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Our Resistance to Sobriety

One of the challenges we face as addicts is that, as much as we want to get sober, we also experience strong resistance to sobriety. Consciously we know we want to get well. We want to be a good parent to our children, a strong partner in our relationships, and a dependable friend. We want to be there for our loved ones and make amends for the hurt we’ve caused them. Consciously, sobriety is what we know we want. Subconsciously, however, we are resistant to getting sober, and our resistance can manifest differently for each of us, with different mental and emotional patterns that impact our ability to recover.

When we feel resistance to sobriety, we feel like we need our drug of choice so badly that we can’t live without it. We feel totally incomplete, empty and lost without it. We worry about being able to function without it. Some of us feel dependent on a drug or behavior in order to get through the workday, or to be able to handle certain issues in our lives. Some of us can’t summon the energy to get out of bed without it. Others of us can’t relax or fall asleep without it. Our resistance can present itself as a deep sadness at the thought of having to give up our drug or addictive behavior of choice. We feel like we’ll be grieving something that means a lot to us. For many of us, we find comfort, solace and companionship in our drug or behavior of choice. It makes us feel less alone, less lonely, less insecure, less sad.

Many of us are using our addictions as a way of distracting ourselves from certain things we find challenging, whether they’re in our everyday lives, our relationships, or part of our mental and emotional health issues. When we’re resistant to sobriety, we often will make excuses and justifications for our drug use. We tell ourselves that we need our drugs of choice in order to cope, that we need to distract ourselves from our pain if we’re going to be able to function normally. We tell ourselves it’s okay to use, as long as it’s helping us in some area of our lives. We convince ourselves that our addiction has redeeming, helpful benefits for us. We tell ourselves, for example, that our jobs are so stressful that we deserve to drink, that we need alcohol to help us cope, that it’s helping us manage. In this way, our resistance manifests as denial, and we can have a tendency to be dishonest with ourselves, hiding the severity of our problem both from ourselves and others, and avoiding the underlying pain we have yet to heal from.

At The Guest House Ocala, our recovery programs include many experiential modalities including traditional therapy, conscious connected breathwork, equine therapy, somatic experiencing, art in healing, grief therapy, mindfulness and other forms of therapy. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.