How long does it take to psychologically recover from alcohol abuse?

What Leads People to Drug Addiction and Alcoholism?

Hey, we are back today with another question sent in by a subscriber. I am always excited to answer my reader’s questions so keep them coming. Your questions help you, me and others that are in need of information to help understand and fight the disease of addiction. 

Feel free to send your questions in if you haven’t already by Clicking Here to contact me. 

This week’s featured question is:

“How long does it take to psychologically recover from alcohol abuse?”

Answer:

It depends on the person and his/her circumstances.

Why because not everyone stops using for the same reasons, has the same values or lack of, have the same support network, nor the same motivations to use or not use.

I worked with a woman who was mandated to AA by the court and her probation officer for two years. She attended meetings got a sponsor and sponsored others. She knew the steps and lead meetings. There was no indication that she would use even though many know relapse is part of the process but not a requirement.

One day after she got off of probation she drank and went on a binge. When she made it to the next meeting she shared that she had always told herself secretly that she would use when she got released from probation. As time went on cognitively she forgot her plan and never told anyone. When the day came she was all in. Perhaps if she had shared this secret she would not have relapsed. By the same token, I have met people who had the same circumstance and will tell you to this day that the mandate from court saved their life and they now have double digit sobriety time.

The odds are high that if you stop drinking and don’t build a safe network, build a life for yourself a happily involved life you will be haunted by your abstinence. We call it a dry drunk.  Downright miserable. In recovery, it is meant for you to learn to live life on life terms meaning just because you are doing better doesn’t mean life will not touch you. Be sociable, get a hobby, learn to love yourself, and others. Smile and have fun. The obsession and compulsion will eventually go away as you condition your mind and your body to a new way of living.

Spiritual Principle Honesty

Honesty is one of the spiritual principles of recovery.  Perhaps if the woman mentioned above told on herself she may not have relapsed.  She was well connected, was an active participant in her home group and helped many other women she sponsored.  The missing link when you hear her story is that she was not honest about her plan. Her inability to tell on herself fed her lower power if you believe in the concept, “lower power”, “higher power.”

Many times over the years when I think of 12 step fellowships and the recovery process I have thought about this quote.

No man is an Island ~ John Donne

Not to say you can’t heal on your own but it is safer to have a healthy network. As far as how long it will take it will depend on your efforts and the people and tools you utilize in this journey. Please note that some folk will need medical, and/or  psychological professional help. There is nothing wrong with this. The bottom line is to maintain abstinence, be honest, take action, and be safe.

Remember there truly is light at the end of the tunnel

Suggested Resources:

Narcotics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous

Google your local Department of Mental Health

Find and make an appointment with a Physician

Seek guidance from your church and family members

You may also enjoy reading: How to Support Your Loved One Recovering From Addiction

**If you enjoyed this post and found it helpful Comment below and Share on your favorite social media site.**

Lydia Brown

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Lydia Brown

Lydia Brown, MS, MAC, CSAC, CADAC Editor ATN, Home Business Owner Advocate for Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment CARF Surveyor

21 thoughts on “How long does it take to psychologically recover from alcohol abuse?

  • November 5, 2016 at 7:46 am
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    When I started Blogging I was lacking knowledge. And at that time i was failing again and again . But there was a blog which helped me a lot. Which was http://addictiontreatmentnews.info And I was Following this blog silently. And was waiting for new post. And I aquired many noteworthy knowledge which helped me immensely. Thanks For Being guide. This Post Was also awesome.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2016 at 8:16 pm
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    Hi Lydia,

    What a sad story – but it just highlights the importance of not being alone in your addiction, getting support and being honest with yourself.

    I have known people who won’t even be honest that they have a drink problem even though it’s glaringly obvious to others.

    This is great work that you are doing.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

    Reply
    • October 11, 2016 at 4:30 am
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      Hi Joy, I know people who still don’t see when everyone else does. That is the nature of the disease “denial.”

      Reply
    • October 3, 2016 at 1:36 am
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      Hi Erika, thank you for visiting again. We certainly need more places for the addict and alcoholic to go for help.

