Why you Should Never Tell a Teen in Recovery, “Don’t cry, Be strong”
Vulnerability is hard for most people. Being emotionally raw and open is challenging for most people. Most people go through their lives at a hindered level of emotional intimacy with themselves and with others. Part of the reason is that people are under the impression emotional vulnerability is a form of weakness and weakness is seen negatively. In emotional vulnerability comes great strength.
Drug and alcohol abuse is a maladaptive coping behavior. Without the knowledge or ability to vulnerably experience and process their emotions, teens find refuge in drugs and alcohol. Recovery educates and equips teens with emotional intelligence. When teens are able to safely handle their own emotions, they no longer have to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope.
Telling a teen not to cry and be strong is telling a teen a few things. First, it is telling a teen that their emotions, and their current form of emotional expression, is wrong or bad. Second, telling a teen not to cry and be strong is telling teens that crying is a form of weakness, which means that having and expressing emotions is a form of weakness. Polarizing crying from strength is damaging. Teens in recovery need to be told it is okay to feel their feelings, express their feelings and that doing so is a sign of strength. Otherwise, teens might be inspired to turn again to drugs and alcohol, which seem to eliminate their feelings and any outside criticism of those internal feelings.
Teens who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction are becoming more resilient by the day. Emotions are not a bad thing. Feeling emotions is not a bad thing. Expressing emotions is not a bad thing. Through various forms of therapy and holistic methods of healing, teens find peace with themselves and what happens in the world around them. Day by day, one day at a time, teens in recovery are gaining a remarkable amount of strength by allowing themselves to emotionally develop.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center welcomes teen and adolescent males who are seeking to recover. Our long-term residential treatment programs are designed to create a positive foundation for living while thorough cleansing the addicted life in mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for information: 662-598-4214