Things happen. Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do about it. Your job lays you off. Someone steals your car. Your rent goes up. Other times, maybe a little thought would have prevented it. You run out of gas on the way to work. You hurt someone’s feelings. You miss a bus. Either way, they happen and there is no going back. For many people living with addiction, there is a weight of memory, guilt and shame. Also, there’s a tendency to avoid negative feelings or situations. Learning to deal with these things is paramount to recovery. Life happens and choosing to accept life on its own terms can get you a long way.
Lessening The Impact
Radical Acceptance is the practice of saying, “Okay. This is unpleasant, but it is what it is and it will pass.” At times, life is unfair. It’s hard. It can be painful and there is nothing you can do about it. Not accepting that sets you up for more pain, more frustration, and anger. Not that feeling things is bad. Feelings are uncontrollable but what you do with them is completely up to you.
Accepting feelings of shame or grief or anger can be difficult. You have spent years hiding from these things. When you choose to stop hiding, learning to get through these moments effectively is the only way to maintain your sobriety. By accepting that there is no way to change what happened and to simply wait until the feeling passes without acting, you build strength. At first, it is incredibly tough but, like any other skill, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Improve The Moment
Part of getting through these moments involves using tools to prevent action. Tell yourself to breathe deeply for ten minutes. Count your breaths. Find something else to count like the leaves on a tree or the lines in the grain of the table at which you are sitting. Tell yourself that you can do these for ten minutes and then readjust. Generally, acute emotions like panic attacks or flashbacks last only a few minutes. Distraction gives you time to regain control of your emotions and decision-making skills. It gets you through. Life is sometimes not fun. Accepting that without judgment makes getting through the rough spots a lot easier.
At Fort Worth Recovery, we teach a number of skills to help people living with addiction learn how to get sober and stay that way. We can help you put together a toolbox to deal with life on life’s terms. Remember, it is possible to learn how to get through the day without drugs and/or alcohol. These skills will make you happier and healthier and more productive. To talk to someone about that first step, call Fort Worth Recovery at 817 382 2894 or visit us online.