By Robert Lien, MHA
You are right where you’re supposed to be. This is one of the many, sometimes hard to accept, sayings in recovery from addiction. Learning how to maintain sobriety through any and all conditions means finding a way to live without picking up that first drink, pill, joint, etc.
It’s not always the bad times that cause people to relapse, oftentimes when things are good and there is a renewed sense of control is when people will relapse. It is also not uncommon for people in recovery to have an overwhelming feeling of shame or guilt for the things they have said or done. As thoughts translate into recovery sometimes that feeling of shame and guilt can also be towards success or a sense of feeling that person does not deserve the good things that are happening to them.
So living in the moment whether things are good or they are challenging it is important to remember that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be at this moment. Having said that, how do we deal with challenging or stressful times in sobriety and recovery? One of the most important things to remember is that you are not alone and that you do not have to face any fear without support. That support can come from friends, family, a therapist or outpatient treatment program. That support can also come from your connection to a higher power, religion or whatever spiritual path you may practice.
Another key to remember when dealing with stressful times in recovery is that it will pass. Time moves forward regardless of what is happening and many situations that are challenging, stressful or fearful will also pass. This will often require doing whatever is necessary or suggested by your support team. Taking the next indicated step is not always clear so this is where building healthy relationships with friends, family, a sponsor or other clients in an outpatient treatment program can help with suggestions and take the step with you. By taking action or sometimes not taking any action, the stressful and challenging time will pass. As time goes by, whether it’s an hour, a day, a week or month and that stressful challenging time is behind you you can feel a sense of reward for getting through it and moving on with life in recovery.
Living in the moment also helps with fear of the future or past. Many people that struggle with addiction to drugs and alcohol have trouble moving forward because of fear of the “what ifs.” These are events or actions that usually never happen or could happen if, but as the imagination runs wild it can cause the person to become paralyzed and afraid to take on new tasks or responsibilities. If this is you try this tip, write down the things you are afraid “could” happen including the date and put them in an envelope. Set a reminder to open the envelope in six months or a year, you may be surprised what those fears were and that they most likely never happened.
Together people can recover and live full productive lives. Find a support system to help you build a solid foundation for your recovery today. Call CAST Centers admission department at 866-283-9885 to see if our day treatment program or evening IOP is a good fit for you. Your Anthem Blue Cross, Cigna PPO, Aetna PPO or UnitedHealthcare PPO might even help with the cost.