Stress is a challenging thing to navigate for us all, but in recovery it is especially important to be aware of. Stress can impact our sobriety. Stress can also be easy to sweep under the rug however. We live in busy, chaotic, stressful times. It can be easy to have a “grin and bear it” attitude when it comes to stress. In some ways, this can be helpful as it can help us “push through” stressful times and experiences. Unfortunately, all too often it means we don’t take the time to acknowledge the impact stress has on us. We don’t take the time to take even a minute to sit with the stress, acknowledge that it’s there, and is taking a toll.
The other thing this can lead to is piling stress on top of stress. Because we aren’t acknowledging how stressed we are initially, the next time we are asked to take something else on, we are more likely to agree then if we stopped to realize, I’m already stressed out maybe I should choose not add this to my plate. In terms of our recovery, this can have the same impact not recognizing other struggles can have on us-it can lead to relapse. We can get to the point where we are so stressed and over whelmed that drinking or using is much more likely. It is important that we take this time to acknowledge our stress and most importantly, to find healthy ways to manage our stress when it arises. It is difficult, but so important to lasting recovery.
Questions about managing stress or anything else related to drug and alcohol use?