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Take a break

Learning to navigate the space that is recovery can take some getting used to. You can have everything planned out down to a color-coded rubric and still, you will find yourself in a position you hadn’t planned for. Part of why you’re receiving treatment might be because you have a need to control things, which is often a trauma response. The more you can control, you may think, the better things will go. But, part of recovery is how you adapt. It’s how you react when you are thrown into a situation without control. You aren’t always going to be able to have 100% control 100% of the time. So, The Guest House is here to help you take a break and figure out how you can cope when the lack of control is all too much.

Balance, Not Control

Managing yourself and your emotions can be a mighty task. You may feel the need to control your surroundings, so you only put yourself in situations in which you can be in control. This means, however, that you miss out on so many awesome things because you can’t control the situation. Managing, on the other hand, is about balance. One day you might feel an overwhelming need to control and the next day you might not. If you’ve found yourself feeling calm enough to do something spontaneous, go for it! Don’t hold yourself back! We are having good and bad days, and it’s important to take advantage of those good days. On the good days, you’ll often find, you’re able to have some awareness of your situation. If you can feel the overwhelming sense of a need to control coming on, pause. Take a step back so that you don’t get forced into the “it’s all too much” corner.

This pause, and when you take it, is totally subjective. That’s one thing about balance. You can’t compare your progress or situation to anyone else’s progress or situation. What may be too much for you may be perfectly fine for them; what may be too much for them may be a breeze for you. It’s important to stop the comparisons and focus on yourself. True balance is not letting outside factors influence you. Finding a balance means that you won’t find yourself being overwhelmed. This is important during your substance use recovery because the more pressure and overwhelmed we feel, the more likely you are to fall back on the substances you have fought against in the past. To stop feeling overwhelmed, try to pause. After the pause, think through your current situation. What do you need to solve this problem? If this still feels overwhelming, break it down into manageable pieces. This way, you can attack a different area each time you work at it. Chunking makes things much more manageable.

Learn to Say No

Saying no is a difficult thing that many people deal with. Whether it’s out of fear, shyness, or the willingness to help someone in need we sometimes struggle saying no to people who ask for our help. Can you help me move into my new house? Can you help me watch the kids for the evening? Can you help me volunteer this weekend? These are all things a well-meaning friend may ask, and these are all things you may have a hard time saying no to. If you’re feeling obligated to say yes, think: Do I have the time and talents for this? Does this situation serve me? If the answers to these questions are no, then your answer should probably be a no, too. When you have many things on your plate, you’re going to end up feeling overwhelmed if you are saying yes to everything. No can be said gracefully. The people who love and respect you will accept your no and be okay with it. Saying no is a necessary skill to have in recovery.

Ask for Help

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, ask for help. But like we said above, don’t be offended if someone cannot help you. They may not have the time or talent, or it may not serve them. Just like you would like them to be respectful of your no, respect theirs. Many of us struggle with asking for help. We fear that we’ll be seen as a failure if someone finds out that we can’t do something on our own. Asking for help, however, isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s actually a great strength to ask for help. Most people will be willing to help, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Questions to Ask Yourself When It Feels Like Too Much

If you’re struggling and feeling overwhelmed press pause. It’s okay to take a break from whatever it is that is stressing you out. You’re allowed to rest. Once you are feeling rejuvenated, ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • What have I done in the past that helped me through a situation like this?
  • How did I cope with this issue in the past?
  • What did I learn from this past issue?
  • How can I break this down into manageable pieces?
  • Who can I ask for help?
  • How can they help me?

The Guest House is here to help you if you are struggling with trauma and it has led you to abuse a substance. We want to help. Call us today at 855-483-7800. We can’t wait to help give you the opportunity for recovery. Call us today, you won’t be disappointed.