It’s no secret that there is a certain amount of comfort and joy that is brought to most humans when in the presence of an animal that they can give affection to and receive affection from. It is an indescribable feeling that at the end of every day, you are coming home to an animal that expresses unconditional love towards you, no matter what.
Often we attach ourselves to our pets, they become family. They need us as we need them. It has been proven that there are ways to benefit from the presence of an animal, be it emotional or physical support. Additionally, those who are in addiction recovery can find many benefits of having a pet as they make their way through the life transition of becoming sober.
When faced with the fear of judgment or acceptance throughout this process, there is an undeniable source of the love you desire that comes from a pet. You can depend on your cat or dog to show you unquestionable love in times you may need it the most. This feeling of acceptance is healthy in the healing process as it allows you to become more relaxed and able to open up about your feelings. A lot of pets are incredibly intuitive and can sense when you are unhappy and make for great snuggles and comfort in darker times.
Because some animals are completely capable of expressing emotions like fear, anger, excitement, and a sense of being content, a recovering addict may benefit from this emotional honesty. After spending time becoming numbed by the substances they were addicted to, this interaction with emotion may encourage them to revisit those forgotten emotions.
Because your pets need you, this can help keep you accountable in your recovery process. Committing to giving your pets the love and attention required can be rewarding and can provide a sense of goal achievement for taking great care of your animals. These small victories can easily build a driving force in you that can help your self-esteem and to acquire the ambition to take better care of yourself. Having a loved pet that gives you the feeling that you are wanted and needed is a huge step in building your confidence and in turn, giving you the strength and drive to keep moving forward.
When you think of a dog, you are most likely to imagine an outgoing, happy, and energetic personality. To be around a dog could benefit you by increasing these mannerisms in yourself, ultimately helping your social skills. Coming out of addiction can be a dark and lonely place if you let it, but with the help of a furry four-legged friend’s upbeat characteristics, you may find yourself less likely to be feeling alone and more likely to have the desire to engage yourself in activities with other people.
Animals have so many different quirks and characteristics, and it is uncommon to find an animal that does not make someone smile with their cute and silly behavior. This is why we find the internet filled with videos and memes of cute animals. For someone struggling with an addiction, just the act of smiling because of an animal can be a step in the right direction.
The process of recovery can be long and stressful. To have close friends and family is imperative in order to keep accountability and communication, however, there is something so unique to having a relationship with a pet during this time. After everyone leaves, there they are, sympathetic and caring. At Riviera Recovery, we understand the importance of this primal relationship, and the need to keep your dog by your side during this time, which is why we are a pet-friendly sober living facility.