The most challenging part of my journey thus far wasn’t actually getting sober— once I found a prescription medication that worked for me, I felt much more in control of my drinking habits. What’s been harder for me to manage are the emotions and behavioral changes that have surfaced in my sobriety.
We need to learn to sit with our emotions, whether they are negative, positive, neither or both.
No one told me about the anxiety, anger, and impulses that might come with getting sober, and now I work through that with therapy. And no one told me how common this is … research has shown that approximately 50% of people receiving treatment for problematic drinking also had one or more anxiety-related condition. You are not alone.
Counseling has helped me develop coping mechanisms and better understand those negative emotions. I wish I had been told that I might feel this way and why when I first decided to change my drinking, and am hoping to save at least one other person from those feelings of isolation and confusion.
About the Author
Mike Russell is the co-founder & CEO of Monument, an online treatment platform for those looking to change their relationship with alcohol. Mike is a member of the founding teams of Paintzen (Acquired by PPG Industries), Bombas, Zipdrug, and MyClean, four successful New York City technology startups still operating today. Mike is also a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor and has dedicated much of his time towards raising money to help children with cancer.