Emotional Sobriety and Stress

So it’s been awhile since my last post. I don’t have a great excuse for lagging in writing, except to say that I’ve been very busy with my job, and a bit blue, emotionally. The pink cloud I was riding fades more, lately, to purple and then blue shades, as I get further down my recovery path.

I’m grateful to say I’m over four months sober, and I’m grateful that I haven’t been tempted to lapse during these more trying moments.

So tonight I wanted to write a little more about the idea of emotional sobriety. It’s been mentioned to me before that addicts can find ways to turn anything into a drug, and I tend to agree. I find that stress and the other HALT triggers (hungry, angry, lonely, tired) can set me into emotional tailspin. It happened for awhile today–high-stress, frustrated, tired all applied to my experience. I tried to gird myself, certain things would keep conspiring against me, while trying simultaneously to pray for help. Turns out, you really can’t do both–in my experience, that falls into the category of a “middle-of-the-road” solution, availing nothing.

Only when I got truly desperate, tearful, exhausted, did I manage to let it go. Things once again got easier.

I’m still trying to figure out how to pull out of that emotional plummet quickly. Surrendering and recognizing that things are not in my control is not yet second-nature for me. The thing is, I want to be calm, I want to know serenity. But it’s difficult to shut off the part of my brain that gets caught in those loopy patterns of behavior and thought–and that’s why I need emotional sobriety. To learn to let those attachments to control, to stress, to anger, etc–go.

Stress is by far my biggest trigger. And in most cases, I believe it is self-induced and preventable. If I can learn to reserve stress for situations that really warrant it, I think I can get much closer to attaining full recovery.

Any suggestions on preventing and managing stress effectively? What works for you, and how do you work it? Let me know in the comments!

Till next time, peace and serenity, friends.

-S

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