Addiction and alcoholism are mental health disorders which spin out of control. One loses their ability to manage themselves, manage their lives, and manage the way they drink alcohol or consume drugs. Recovery usually comes to fruition when someone realizes their lives have gotten completely out of control. Recovery is supposed to create the hop that life can be managed. Is control ever completely returned? It depends on who you ask and what their spiritual beliefs are. Surrender is a major spiritual part of recovery. Many believe that they gain control of their lives by surrendering it to a higher power. They don’t want control of their lives again because they don’t feel they have the real ability to maintain it. It’s a spiritual paradox- in order to gain control, you have to give it up. For those who are less spiritually inclined, the answer is essentially yes. By learning relapse prevention techniques, creating a solid recovery lifestyle, and healing the mind as well as the body, it is possible to maintain ‘control’ over drinking and drug use. Control in this case would simply mean that you do not give into cravings, impulsive decisions or any other choice making which would lead you to choose drugs and alcohol again. For many, that is an acceptable amount of control and more than they could ask for.
Feeling “in control” is an illusion, when put in the larger perspective. Stand in front of an active ocean, waves lapping on the shore, and try to stop a wave. You won’t be able to. Many things in life are simply out of our control. Learning to accept these things is what helps us maintain our personal sense of control and helps us stay sober by understanding we cannot control everything, or everyone, any of the time.
For those out of control moments, there are a few simple actions you can take to gain control of your energy, your thoughts, and your behaviors.
- Breathe: Not breathing, or rapid breathing, actually signals the brain that things are out of control.
- Count What You’ve Got: Feeling out of control can cycle quickly. Take an immediate inventory of what’s in your possession and what you have control over, even if it’s something simple like moving your arms and legs or blinking your eyes.
- Body Relaxation: Do a quick body scanning mindfulness technique to connect with the different muscle groups in your body. It will help you to connect with your body.
Avalon By The Sea wants to help you create lifetime recovery. Our residential programs treat mental health and substance use disorders as primary conditions. Working to heal mind, body, and spirit, we promote transformative healing and excellence in care. For a confidential assessment and more information on our programs, call us today at 1 888-958-7511