Addiction impacts everyone differently. Whether you are experiencing it for yourself or someone you love has a damaging relationship with a numbing agent, the impact extends into every facet of your being. From past to present and stretching well into the future, addiction has a way of lingering. For each of those instances, we want to ensure you’ve got a starting point to cope with what you’re going through and find healing when you’re ready.
Discover the coping skills for addiction needed to successfully find healing on your journey.
When you’re addicted
There is a single most important skill, strategy, and reminder you deserve to have offered, today and every day until it is as innate as drawing breath and it is only one sentence long:
You are not your addiction, and it does not define you.
Regardless of the space you’re in on your journey of stability and recovery, this is the truth. Addiction may define the choices you make or the actions you take, but it will never be the sum of your parts or the beat of your heart. You are a whole person, worthy of healing and compassion just as much as you are accountable for your hurt.
In the thick of it
Is it a daily battle to keep your tumultuous relationship with alcohol or other substances in check or under wraps from those around you? Are you actively denying your risky behaviors but still feel that twinge of discomfort reading this?
Take a moment and read the paragraph above once more because even if it speaks true, you are still not defined by your addiction. When you’re in the middle of a raging storm, it may feel dangerous to take the first step toward safety- and it may well be. However, as you work toward that step of owning your struggle and seeking the support you deserve, there are steps you can take to cope with the space you’re in now.
Wait. When you feel a strong reaction coming on or the urge to use, take a moment. It doesn’t matter if you use this moment to meditate, breathe, or listen to a favorite song but putting a pause between impulse and action can make a big difference.
Open up. Whether it’s to your journal, a friend, or a medical professional, telling someone you trust about the fears and worries you have about your use can begin to build a support system you’ll rely on as you move through the following stages of healing. We’re happy to be a part of that system if you’re ready, and you can reach us here.
Spending time in recovery can help you feel confident in the skills needed to maintain your sobriety and continue walking a path of holistic healing. Even in those times of recovery, you may find yourself drifting with old temptations nudging against your new lifestyle. You can move through them, and while your support network is the best place to turn to combat those things, there are small skills that will support your agency in your own recovery:
Stay busy. Find a hobby, a task, or a skill that interests you and commit to learning it. Maybe it’s a single hobby like reading or a niche interest like knitting. Indulging in a consistent activity to keep the mind and body busy and engaged can circumvent the risk of restlessness.
Talk. It’s that simple. Talk to a loved one, your counselor, a sponsor, or other recovery guide. Talk to your cat, or a song, or your journal. Just purge the silence of your uncertainty into a space you trust.
Ground in gratitude. Start a gratitude journal that you carry with you, and every time something happens to make you feel unsettled, triggered, or doubtful, jot down something you’re grateful for. It doesn’t have to be big—maybe you’re particularly charmed by the shape of the clouds or that small moment of clarity during the morning’s meditation—but the act of focusing on joy and gratitude can change the focus of your emotional energy.
Coping with a loved one’s addiction
When someone you love is struggling or has struggled with a tumultuous relationship with substance abuse, it can be challenging to refocus the relationship and all the emotions that go along with that. Perhaps you’re supporting someone through their early detox, or you’re years in recovery with someone dear to you. Maybe you’ve got a new friendship with someone who has an old relationship with substance abuse. Having a collective of coping skills for addiction to support your loved one while caring for yourself is key.
One particular skill you can develop is refocusing your social time together. Find activities that don’t include the focus of your loved one’s addiction- and that doesn’t just mean making sure they aren’t exposed to triggers during your time together. Try new hobbies and hangouts to avoid old feelings while they’re feeling vulnerable.
There is a myriad of coping skills for addiction that we can focus on learning together at any stage of recovery. Whether you are looking for ongoing support alongside your life or a residential reset to renew your commitment to your healing, we have options that will help you to strengthen not just your coping skills but your flourishing power as well.