When you are in recovery from addiction, even the best of intentions can be derailed in the aftermath of a tragedy. This can include things like the death of a loved one, losing your job or even large-scale tragedies like natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Even if a tragedy does not affect you directly, it can still leave you feeling powerless and alone.
While it may be tempting to resort back to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain, it is important to recognize that these are only temporary solutions and will not help you process and deal with the tragedy or erase its effects. Try these healthier coping strategies instead to help you stay on track with your recovery:
Allow Yourself to Feel the Pain
Drugs and alcohol will drown out the pain so that you don’t have to think about it. The problem is that all of that pain will resurface once you are sober again. Take the time to allow yourself to experience the pain fully so that your mind can process it and you can begin to move on with your life. Even if it means taking a day off from work, it is important to give yourself time to grieve properly.
Find Healthier Alternatives to Distract Yourself
Staying sober is often the most difficult when you have nothing else to do. Instead of giving in to the calls of addiction, do your best to keep yourself busy with healthier, more productive activities, like cleaning your house, exercising, reading a book or even sleeping.
Lean on Your Support Group
Having a solid group of friends or others in recovery can go a long way towards helping you to stay sober in the face of tragedy. Having someone to talk to about the pain you are suffering can help to make it hurt just a little less. Your friends can also provide the support you need to stay away from your vices.
Follow a 12-Step Program
Whether or not you actively use a 12-step program as part of your recovery from addiction, the teachings can be incredibly helpful in your time of need. Here at My 12 Step Store, we offer everything you need to help you stay on track, from the AA Big Book to posters and plaques with reassuring quotes.