Many people learn the hard way about this: The major problems you are confronted with during early recovery are not related to the bodyís initial adjustments to the absence of the drug. In fact, acute withdrawal is a relatively short episode that our physical body can adapt to quickly and ease up the symptoms.
While the body can adjust fairly rapidly, the same canít be said about the brain. The brain needs a longer time frame to revert to a healthy state. The adjustment of the brain is the primary cause for a variety of problems, known in addiction recovery as the Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS).
PAWS can be a potentially serious condition that affects your daily routine and it shouldnít be ignored. This is why I advise you to understand what the syndrome is all about and learn how to recognize the symptoms, so you will know exactly what to do when they appear.
Here is what I do when I notice I begin to experience a PAWS episode:
Acknowledge the PAWS episode by talking to a loved one
Whenever I think Iím about to experience an episode, I always talk to my wife about what is happening. If youíre a recovering addict, then make sure you have someone who is willing to listen to you and not readily criticize you for these situations.
Talking to a person you trust helps you clarify your feelings. Looking at these emotions more realistically, usually helps you to recognize the symptoms fast. Even if youíre an introvert or just donít enjoy talking about your problems, this time, itís crucial to force yourself to tell someone what is happening.
By explaining your current situation, you are also helping yourself put things in order and they could get a chance to make sense. Regardless of how rational you think you are, find out whether your words and behaviors really stay coherent and match what is going on in reality.
Stay calm and learn to identify the triggers
Once you have confirmed that you are experiencing a PAWS episode, you should stay calm, realize what is happening and engage in a pleasant activity (your favorite hobby) to prevent a worsening of the condition.
I advise you to read as much as possible about the condition, because in the end, you are the only one who can feel the warning signs and stop them from manifesting. In addition, you should also pay close attention and keep notes on what is triggering the episode, if possible.
It might not be easy to identify your own triggers, but once you do, you can learn how to AVOID them, CHANGE your own reactions or INTERRUPT the episode altogether.† If you want to learn more on how you can identify the triggers, you can talk to our friends at Transformation Treatment Center.
Be more concerned with your nutrition
Most recovering addicts are so focused on staying sober that they barely pay attention to their diet. Extensive substance abuse can hinder the bodyís ability to absorb nutrients and is known to cause deficiencies. However, considering that most addicts will feel the effects of malnutrition months after adopting a healthier lifestyle, it is highly advisable to watch your diet more carefully and make sure to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to repair itself.
This way, with good nutrition, it is easier to control your PAWS and recover faster from such an episode. What about you? Do you have any advice for fellow alcoholism fighters on conquering PAWS? Let’s hear your stories in the discussion forum!