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How Can I Help Myself Get Through a Crisis?

When we’re in recovery, even though we may have successfully gotten clean, we’re often still coping with mental and emotional health challenges, difficult life situations and complex issues that take time and work to resolve and to heal from. We can find ourselves dealing with very emotionally taxing crises that upend our lives and that can leave us feeling paralyzed and unable to move forward and make changes in our lives. We feel scared and overwhelmed. We experience severe depression, anxiety, panic attacks and nervous breakdowns. We feel a sense of chaos and turmoil in our lives that we can’t seem to escape because it is not only in our daily lives but also within us. We don’t feel at peace within ourselves. We don’t feel grounded, centered, secure or stable. We suffer from low self-esteem, deep insecurity and debilitating self-hatred. We have conflicts in our relationships we can’t seem to resolve. We have complicated life problems we can’t seem to work out. When we’re experiencing a crisis, how can we help ourselves navigate through it and come out on the other side?

When a crisis hits, our first instinct is often to panic. We tend to react to crises with fear, and then we create resistance by running from our problems, by avoiding them, and by trying to deny them. When in conflict with other people, we often will emotionally put up a wall to keep them out in order to try and protect ourselves from getting hurt, but when we do this, we erode our ability to communicate effectively and to resolve the conflict. We might avoid talking about the issue. We might avoid the person in question altogether. We’re afraid of dealing with our problems because of all the painful emotions they carry with them. We’re afraid to feel all of the anxiety, sadness and confusion that our issues bring up for us. We’re afraid of the confrontation that can come with conflict. We’re afraid of people being mad at us, criticizing us, or hurting us. We’re afraid of losing them. We might know consciously that avoidance doesn’t solve anything for us in the long run, but our fear and resistance convince us that we’re not strong enough to cope with our problems, that our issues are more powerful than we are, that there isn’t any resolution to be found, and that it would be easier to just give up trying. We’ve been filled with worry and anxiety about the crisis for so long, we often get to the point where we want to be rid of the issue altogether.

When we panic, we tend to be filled with so much fear, confusion, overwhelm and instability that we’re not thinking clearly, and we’re not energetically in a place to be able to solve our problems. We’re not making logical decisions, and our panic is impairing our judgment. We have a hard time following our intuition and letting ourselves be guided by our instincts. The crisis dominates our thinking, we struggle to think of anything else, and we can feel as though our thoughts are scattered and out of control. We can suffer from insomnia and nightmares. We lose our appetite and often will lose weight as a result. We don’t feel healthy or balanced. We often don’t feel like ourselves. The crisis takes over our lives, and we can feel powerless over it.

The emotional reactions we tend to have when a crisis arises, our fear, resistance and avoidance, often will end up making the crisis worse for us. We want to try to stay as calm as possible, and be as patient as we can, both with the situation at hand, and with ourselves. We often feel frustrated and impatient with ourselves for having the problems we have, for not coping in better ways, for still being at this difficult place in our lives. We judge ourselves and beat ourselves up. We’re unnecessarily hard on ourselves. We feel angry about the problem, and we feel angry with ourselves and the other people involved. We want to mindfully and consciously work to cultivate the calm, patience and inner peace we need to get through any crisis that arises. We want to be as self-loving and self-nurturing as we can. We want to be able to process our emotions in healthy ways that serve us rather than make the crisis worse. To do this, we can practice meditation on a regular basis. We can begin a gratitude practice which trains our minds to see the positive aspects of any situation, to see the silver lining in even the worst crises that seem impossible to solve. We can devote time to our spiritual practice which helps us develop a sense of groundedness and stability within ourselves no matter what’s going on in our lives. We can work to cultivate our joy so that we can be at peace and hold onto our faith, optimism, happiness and hope regardless of the difficult circumstances and conditions we find ourselves facing. We can use therapeutic tools such as writing and creative self-expression. We can work with a therapist to process the difficult problems we’re going through, along with the underlying issues that are manifesting the crises in our lives. And rather than feeling as though we have to solve our problems alone, we can lean on family and friends for support.

At The Guest House Ocala, we have personal recovery experience and over 12 years in the recovery industry. We have helped countless people recover, and we’re here to help you too. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.