends or family members to forgive them for their behaviors all at once.
If an individual has accepted some of their long-term goals, they can then begin focusing on exactly what they can control at any given moment. While a person may not be able to force another to forgive, they can ensure that they are actively showing their newfound priorities and lifestyle on a regular basis.
Constantly being open about one’s feelings, apologizing, and providing gifts of service can be instrumental in demonstrating one’s genuine change. Inviting others to partake in one’s new hobbies, to celebrate holidays in new ways together, or otherwise make an active effort to maintain focus on one’s sobriety can ensure that an individual is putting their best foot forward when it comes to looking to their future. Asking for help budgeting in one’s life for fines can also show a degree of trust and responsibility while accepting accountability for one’s actions.
However, overcoming feelings of being “stuck” can be much more complicated. Filling one’s environment with reminders of success can be a powerful motivation throughout these difficult times. Keeping a calendar on the wall of one’s accomplishments in sobriety, tracking each sober milestone, or keeping a journal of one’s progress from the beginning of their journey can be powerful tools in combatting these persistent and challenging feelings.
The effects of drinking can continue to impact you long after you have taken your last sip or reached pertinent sober milestones. At Everlast Recovery Centers, we understand the various long-term effects that alcohol can present and are prepared to help you continue to develop your skills and coping strategies to deal with the difficulties presented. Whether you are just beginning to explore your newfound life of sobriety or are looking to expand your recovery toolkit in a safe and supportive environment, we are prepared to help you. We can address your unique needs and goals with personalized care and a homey, comfortable atmosphere while establishing a network of supportive and understanding professionals and peers. Your time with use can be further personalized through a myriad of different therapeutic programs, from art, yoga, music, and writing therapies, and more. For more information on how we can help you cope with the long-term effects of alcohol addiction, call (866) 338-6925.