The Sobering Reality That Comes with Withdrawal

Experiencing withdrawal while getting sober in recoveryOne of the most commonly discussed components of withdrawal are the physical side effects – a commonly feared aspect of recovery that must be done in order to fully detox. Detoxification, if done safely and in a treatment center, can be much easier to navigate because there are a team of healthcare professionals that can help minimize some of the pain and discomfort that comes with withdrawal. What isn’t talked about as often are the moments when a person transitions from withdrawal to recovery – what is the reality like for them?

The reality is that a person withdrawing from substances will feel not only physical effects – such as shaking, headaches, fatigue and more – but also mental effects – such as irritability, depression, anxiety and others. Even once a person completely detoxes, they may still feel some stress because the mind, body and spirit are going through some major changes. Chad Sabora, a 31-year-old attorney in Chicago, told Ozy about his experience with opioid addiction. After spiraling out of control on pain pills and heroin, he detoxed:

“Between the combination of destroying myself and going back to rehab, I got a little more to the core of who I was – and that’s what it took for me to finally look in the mirror and be done with the stuff.”

While the transition from detox to recovery is a stressful one – and while there will still be cravings and other symptoms of withdrawal that linger on for a bit longer than others – there will eventually become a greater sense of clarity. These moments can become true eye-opening experiences for people because they bring them back to who they are at the heart of it all.

Christopher Kennedy Lawford, a man who once struggled with addiction, told Today a few years ago that underneath the darkness of addiction comes many beautiful gifts – gifts that shed light onto who we are as human beings, what our purpose is in this world and so much more.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.