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Coping Skills

Addiction is the process of finding external substances to resolve internal conflicts.  Commonly, when hearing an addict share the story of how addiction was born in their life, one will hear a story of someone who was uncomfortable within themselves.  Then, they discovered an external substance that mask these feelings of discomfort and allow them the delusion of being connected in their communities in spite of this internal dis-ease.  At some point, the coping ceased being effective and their lives became a vicious cycle of self-destructive behaviors. Then, the addict will hit some kind of bottom and an awakening, sometimes immediate, other times gradual, will occur.   Recovery begins.

The natural orientation for many addicts during this early phase of recovery is self-loathing for all of the time and opportunity lost.  Yet, there is another perspective available.  The addict survived to the point of finding recovery due to the engagement of unhealthy coping.  They made it to the point in life that new possibilities opened for their life.  Without the unhealthy coping of addiction, who can know how these intense internal experiences of self may have been dealt with.  One can look at this survival as a beautiful gift of opportunity to live a life that may not have been otherwise available.

Beyond celebrating the miracle of making it to the point of recovery, it can also be honored that coping is a mastered skill.  Now, it is simply the journey of learning how to apply the coping techniques to healthy behaviors.  For many people in recovery, there is a period of transferring very unhealthy coping to less unhealthy coping before arriving at healthy coping.  For example, cocaine and whiskey may be exchanged for coffee and cigarettes.  A great step in the healthy direction but then, these are exchanged for excessive exercise and a vigilant focus on healthy foods.  All of these are stages of the coping release journey and each transition can be celebrated as progress.  

Eventually, we hope that the addict will come to the place where they live each day, fully present, engaging recovery tools and a full vital life.  The goal is for all of this to manifest without the need to mask the life experience with an obsessive focus on anything, whether a mind-altering substance or a health-promoting substance.  The addict has arrived at the recovery mecca, a state of balance.  


Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a harmonious approach to holistic treatment, bringing together the best of evidence-based, alternative, and 12-step therapies. Call us today for information on our transformation programs of treatment for addiction and alcoholism: 833-801-5483.

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