      Reply
  • October 2, 2016 at 7:16 pm
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    Addiction is so powerful and sneaky. When I think of people that I know that have various addictions, they always seem to lie to others and themselves, thinking that they are not out of control and can handle it by themselves.

    As we all know, this isn’t true! There is no shame in asking for and seeking help! That is the best choice you can make. We all need a support system. Addicts are no different!

    We all need love, acceptance and support. Your posts are so helpful, Lydia!

    Deborah
    Deborah A. Ten Brink recently posted…Storytelling Can Create Compelling Blog Posts.My Profile

    Reply
    • October 2, 2016 at 7:46 pm
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      Hi Deborah, the secrecy and lies will keep people out there on their own for a long time. Thanks for your comment and visiting us again.

      Reply
    • October 2, 2016 at 7:49 pm
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      Hi Joan, thank you for visiting us again. Very glad you liked the post.

      Reply
  • October 1, 2016 at 4:30 am
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    Hi Lydia,

    I’ve certainly see enough people struggle with the psychological side of recovery that I know it’s no picnic. Working in a group, with community, is just so important for substance abuser and all those in his/her close circle of friends and family.

    You have quite a challenge trying to help people along this very rocky road.

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…35 Best Types Of Blog Posts To Get Free Traffic | Neil PatelMy Profile

    Reply
    • October 2, 2016 at 8:02 pm
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      Hi Donna, Your return visits are always awesome. A couple of years ago the state of Maine made group therapy mandatory. I would love to see all states make this decision. The dynamics and synergy that takes place in group has a significant impact on the recovery process. Individual counseling works if you have skilled counselors but if not the healing that takes place in peer to peer groups you can’t deny.

      Reply
  • September 30, 2016 at 2:14 am
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    Support networks not only help you solve problems but show you that you’re not alone. Admitting problems can be hard, especially as they often cause lack of self esteem. Knowing there are many others the same really helps.

    Reply
    • October 2, 2016 at 8:05 pm
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      Sue, knowing you are not unique is one of the first things we try to help clients understand. It’s helpful to know that others have been where you are and can help you in this journey. Thank you for your comment.

      Reply
  • September 29, 2016 at 7:20 pm
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    Hi Lydia,
    I would imagine it takes time and developing new habits, a new way of life, creating new habits …, I watched this with my father, he was an alcoholic and it was pretty horrible. I always feared I would be one too because of the statistics that children can become addicted. So I have always been anti drinking. Your blog and what you share is very valuable for others.
    Lesly T. Federici recently posted…Tearing It Down Or Putting Up The WallMy Profile

    Reply
    • October 2, 2016 at 8:09 pm
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      Lesly, thank you for saying that it is my mission to share and help. My father was an alcoholic and yes it was horrible. Thank you for visiting again.

      Reply
  • September 28, 2016 at 11:18 pm
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    Hello Lydia, it certainly is a whole lot easier with a support system in tack!
    Great Share My Friend,
    Chery :))

    Reply
  • September 28, 2016 at 3:44 pm
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    yeah honesty with self is so important. But sometimes that self honesty has to begin after layers of denial and false self masks are revealed. Not easy dealing with self, when negative emotions and masks cover truth. Definitely need higher power to heal some of this.

    Reply
    • September 28, 2016 at 4:21 pm
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      Hi Paula, yes it is a process and you need help learning how to do it and not beat yourself up. Thanks for your comment

      Reply
  • September 28, 2016 at 10:26 am
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    Well said Lydia. Building a healthy support system isn’t just valuable to someone in recovery, it is one of the key characteristics of the highly resilient. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most overlooked elements, so I’m glad you’ve highlighted it here for your readers.
    Marquita Herald recently posted…Reflections On Our Need For ApprovalMy Profile

    Reply
    • September 28, 2016 at 4:30 pm
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      Thank you for your comment, Marquita. Sometimes it has been hard to get my clients to work with others and build a network. Many times it is the shame of what they think they might have to share, or they were loners prior, and for some, it is learned behavior to solve your own problems.

      Reply

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