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 Managing stress in recovery

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nannamom
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PostSubject: Managing stress in recovery   Mon 17 Dec 2012, 1:22 pm

Good morning,
Dealing with stress can be stressful in itself and this time of year especially stress can take a major role in our lives if we let it.
I have found some helpful tips that when used should help you deal with stress not only during the holidays but throughout the year.

Please read the outline below. This weeks topic in chat will be stress and how to deal with it. This is part one, I will post part two before our Thursday night chat.
Stay safe and be well.



Managing stress in early recovery
There is a clear relationship between stress and substance abuse. Prolonged stress is one of many risk factors associated with addiction. This is partly because mood-altering drugs are fairly available. As well, our culture tends to promote “taking something” to help us calm down or relax.
Stress symptoms
The symptoms of stress vary among individuals but fall into 4 categories:
• Thoughts: self-criticism, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, forgetfulness, preoccupation with the future, repetitive thoughts, fear of failure
• Feelings: anxiety, irritability, fear, moodiness, anger
• Behaviors: increased or decreased appetite, "snapping" at friends, acting impulsively, persistent smoking, teeth grinding or jaw clenching, being more accident-prone, withdrawal from others
• Physical symptoms: sleep disturbances, tight muscles, headaches, fatigue, cold or sweaty hands, back or neck problems, stomach distress, more colds and infections, rapid breathing, pounding heart, trembling, dry mouth

Suggestions for coping with stress
While everyone faces stress, it is important for those in recovery to find new ways to cope with it. If not, the risk of relapse is very high. Here are some suggestions:
Manage your time. One of the greatest sources of stress is over-commitment or poor time management. Develop healthy routines. Add some margin for days when everything goes awry.
Connect with the right people. Being by yourself is OK for short periods of time but early recovery requires that you Surround yourself with people who care about you and support your recovery. Likewise, you will need to create some distance between yourself and those who do not fully support your recovery. Some of these people may be friends or co-workers who care about you, but don't understand your addiction or why you must make some drastic changes in your life.
Talk it out. Bottled up emotions increase frustration and stress. Share your feeling with your supportive friends and family members. If necessary, seek professional help.
Get Physical. Physical activity plays a key role in both reducing and preventing stress. Physical activity can relieve tension, relax you and energize you. Find something you enjoy and make regular time for it.
Eat well; sleep well. Well -rested and well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress. Like a car running low on gas, if you are running on fumes from lack of sleep or are not eating right, you will be less able to go the distance when dealing with stressful situations. The acronym HALT can serve to remind those in recovery that they should try to avoid becoming too:
• hungry
• angry
• lonely
• tired

These factors have been shown to increase the risk of relapse. Also avoid consuming too much caffeine and sugar.

Get some gratitude. Early recovery is wrought with challenges and frustrations so it is easy to get negative. Commit to actively acknowledging the positive things in your life. People who purposefully embrace gratitude have less stress and depression than those who do not. Gratitude can raise your spirits and help you begin to see your life and recovery in a new, more balanced way.



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PostSubject: Re: Managing stress in recovery   Tue 18 Dec 2012, 3:36 am

Hey Dee these are some good pointers about how to deal with stress. I had a question about stress causing depression but I looked it up as webMD says that yes severe or chronic stress can cause depression. I have been struggling with depression for a little over a month now. I am trying wry hard to deal with y stress. And I've completely stopped worrying about the insurance thing. So there are quite a few other stressors in my life right now.

But I know the insurance thing will be solved when the time comes. I've started a small taper, I've been stable on one dose for a whole now, my small taper is 1mg at a time. I believe I've mentioned it but just in case you didn't see it I'll briefly explain it again. I started dropping 1 mg every few days since chat last Tuesday. I am currently at 21mg down from 24mg. I lowere it 1 mg every 2-3 days. And I will keep doing so until I get to a dose where I start to feel withdrawal and then stay on the next highest dose that I am comfortable with until I am ready to take it down another 1mg. I think it's a pretty good plan. This way I can save some strips every month just on case my insurance doesn't give me an extension or I can't find another program to help me.

Anyways I got off subject. I am no longer stressed about the sub. But I am still stressed about a few things. It's more like a lot of little things that ad up as 1 or 2 big things that have me stressed and/or depressed. It seems like I'm either stressing out or depressed to the point where I want to break down. And idk how to come out of this slump. :'(

I'll give you a little more info on what is stressing me out so you can find some pointers to let me know at chat tonight (Now that it's after midnight)

I am feeling worthless because my fiancé is the only one working and supporting our family, I want to help I want to be working so bad. Not just to help but to get me out of the house for a bit. I guess you could say I feel sort of stir crazy. I have Cooper 24/7 and Zoey (my step daughter) is here a few days a week and on weekends. I watch both kids while my fiancé works.
I stress about keeping the house clean. It's hard to do with two toddlers running around.
I stress about my son being mean to my step daughter. I stress about how I am going to get my son back and forth to preschool this coming semester when he starts. (my fiancé will need the car to work and we only have one and the school bus doesn't run near us) I am stressed about my father and his addiction. He just starts treatment but I don't think he's in it whole heartedly. I miss my father and want him back in my life. I also stress about having to cut my mother out of my life. She is and alcoholic and is my supportive of me at all. I am stressed and worried about my brother because he started using opiates a little less than a year ago, thanks to our father, and I'm afraid he's becoming addicted and will end up on the same road I was on.

