Feeling forced to put on a happy face never feels good. Through the years, you might have been made to feel as though people will only accept you if you are always smiling. Or, you might just not feel like even trying to hide your unhappiness anymore. Both positive and negative emotions are completely valid, but being in public can sometimes make you feel like you need to disguise your true emotions. If you are wondering if you have to pretend to be happy during treatment at an inpatient drug rehab center, then you are in luck. The concept of fake it until you make it doesn’t apply here. Instead, you are encouraged to be your authentic self as you work through the program. Honesty truly is the best policy since it helps your treatment team understand what works best for helping you stay sober.
Addiction treatment counselors know the dangers of stuffing your emotions. People who feel as though they can’t express their sadness or anger often turn to alcohol or drugs to numb how they feel. Your addiction might have even began when you first used substances to feel comfortable during social situations where you knew that you had to appear happy when you felt anything but joyful. This is why you will never be told to smile or even how to feel in addiction treatment. Throughout your stay in rehab, you’ll spend time learning more about why you feel certain emotions and your best way for handling them. Often, just knowing that your negative emotions are as acceptable as your positive ones is all it takes to begin feeling like you can be your true self.
Revive Your Sense of Happiness With Addiction Treatment
Your addiction treatment team won’t try to force you to feel certain emotions, but they will strive to help you actually feel a sense of happiness. Drugs and alcohol have a strong influence upon the brain that can make it harder for you to feel joy. For example, opiates affect receptors in your brain that respond to hormones such as dopamine. Over time, using drugs can cause your body to respond differently to the feel-good hormones in your brain than it normally would. Although it takes time, it is possible to help your brain return to its normal responses. This is why your rehab program will help you work through your withdrawal symptoms that may include feelings of anxiety and depression. During those first few days of your recovery, no one expects you to be smiling. However, it is common to start to feel your first feelings of hope during this time since each day that you don’t use drugs or alcohol makes you feel stronger.
Once the clouds of your initial withdrawal symptoms begin to disappear, you can expect to feel some glimmers of happiness. You still won’t be forced to smile, though. Instead, your treatment team will help you uncover the roots of your unhappiness through several different forms of therapy. Your treatment plan may differ slightly, but you can expect to work through these types of care during your stay that all help you begin to feel better.
- individual counseling using research-based techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy
- group counseling with other people who are also dealing with addiction
- opportunities to learn relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga
- encouragement to engage in recreational activities both indoors and outdoors
In the beginning, doing things such as meditating or enjoying a walk in nature might feel strange after spending so much time immersed in your addiction. It can even feel like things aren’t working at first. This is because you sometimes have to dive deeper into your unhappiness to figure out what influences your addiction. Going through counseling is challenging. You might need to revisit a childhood trauma or explore what you went through during your time in the military. Victims of assault may especially struggle at first to work through what happened. If you feel sad, angry or even numb at any moment, then you can feel safe expressing this to your counselor. Their only goal is to eventually help you feel genuinely happy, even if that means feeling sadder for just a little while longer. While you might walk into rehab feeling beaten down, you’ll leave feeling lighter and more confident about your ability to smile in the face of new challenges.
Are you ready to reclaim your happiness? We can help you find a rehab that lets you be your authentic self. Give us a call today at 833-846-5669!