Lately, turning on the news can be anxiety-inducing. The world seems so full of conflict. Often, no matter how far removed you may be from what's on TV, it's difficult not to internalize the chaos. In these tumultuous times, people in recovery need to be wary of their sobriety as thoughts of relapse can easily creep up.
Here are three ways to help you cope with the way of the world.
1. Accept what's around you.
The first and possibly most important step to take is to realize that recovery is not a safe haven from reality. In other words, being in recovery is not about avoiding pain. Additionally, being connected to a recovery community is not about attempting to mold the said community to accommodate personal issues. Rather, recovery is about learning to accept the world around us, which we generally cannot change, and instead work to change ourselves.
2. Face and resolve the conflict within.
Often, the reason it is difficult for us to witness conflict around us is because we already experience and seek to avoid an overwhelming amount of conflict within. However, the path to inner peace does not begin with isolation from anything less than peaceful. Instead, it is a journey which begins with the words of the Serenity Prayer, requesting acceptance of that which we cannot change, courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference. Truly, our own inner conflict is the only thing we can have power over, and as such, we must courageously face and seek to find peace within ourselves.
3. Seek the aid of a helping professional.
When the issues being discussed on TV trigger us emotionally, we need to pay attention to what is surfacing. Rather than becoming angry with the trigger, it is vital to a successful recovery to instead see an opportunity to face unresolved issues, heal from past traumas and further our personal journey of growth, recovery and empowerment.
It’s not always as simple as 1-2-3, but the aforementioned steps do provide important reminders and actions toward preventing relapse. However, each individual is unique, and as such, it is important to remember that recovery is not only a personal experience. It is a personal responsibility. In other words, when it comes to preventing relapse in any given set of circumstances, self-awareness and plugging in with recovering individuals or communities who provide personal accountability is always key.