During treatment, we are usually placed with a therapist who can help us through the process of sobriety. However, recovery is a life-long journey, and it can be beneficial to continue seeing a therapist even long after we complete treatment.
Even if we feel as though we have worked through the issues affecting our struggle with substance abuse and other issues in general, continuing to talk with a therapist can be extremely beneficial for our sobriety.
Benefits of Therapy
Therapy may have once been considered necessary only immediately after a tragic event disturbed our lives. Fortunately, its benefits are now more generally recognized as it becomes a long-term self-care practice for many individuals. Consistent therapy sessions can provide the following benefits in anyone’s life.
Many of us may find it difficult to express with words how we are feeling. This may be due to numerous reasons. We might have grown up in a household in which expressing our emotions was looked down on, and we never had the space to communicate openly. We may have experienced a time when we did talk about how we were truly feeling, and someone shamed us or made us feel foolish for it. Therapy can help break down the barriers we have built up. It can also teach us communication skills so that we can communicate more effectively with ourselves and others.
Improved Mental and Physical Health
When we are experiencing poor mental health, we may struggle to have a normal sleep schedule and a balanced diet. We may find ourselves not drinking enough water, neglecting our physical self-care routines, and withdrawing from everyday activities. When our mental health is not in a good place, our physical health often suffers.
Therapy can promote better physical and mental health by helping us process our lives. When we gain more clarity and closure, we can make more informed and constructive decisions. As our mental health improves, healthy habits like sleep and a regular appetite will become easier for us to maintain. Moreover, when we are well rested and nourished, our mental health improves.
When we can talk to a therapist and have our sense of agency in life reinforced, we can develop a sense of empowerment. Before, during, or after we got sober, people may have discounted our emotions. They may have misunderstood our struggle with addiction or made us feel as if recovery is impossible. Talking to a therapist can help us shed the influence of learned helplessness. In therapy, we can be reminded that we have the ability to change the narrative of our lives for the better.
Once we have developed better communication skills, improved our mental and physical health, and become empowered, we can put all of these improvements together and strengthen our relationships with our loved ones.
In addiction, we may have lost touch with friends or family. Maybe we burned bridges during treatment or simply haven’t been able to connect well with people recently. We can work on the social and relational aspects of our lives through therapy. These efforts may help us reconnect with the people we care for and can help us form new healthy relationships as well.
New Societal Norms
As a society, we are evolving to recognize that attending therapy regularly is no longer taboo. Rather than being seen as weak for going to therapy, we are seen as smart for prioritizing self-care. It is an incredibly positive thing to work on our mental health and address the issues that may be holding us back in life. Fortunately, society is beginning to acknowledge this. People who attend therapy are viewed by many as emotionally mature and self-aware. It is not a bad thing to understand that we do not have the tools to deal with our trauma alone, and we should not have to.
We All Deserve Peace of Mind
We may all struggle with different issues, but at the end of the day, we all want peace and love in our lives. Just because we feel pain in different ways and for different reasons doesn’t mean that one person’s trauma is less valid than the next person’s trauma. We owe it to ourselves to prioritize our mental health and any other issues we may be dealing with.
There may never be a time that we arrive at the final point of growth in our lives. It may be possible that we can keep learning about ourselves and how to interact best with the world our entire lives. Investing in therapy long-term can help us in more ways than we could imagine. Keeping an open mind and a curious spirit can bring us so many opportunities in life that we might not otherwise have recognized. When we open ourselves up to vulnerability and growth, we can become the best versions of ourselves to present to the world.
Once we complete treatment, we may feel that we have reached the end. What else is left to work on if we have successfully gone through treatment and are now living in sobriety? The truth is that recovery is a life-long process. Improving and maintaining our mental health is something that we will have to work on for the rest of our lives. Life can be full of surprises, both good and bad. These unexpected events can cause us both happiness and pain. When we see a therapist consistently, we are open to exploring our emotions, both negative and positive. We can improve our mental health, communicate better with ourselves and others around us, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and become a better version of ourselves. No one said life would be easy, but we will be okay. Call 449 Recovery today at (949) 435-7449.