Using alcohol and drugs is essentially a coping skill, albeit not a healthy tool. When you think about recovery from addiction, the goal is really to learn newer, healthier coping skills. Life is filled with joy, but there will also be moments of stress and disappointment. You may be overwhelmed thinking about handling life without a drink or drug, but successful sobriety is possible if you learn new coping skills.
Recovery doesn’t promise a problem-free life. Life can be filled with great joys and celebrations. Life can also have twists and turns. You may lose people who are dear to you, have disagreements, and experience life’s stressors. The only way to get through life sober is to learn how to cope differently.
Life does offer beautiful memories, good moments, achievements, and celebrations. You may have found yourself drinking or using drugs more during happy moments because addiction is a coping skill.
The first step to replacing negative coping skills is to be honest with yourself. Write down situations that are extra stressful for you. Ask yourself:
- When do I use more?
- When are cravings stronger?
Take note of the first thing you do when you are under more stress, whether this be positive or negative stress. Some people feel relieved by drinking alcohol after an important meeting, big financial decision, getting through the workweek.
Once you’ve done some journaling, you are more aware of how you cope. The next step is to replace old ways of coping with positive skills. There are many things that you can do to replace old coping skills.
- Attend a meeting or support group
- Practicing mindfulness
- Listening to music
An important tip to remember is that thoughts are not facts. Some thoughts can be unhealthy. You can’t go into recovery and feel that you won’t make it or recovery won’t work for you. Try to be confident. You can stop using drugs and alcohol. Recovery takes some work which may not always be fun. However, you will learn how to have sober fun, build great relationships, and learn about yourself.
Hired Power can help you learn better coping skills. Life isn’t always easy, but you can get through. Take the first steps towards a better life and call Hired Power today at 800.910.9299. Hired Power is the expert you need to help you become empowered in your recovery journey.