Security is a basic human need. Creating security is important in recovery. Unfortunately, it is hard to create security in recovery. Once upon a time not too long ago there were drugs, alcohol, patterns of behavior, and specific mental outlooks which created security. Without familiar crutches of security, finding new ways to feel secure can be intimidating. Often, cravings or flashes of old symptoms of behavior, are the result of feeling insecure. Insecurity and the presentation of adverse symptoms is common in substance use disorders as well as the various mental health disorders.
Cravings are chemical signals coming from the brain based on familiarity and memory. For drug and alcohol addiction, cravings are the brain’s way of signaling a need for the production of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain, which is like a chemical messaging system. Carrying the message of pleasure, the brain finds security in the moments when it feels the most pleasure. Symptoms of old behaviors through other mental health disorders are a sign that the brain is having a hard time processing or coping with a certain situation. In both cases, the brain is struggling to create security.
Recovery is full of ups and downs. Sometimes, cravings are severe and feel intolerable. Other times, months upon months go by without a single craving. During the good times, it is easy to forget how hard it can be to cope with cravings. The sensation of cravings isn’t permanent and does not have to be satiated by giving them what they want. Instead, they just have to be handled in a healthy way and waited out until they pass- which they always do.
Cravings are chemical sensations happening in the brain which can create many different feelings in the body and the mind. Feelings aren’t facts. There is nothing factual about experiencing cravings. It doesn’t mean that relapse has to happen or should happen or even will happen just because there are cravings.
Navigating recovery doesn’t have to be done alone. Hired Power is available to support you every step of the way. For information on our recovery services, call 1-800-910-9299 for more detail.
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