I just need to know a better way to deal with stress. I haven't had a chane to talk to my therapist about this yet but I will when I see her on Wednesday. But I'd like to hear your pointer at chat tonight.

Sorry for going on and on. It's something I do when I'm stressed out. Talking about it helps me a little bit. Anyways. You dot have to reply here if you don't want to we can just talk about it in chat tonight. But it's up to you. Smile Either way is fine with me. Smile

Talk to you soon. Have a good night and a blessed day when to wake up. Smile

-Jazz
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PostSubject: Re: Managing stress in recovery   Tue 18 Dec 2012, 6:21 am

Hello everyone !

Wow, Dee, I see some symptoms listed there that I experience, without me even knowing
what it could be.

I can't wait for chat tonight to talk more about this !


Sorry I couldn't read this last night. I had to sign up for my Insurance and it took me 3 hours
to get through it ! ARG !!!!
Ooops, that's a trigger right there !

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NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider.
Any information you read here should only serve to inspire you to investigate further with credible, verifiable referenced sources or your doctor.
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nannamom
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PostSubject: Re: Managing stress in recovery   Tue 18 Dec 2012, 7:40 pm

Jasmine,
I completely understand your feelings about your dad and brother. Honestly I do. I have 2 daughters that both use, one is using opiates and the other alcohol and cocaine. I have stressed about this for so long that I made myself sick.
It is hard, you know in your head that they are the ones that have to do the work and at the same time you know where they are headed if they don't stop. You don't want them to go where you have been. Sometimes though, we have to let them go. Our own recovery has to be #1. Without our recovery where will we be? Sitting right next to them doing the same things they are. It sounds harsh but it is true.
If this is your dads first attempt at recovery you might have to prepare yourself that he may not get it the first time around and if that happens, encourage him to get back up. You know the saying: Fall down 7 times, get up 8.
You remind me of me. I don't work outside of our home anymore. I've been disabled for the last 2 years. Before that I always worked and sometimes at 2 jobs. Now not working I feel like I should be doing something to help out. My sig other works and so does my son.
They tell me not to feel the way I do. Don't get me wrong, I do work around the house taking care of it and making sure my guys are taken care of. Some days I feel like I am going nonstop.
Taking care of children is a full time job in itself not to mention taking care of the house and getting dinner on the table. You don't give yourself enough credit. I think you do an amazing job. It takes a special kind of woman to do what you do every day.
We will talk more at chat, until then don't be so hard on yourself.

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PostSubject: Re: Managing stress in recovery   Tue 18 Dec 2012, 8:11 pm

Dee, Thank you so much!
I guess I really don't give myself enough credit.

I keep a four bedroom house with 2 family rooms and a play room clean.
I make sure my kitchen and dining room and living room is ALWAYS clean. I have 2 toddlers. They pick stuff up off the the floor and put it in their mouths. And they make big messes when they eat in my dining room.
I have a big phobia of bugs. So I am very adamant about keeping eating places especially the kitchen and dining room clean. Because I don't want ants or roaches. I know it's highly unlikely that I will get them from the kids making one little mess. But I am still very paranoid about it.

I could send my kids to daycare and my son is old enough for early head start but my phobia of bugs is stopping him at the moment. I'm afraid he will get lice from other kids.

Also the early head start in my program had a mini epidemic with ringworm. Over half of the students were out of the school for over a month because of it. I don't want my kids exposed to that.

I feel bad like I'm holding my son back but he's not even three yet. I'll let him start kindergarten at 5 years old. Just like I did. Early head start is just a fancy daycare that switches arts and crafts time for flash card time. Well that's how it is here anyways lol. I am not gonna pay for that when I can teach him everything right here at home. Or whoever I get t babysit while I work.. If I ever get a job. -_- I just want to get out of the house a little while each week!

I can tell you this I have been feeling quite depressed like I have told you ladies on the forum before. But today I had serious complete relief.
I went shopping!
Sounds crazy but it's true. Maybe it's just a girl thing. But I went shopping and spoiled myself. (technically my fiancé spoiled me since he gave me the money) I went out all alone this morning after showering. I called a friend of mine to keep me company (and tell me which pair of shoes look better lol) We spend an hour in one store where I eventually decided on two pairs of shoes. A hat and a pair of sunglasses.
Then we moved on to the next store.
We started 9 or 10 am and didn't finish until around 12:30-1:00.

I took my time going from store to store looking around ad then going back to the store that had the one thing I like the most. Then I'd keep going from store to store. It was nice to take my time, do what I wanted when I wanted to do it, without kids yellig or fighting and "Mom mom mom mom mom" in my ear! Maybe that sounds bad DONT get me wrong I love my kids! But everybody needs a break!

At the end of the day I had two new pairs of shoes a new purse new sunglasses, a new hat, a few new outfits for myself. And some new clothes for Cooper too! Smile

During the shopping and after I got done I felt very relaxed and not stressed or depressed.
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