Staying Sober After the Storm
The effects of a hurricane can often be devastating. You may have had damage to your property during the storm. A friend or family member may have been hurt or suffered a loss. It truly is an emotional time. During stressful events, it is easy to turn to drugs and alcohol to numb yourself from the effects of this natural disaster. However, you do not have to fall to substances to help you cope with the aftermath of the storm. Instead, try to deal with the stress in a healthier way.
How to Cope with the Aftermath
After a hurricane, it is important for you to remain sober. Stressful situations can be a huge trigger for returning to drugs and alcohol. To keep yourself from falling off the wagon, try some of these options:
- Attend meetings.
- Talk to people.
- Keep yourself occupied.
- Process your feelings.
- Be thankful for what you still have.
- Keep a routine.
- Take a break from the news.
After a major hurricane, it may be difficult to locate a twelve-step meeting. Even if you are able to locate one, it may be difficult for you to find transportation to a meeting. If this is your circumstance, find another way to get your meeting in. Whether it is talking to your sponsor, a friend, a family member, or a neighbor about the stress that you are feeling, you need to be able to let it out. Feel your emotions, talk about them, and process them. This can be a difficult thing to do, but that is why it is important to talk to others.
Another way to prevent yourself from relapsing, is to keep yourself occupied. This can be as simple as playing cards with a friend or family member. It could mean taking small steps towards fixing your property damage, or even a neighbor’s property damage. Whatever you can do to keep your mind busy, not focused on the effects of the hurricane, and not thinking about substances will be beneficial.
In the wake of a natural disaster, you may feel as if you have lost everything. Most likely, those things were just materials and can be replaced. Instead, try to focus on your blessings and what you do have left after the storm. For one, you have your sobriety!
Natural disasters cause destruction. They are destructive to your surroundings, but more importantly they are destructive to your natural order. So, try to keep your daily routine. I know this may be difficult if you are at a shelter or somewhere other than home. But, even eating and sleeping at your normal times can help you feel as if everything is normal. People who feel normal do not need substances to help them feel normal.
Finally, all that destruction is obviously plastered all over every news channel in the state. It is only natural to want to see what the hurricane did. However, all of the negative talk, images of loss, and even the hyped-up media talk can cause you extra stress. You don’t really need any extra stress. So, take a break from the news, even if it means watching a crazy sitcom or walking away from the television all together.
Hurricanes can leave a mess behind them. They can uproot even the most stable person. If you find yourself needing a little extra help keeping sober after you have experienced a hurricane, we can help. Please contact us at 561-929-6900.