Staying clean and sober
By Alexis Chapman
What is a crisis situation?
A crisis is defined as any event that leads to a dangerous or unstable situation. We all encounter different situations that can be labeled a crisis. You can lose your job, someone could become very ill, or catastrophic events can occur that threaten the stability of the home life.
Crisis can threaten sobriety
While different tools can be helpful when dealing with a crisis, for an individual in recovery, crisis situations need to be dealt with quickly. External stressful situations can quickly turn into a threat to your sobriety . In any stressful situation, using one of the five following tools can give your sobriety the structure you need to remain secure.
5 things you can do in a crisis
When facing a crisis, the key is to take some sort of pro-active action to ensure your sobriety. No matter what you are dealing with, if sobriety is on shaky ground, things can only get worse. The worst-case scenario is a relapse, which will only intensify the preexisting stressful situation. The following five methods can be used to remain clean and sober when dealing with a crisis situation:
1. Reach out to others – When you’re in a crisis, look to contacts from 12 step meetings, your therapist, or someone else who understands addiction recovery and has your best interests at heart – they put your sobriety first. Online recovery forums are a great way to find 24/7 support. Remind yourself that you are not alone and that support is always available.
2. Keep busy – Stay busy with exercise, hobby, or any positive activity that will remind you of why you want to stay sober. Journaling is a great way to record what you are experiencing and break the crisis down into manageable pieces.
3. Know your triggers – Remind yourself that you are human. You are aware of triggers that threaten your sobriety. When you can predict your reaction, you can take preventative measures.
4. Change your thinking – Take the word relapse off of the table. If your first thought during a stressful situation is to use your drug of choice, take action to change your immediate thought process. This takes time, but it becomes easier as you find healthy ways to react to triggers that threaten your sobriety.
5. Find spiritual footing – Leaning on your Higher Power is a wonderful way to find peace of mind, thus deescalating a stressful situation.
Crisis time will come
During any crisis remaining clean and sober is a must; therefore it needs to be the number one priority. Using any of the above methods requires that the recovering individual face their crisis, recognize what triggers exist that threaten sobriety and how they can effectively and quickly find a way to return to solid ground.
Facing a crisis is something that all recovering individuals will face during their lives. When the footing beneath their sobriety remains intact and reinforced, the chances of a relapse decrease. Reminding oneself that using their drug of choice will only make a bad situation catastrophic is essential. Combine that mindset with having a course of action in place should you face a crisis will help you stay clean and sober.
About the author: Alexis Chapman: Chief Editor at The Addicted Project and owner of Woman in Recovery. In recovery herself, she discusses womenâ€™s struggles with addiction. Her mission is to eradicate the stigma of addiction.
Photo credit: eschipul