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Coping with addiction during tough times 


Difficult times put everyone to the test. Some people are able to deal with life’s challenges better, while others have to make a significant effort in order to stay afloat. There are many factors that influence a person’s ability to cope with tough situations, and having support from family and friends as well as the financial means to go through it all with as little damage as possible definitely play an important part in overcoming these obstacles. 

Going through a rough patch is anything but easy and still people usually have the power to pull through. But what happens when the entire world is in a continuous crisis, like the one we’re experiencing right now due to the Covid-19 pandemic? In this unusual and troubling period there’s a category of people that have a much harder time coping with the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic than others – we’re talking about those who are struggling with addiction. 

The fear of relapse 

A lot of people who are trying to recover from a drug or alcohol addiction might feel like their efforts are going down the drain as the uncertainty, fear, anger and frustration triggered by the pandemic and the lockdown measures are bringing them closer to a relapse. Recovery is already difficult enough without adding the burden of a pandemic on their shoulders. Besides, most people say that getting clean and sober is not even the hardest part, but staying drug or alcohol free is the real challenge. 

So, what’s there to be done when getting back to an unhealthy habit is becoming more tempting by the day and you can tell you’re on the brink of relapse? First of all, you must know it’s completely normal to feel this way in such special circumstances and secondly you shouldn’t give up the fight because even if everything seems to be spinning out of control you can still regain your balance and get back on track. Here are some strategies that might work for you and make your life a little bit easier. 

Stick to your appointments

If you’re already receiving professional support to overcome your addiction, it’s important to keep up the work. Consistency is key to achieving long-term results when dealing with drug or alcohol abuse and in the chaos, we’re living right now you need something to hold onto, a still point in the middle of all the uncertainty. Having a bit of structure in your life and sticking to a routine can prove extremely helpful, and going to therapy can provide the balance you need. 

If you’re struggling on your own, the best thing you could do is to get help today. Even if your substance abuse issues are mild or moderate, you shouldn’t wait for things to worsen. The sooner you get help, the higher your chances of recovery. And if you’re worried about social distancing rules or lockdown measures getting in the way, certain healthcare professionals can provide online therapy sessions, so there’s really no reason you should rule out therapy or skip your appointments. 

Stay connected 

Social distancing and quarantine can easily lead to complete isolation and that’s the last thing someone struggling with addiction needs. Don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings with your loved ones and tell them what you’re going through. Although they don’t have the same problems as you do, they’re probably dealing with feelings of fear, anxiety and frustration themselves. 

Loneliness can be overwhelming, but you have to remember you are not in this alone and you should strive to maintain a close connection with family and friends, even though you have to do it from a distance. Just because you can’t meet with them like you once used to, it doesn’t mean you’re alone. So, talk to the people you care about as often as possible and support each other in any way you can. 

Keep yourself busy

That’s what everyone has been trying to do in order to fight boredom and keep dark thoughts at bay during lockdown. You can engage in all sorts of activities that will keep your mind off drinking or using drugs and provide a temporary escape from all the things that are bothering you. Short-term distractions are just a quick fix, but a quick fix can turn into a lifesaver when you need to overcome a critical point. 

You don’t have to follow the banana bread baking trends or any of the trends that have been circulating on social media for that matter. Simply do whatever makes you feel good and what gives you a bit of relief when the pressure becomes too hard to handle. It can be a good workout, walking in nature, meditation or cooking a delicious meal and treating yourself simply because you deserve it. As long as you’re focusing on a positive distraction, you’re on the right path. 

Look for a self-help group

Like we’ve mentioned earlier, you are not in this alone. In fact, there are so many people that are in the exact same situation as you are, that it might surprise you. But even if you are aware of that, it won’t be of any use unless you find a way to connect with these people. No one can better understand what you’re going through than someone who is experiencing the same thing or who has dealt with something similar in the past.

There are countless support groups created for people like you out there.  All you have to do is look for a support group that suits your needs and ask for help. Hearing other people’s stories and receiving useful advice from other members can serve as an inspiration and provide the motivation you need to keep going. 

The most important takeaway here is there’s always a solution to everything, as impossible as it might seem at times, and you should never stop hoping and trying, no matter how hard the journey might be. 

(Syndicated press content is neither written, edited or endorsed by ED Times)

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