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Tips for Coping with Stress in Recovery

Coping with Stress in Recovery – New Lifestyle versus Completing Goals

Addiction is known as a chronic, relapsing disease. This is because the relapse rates in addicts are similar to type II diabetes relapse rates. An article published on JAMA suggested that 40 to 60 percent of addicts going through their first year of recovery start using drugs again. Coping with stress in recovery is crucial to maintain one’s abstinence.

In this article, we will look at relapse prevention coping skills that you can use to stay away from alcohol and drugs.

The To-Do List

A person leaving recovery will usually be given a fairly big list of things they must accomplish within their first year of recovery. Altogether, it may seem daunting even if each task by itself is simple. Some of the things that are expected of an addict in their first year of recovery include:

The above is the list for someone who follows the 12-step program. Alternatives do exists, but the list gives a good idea of what a to-do list after rehab would look like. Coping with stress in recovery can be even more difficult when your list is the thing that scares you – seeing the entirety of what you need to do.

Using a System Instead of Goals

An alternative to the to-do list for coping with stress in recovery can be to make a system that works for you. Addiction recovery should be seen as a life-long process and not something that can necessarily be completed. Coping with stress in early recovery may become easier as time goes by, but as soon as you decide that you have fully recovered and you no longer need the relapse prevention coping skills, then you put yourself in danger of losing all that you’ve created for yourself. The goal of recovery should not just be to refrain from drug or alcohol use, but it should be what comes after: healthy habits, new-found happiness and a new lifestyle.

The following looks at why a system for coping with stress in recovery is better than setting goals.

Don’t let a to-do list undermine the hard work you have put in. Look at your recovery as a life-long process more attuned to a new lifestyle than a set of goals.

Sources:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/193144

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction