The Dangers of Stress in Early Recovery

It’s easy to get overwhelmed in early sobriety. We’ve entered into a new way of life and turned our backs on using drugs and alcohol as tools to cope with the stressors or daily life. Stress may have greater effects on our health than previously known, and in early recovery, when we are in a fragile physical and emotional state, these effects could have a great impact on our potential to achieve permanent sobriety.
The Palm Beach Institute divides stress into four main symptom categories. These include thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physical symptoms. The effects of stress on our thoughts and feelings can cause anxiety, depression, irritability, fear, moodiness and anger. These symptoms, coupled with our lack of healthy coping mechanisms in early sobriety, can lead us to seek drugs and alcohol again as a way to feel as though we are emotionally stable. Stress can also lead to physical health problems capable of interfering with our lives in recovery. Stress can cause high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, and negatively affect the functionality of our immune, digestive, sleep, and reproductive systems.
Practicing stress management can alleviate these symptoms, making for an easier road toward sobriety. There are many steps we can take in our daily lives to reduce our stress levels, including exercising, engaging in relaxing activities, and connecting with friends and family who may provide emotional support.  The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous also recommends that, throughout our day, “we pause when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action”, and we “relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle.” Stress is capable of discouraging us on our path toward permanent sobriety, but we have all the tools at our disposal for coping with stress. We may find that our stress begins to disappear after attending a meeting, speaking with our sponsor, or turning our attention to helping another man or woman suffering from the disease of addiction.

You can make the choice to change the story of your life. Oceanfront Recovery is a treatment center with a professional and compassionate staff of detoxification specialists dedicated to making the process as comfortable as possible.  For more information about Drug and Alcohol Detox Programs or other treatment options, please call: (877) 279-1777