Coping Skills

Screenshot_2016-08-12-10-44-01-1I don’t want to leave this place knowing that I haven’t given life a try. We can all agree that circumstances can get tough at times, and in all my blunders, I would invariably go back to default mode when life got tough. I have surmised that unfortunately I never developed good coping skills; rather, I developed survival skills. They are not the same. Coping skills are positive, healthy, and interdependent skills related to handling stressors. Survival skills are doing whatever is necessary to survive a circumstance and live thru it. It may mean using drugs and alcohol if necessary.  It may mean pawning your car stereo to get the money to buy them. I have read that when drug use begins the wires in the brain called neurotransmitters that are necessary for carrying mood stabilizing chemicals begin the process of breaking down functionally, flooding the brain at times with dopamine that produces the feel good high. Stop the use, and the levels drop off producing anxiety and depression before mood stabilization. It has been so debilitating, that I’d considered suicide. Now, sober and in recovery, it has taken several years to learn new coping skills to handle situations outside my control. I never started out intending to lose control. The problem had been that I had none to begin with. And that’s where the puzzle got put into place. The missing piece was accepting that I’m mentally different than others, at least, when it comes to mind altering chemicals. The book says in Ch. 3, More About Alcoholism, that over any considerable period we get worse, never better. I tried every remedy on my own to cope with life, and there were instances of brief recovery, followed always by a still worse relapse. That is my experience I share. Today I cope differently. Those situations still arise, but I work thru them with God’s help. After all, it’s a relationship with Him I seek that has allowed me to survive sober another day…good day!…b

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