Recovery in and of itself is challenging. Adding to this challenge is the fact that recovery doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Part of the challenge in recovery is that we are not just navigating being sober, but we are also navigating all the other aspects that come along with being a human being living in this world. This can include having a job, going to school, having children to care for, friends to spend time with etc.
This means that the temptation to take on more than we can realistically handle is always there. I’ve talked to many clients who just weeks into sobriety are feeling pressured to add so many other changes to their plate. Big changes such as finding a new job, getting housing, making new friends etc. Unfortunately, this is not a set up for success at staying sober or success with any of the other tasks they are trying to accomplish. In fact, it is likely to lead to the opposite. They not only relapse, but they lose that new job, place to live etc.
Of course, making changes in our lives and working towards the goals we have for ourselves is not a negative thing. That said, recovery is hard and it’s so important that we allow our recovery the time and space needed for us to continue to be successful. When we overload ourselves, it becomes so easy for our recovery to take a back seat. We may slowly but surely find ourselves not attending AA meetings as frequently (or at all), missing appointments with our therapist, not calling our sponsor etc. Most importantly of all, this becomes a slippery slope towards relapse. Feeling overwhelmed is a part of life for all of us, but being able to notice these feelings when they come up and identify when our recovery is taking a back can truly go a long way towards staying sober long term.
Questions about taking on too much or anything else addiction/sobriety related? Feel free to get in touch!