There’s a lot about sobriety that people don’t tell you, and sobriety fatigue (or sobriety burnout) is one of them. Physical fatigue is common because your body is going through so many changes and trying to adjust to not having drugs and alcohol. However, the fatigue we’re going to talk about today is more emotional in nature. It has to do with overcoming the exhaustion that comes from publicly sharing and talking about your story.
What is Sobriety Burnout?
The first year of sobriety is the hardest for most people. You have to put in a lot of work to stay sober and live sober. This takes time and energy - so much that it can consume your life. But over time, the hope is that you get more comfortable being sober and can start branching out to other parts of your life.
However, it’s normal to feel burned out at times from living a life of sobriety. You may be feeling tired of going to AA meetings, listening to sobriety podcasts, talking about your journey, etc. It’s not that you don’t want to be sober anymore. Instead, it has to do with this new identity you took on when you made this commitment.
When you first started addiction treatment in Agoura, you had to find yourself again. You probably didn’t know who you were and what made you happy. But in order to rebuild your life, you had to take on this new identity. You became someone who lived and breathed sobriety because, well, you had to. But it's natural for this to lead to burnout over time.
Signs of Sobriety Fatigue
You might think it’s obvious to tell when you’re experiencing sobriety fatigue, but some of the signs are vague. By listening to your body and being honest about your feelings, you can determine if it's at the root of your exhaustion.
Here are some potential signs that you’re suffering from recovery burnout:
- Feeling bored with your life
- Low self-esteem
- Neglecting your responsibilities
- Lowered sex drive
- Less interest in hobbies
- Moodiness and irritability
- Increased drug cravings
- Closing off from loved ones
- Angry outbursts
- Panic attacks
How to Deal with Burnout While Keeping Sober
How you deal with recovery burnout depends on your personality. It’s important to understand your personal triggers and why you might be feeling the way you do. The best approach is to talk to someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, health professional, 12-step member, or therapist. Just talking openly about your feelings can make you feel better.
Recovery is an ongoing journey, so you must stay on track with your goals. But you may find that right now, you need some other things in your life. Perhaps it’s time for a new hobby or a new job. Maybe you need to get away for the weekend and not think about the activities that are causing you stress. You may even need to distance yourself from certain people.
Whatever is causing you to feel burnt out, take a step back, practice your relaxation techniques, and rediscover the meaning in your life. As long as you’re not jeopardizing your recovery, it’s okay to take a break.
When to Seek Additional Support
Even though you might be feeling like you could benefit from the less sober talk, it’s possible that what you need right now is more support, not less. Awakenings Recovery Center is a trusted outpatient rehab that works with people in all stages of recovery. We can provide you with the extra support you need to feel refreshed and eager about your recovery.
Some clients choose to attend meetings once or twice a week to refresh their attitude and change their perspective. If you’d like to do the same, contact us today to learn more about our affordable drug rehab in Agoura Hills. Recovery is a lot of work, but we believe it can be enjoyable too!