During this phase recovering people experience the inability to function normally within themselves. The most common symptoms are:
1-1. Difficulty Thinking Clearly. Recovering people often have trouble thinking clearly or solving usually simple questions. At times, their minds race with rigid and repetitive thoughts. At other times, their minds seem to shut off or go blank. They have difficulty concentrating or thinking logically for more than a few minutes. As a result, they are not always sure about how one thing relates to or affects other things. They also have difficulty deciding what to do next in order to manage their lives and recovery. At times, they are unable to think clearly and tend to make bad decisions that they would not have made if their thinking was normal.
1-2. Difficulty In Managing Feelings and Emotions. During periods of recovery, many recovering people, at times, have difficulty in managing their feelings and emotions. At times, they overreact emotionally (feel too much). At other times, they become emotionally numb (feel too little) and are unable to know what they are feeling. At still other times, they feel strange or “crazy feelings” for no apparent reason (feel the wrong thing) and may think they are going crazy. These problems in managing feelings and emotions have caused them to experience mood swings, depression, anxiety and fear. As a result of this, they don’t trust their feelings or emotions and often try to ignore, stuff, or forget about them. At times, the inability to manage feelings and emotions has caused them to react in ways that they would not have acted, if their feelings and emotions were properly managed.
1-3. Difficulty In Remembering Things. Many recovering people have memory problems that prevent them from learning new information and skills. The new things they learn tend to dissolve or evaporate from their mind within twenty minutes of learning them. They also have problems remembering key events from their childhood, adolescence, or adulthood.. At times, they remember things clearly. At other times, these same memories will not come to mind. They feel blocked, stuck, or cut-off from these memories. At times, the inability to remember things has caused them to make bad decisions that they would have not made, if their memory were working properly.
1-4. Difficulty In Managing Stress. Many recovering people have difficulty in managing stress. They cannot recognize the minor signs of daily stress. When they do recognize the stress they are unable to relax. The things other people do to relax either don’t work for them or make the stress worse. It seems they become so tense that they are not in control of it. As a result of this constant tension, there are days when the strain becomes so severe they are unable to function normally and feel about to collapse physically or emotionally.
1-5. Difficulty In Sleeping Restfully. During periods of recovery, many recovering people have difficulty sleeping restfully. They cannot fall asleep. When they do sleep, they have unusual or disturbing dreams. They awaken many times and have difficulty falling back asleep. They sleep fitfully and rarely experience a deep relaxing sleep. They awaken from a night of sleep feeling tired and not rested. The times of day at which they sleep change at night they stay up late due to the inability to fall asleep and then oversleep, because they are too tired to get up in the morning. At times, they become so exhausted they sleep for extremely long periods, sometimes sleeping around the clock for one or more days.
1-6. Difficulty With Physical Coordination and Accidents. During periods of recovery many recovering people have had difficulty with physical coordination that result in dizziness, trouble with balance, difficulty with hand-eye coordination, or slow reflexes. These problems create clumsiness and accident proneness that cause other problems they would not have had if their coordination were normal.
1-7. Shame, Guilt, and Hopelessness. At times, many recovering people feel a deep sense of shame, because they believe they are crazy, emotionally disturbed, defective as a person, or incapable of being or feeling normal. At other times, they feel guilty, because they believe they are doing something wrong or failing to work a proper recovery program. The shame and guilt cause them to hide the warning signs and stop talking honestly with others about what they are experiencing. The longer they keep them hidden, the stronger the warning signs become. They try to manage these warning signs, but fail. As a result they begin to believe that they are hopeless.