Are you feeling more anxious than usual? There are a lot of reasons to be afraid right now, and the media isn’t doing us any favors. Anxiety, anger, and fear are all valid and part of what makes us human. Sometimes anxiety can be paralyzing or overwhelming. This is true for many people, not just those with substance use disorders. You may not know what to do to keep yourself safe, or feel like there’s too much to do and you’ll never get it all done.
Working Through Anxiety
First of all, you need to know that as a person in recovery, you’re a survivor. You have been through a lot to get to where you are today. Staying sober isn’t always easy, but life is easier when you stay sober and have a network of friends and support to turn to.
Here are a few ways to work through your anxiety:
- Keep a feelings journal where you vent your fears every day. When you’re done venting, don’t reread or rehash those emotions. Close the book on them for the day and continue doing what you need to do to stay sane and sober.
- Listen to soothing music and think about all the positives in your life. You’re here, you’re sober, and you’re breathing.
- Practice slow breathing exercises. There are many of these available on video websites and audio websites. Take what works for you, and leave the rest.
- Speak up about your fears. You may think they’re ridiculous or silly, but by telling somebody else about them, you’re sharing the burden. Other people may feel scared and anxious too. Listen to their feelings once you’ve shared them.
- Remember what’s important and think about those things. Maybe you’re taking online classes to further your education or spending more time with your children. While you may be powerless over what is happening in the world, you can still control your actions for today. Make your day worthwhile.
- Work on your recovery. In some cases, you may live in a locality that has seen too much COVID-19 spread and there may be restrictions on group gatherings. Don’t be afraid to try something different, such as informal support group meetings. Consider using Facebook or conferencing apps to have meetings on the computer. You can even organize “living room” meetings of 5 people to stay supported.
Following the guidelines where you live is really important. Don’t risk your health or the health of others. You should be proud of your recovery right now, and guard it like a treasured possession. This means talking to people in recovery, continuing to work on your 12-step program, and allowing yourself to feel the emotions while you’re getting through this difficult time.
You’re Never Alone
Even if you’re stuck self-isolating, you don’t have to be alone. Find 12-step meetings online, participate in recovery discussions on Facebook and elsewhere. Ask your sponsor, a friend or a therapist to help you make alternative plans for now.
You can get through this. You’re resilient and brave, even when you’re feeling scared or low. Recovery is the best option for you right now – it will help you stay safe and sane.
Be gentle with yourself, and have faith you can make it through hard times. You can and WILL get through this, one day at a time.
Getting Help for Addiction
Addiction doesn’t care who you are or what your plans are. It’s a cunning and powerful disorder that can be treated by caring professionals. Detox can help you clear your mind and body from harmful substances and create a new plan for your life. Contact us at 619-363-4767 to learn more about how we can help you start a path to a new life.