The Addictions Coach: How Stress can Ruin your Recovery!

We may have thought it was stressful during those many years of using drugs and alcohol. To us, it was stressful figuring out how we were going to scrape up our dope money for the day. Maybe it seemed stressful figuring out how we were going to get to our dope man. And don’t forget how stressful it may have seemed keeping all those lies in order and flowing correctly.

Well, if you thought that was stressful wait until “real, everyday life” punches you right in the face. For most of us it really wasn’t all that stressful during our drugging and drinking days. Usually we were putting our bills on someone else’s shoulders. Most times we were “flopping”on someone’s couch.  For a lot of us, we had family members that we used as ATMs. So, we really didn’t experience a whole lot of real life stress like paying bills, putting clothes on our children’s backs or being there physically and emotionally for our spouses or loved ones. Even in the beginning phases of recovery it is relatively stress free because we are in a cozy rehab with food and shelter given to us.

Once we are done with rehab and it’s time to put our “big boy/girl” pants on it can be a recipe for disaster or relapse. It can be stressful or overwhelming for those of us new in recovery, to pay rent, utilities, child support, etc. Finances bring a lot of stress on all of us in life, so those in recovery have to manage finances very carefully.

For those of us in recovery with families, the every day stress of running a family can be overwhelming so we need to be careful with what we take on early in recovery. We don’t need to be Super Dad, Super Mom or Super Spouse right off the bat. Staying clean and sober is the most important thing in life for you.

Remember, stress is normal in life and we all experience it. We used to pick up drugs or alcohol when stressed in our using days but now we need to deal with stress in healthy ways. Exercise is a great stress relief. Find a gym and start a workout program. Exercise with your spouse or play sports with your children.  Sex is also very healthy for stress. Reconnect with your spouse physically. Yoga is also a wonderful tool for stress and there are yoga studios on every corner it seems. These are just a few of the healthy tools that we can use for stress and these just scratch the surface, but one thing is for sure, if we don’t deal with our stress it will deal with us!

—Rob P.  Baltimore, MD

We here at Top Recovery Coaches and Life Coaching for Drug and Alcohol Addiction have life skill classes and stress management classes to help deal with stress so please contact us or call us at 1-800-706-0318