Monday, July 24th, 2017

Emotional Maturity and Addiction

April 17, 2013 by  
Filed under Addiction, Maturity

Emotional Maturity

Emotional Maturity and Addiction

Emotional maturity while in addiction is hard for addicts and alcoholics. Addicts usually struggle when it comes to dealing with their feelings. This is why many addicts have turned to substance abuse in the first place. Alcohol and drugs, the addiction can provide a temporary escape from any unpleasant emotions which is the biggest sign of emotional immaturity in addiction. Emotional immaturity would be the inability to cope with unpleasant emotions. Drugs and alcohol numb the brain so the addict only feels a little. Once an addict starts using drugs and alcohol they will be unable to emotionally mature in addiction. This means when they get sober and want to mature emotionally they will be faced with dealing with their emotions.

Emotional maturity and addiction is very similar to emotional sobriety in sobriety. So how does an addict once emotionally immature in their addiction become emotionally mature or sober emotionally? There are some actions an addict can take to find emotional maturity.

  • Emotional maturity slowly develops from experience. If people are willing to face the challenges that come along with their uncomfortable and unpleasant emotions they will mature every time they handle them in a healthy way. Facing the challenging emotions means doing whatever it takes to get past them and not hide behind the addiction or the alcohol.
  • Fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous give members the ability to develop emotional maturity. The individual slowly works on emotional maturity through working steps and getting a sponsor as well as building a fellowship around themselves.
  • Emotional maturity means having realistic expectations of what is possible and what is not possible. The addict or alcoholic realizes that progress takes time and that all their problems are not going to be solved instantly. It means accepting that people tend to get from life what they put into it.
  • Meditation is great for developing techniques such as mindfulness. And mindfulness is the development of emotional sobriety. Mindfulness is a practice that requires the individual to try and live in the moment. It also involves closely looking at emotions and accepting their fleeting nature. The mindful person understands that they are not their emotions and that they do not have to act on them or be a victim of them.
  • Helping others is another great way to develop emotional sobriety. Having the right attitude while performing service to others will be putting someone else’s needs before their own and this is what emotional sobriety is. Being less selfish.
  • Humans are influenced by who they hang out with. Those who want to develop emotional maturity can spend time with people who have already gained emotional maturity after their addiction. The best way to learn any new skill is to imitate people who have already mastered it and the same goes for emotional maturity.

Either way an addict tries to develop emotional maturity it is important to always realize that it is a process and a journey not a destination to be reached. Everyone is progressing constantly, at different rates.

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