The journey of overcoming substance use disorder (SUD) is complicated, and adopting the necessary skills to challenge cravings and create a truly sober lifestyle should be celebrated. However, alumni of Hawaii Island Recovery’s recovery program may still have personal challenges to overcome. For many, anxiety and anxiety disorders can be a major factor in the use of drugs and alcohol, especially as a coping mechanism, and these feelings of anxiety can still be present in daily life. Developing new skills at Hawaii Island Recovery and as an alumnus to challenge the continued effects of anxiety disorders is paramount to a sustainable sober life. 

Navigating Anxiety Disorders in Sobriety

Anxiety is a powerful feeling, and those living with anxiety disorders can face several challenges throughout the day. Due to the effects of various anxiety disorders, drugs or alcohol may be used in an attempt to self-medicate a person’s otherwise restless mind, or to push down fears, worry, and stress. 

As an individual ceases the use of addictive substances, working with dedicated professionals to explore effective medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may be necessary to navigate anxiety disorders while also addressing the use of drugs or alcohol. However, others may need to explore new coping strategies to address the effects of anxiety, prevalent triggers or stresses, and how anxiety disorders may affect daily life, perspectives, behaviors, and more. 

Addressing the Sources of Anxiety

For alumni, anxiety and stress can still be common, even if each person is continuing to work toward finding their most effective coping strategies. Transitioning out of a curated recovery space like the residential facility at Hawaii Island Recovery back into the “real world” is intensely stressful as an individual must navigate urges, cravings, and stress in a space that does not necessarily understand a person’s sober dedication. Others may find anxiety in the workplace, having to navigate professional stresses and anxiety disorders surrounding their professional performance. 

Working to address major sources of anxiety disorders in treatment is paramount. Alumni will have to continue focusing on these goals for overcoming the effects of anxiety disorders as alumni both to maintain their sobriety, decrease the risk of slips or relapse, and continue to build a sustainable, healthy, and fulfilling life in sobriety. 

Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million Americans
Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American

Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older in a given year, causing extreme fearfulness and uncertainty. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event, anxiety disorders last at least 6 months and can get worse if they are not treated.

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Overcoming Anxiety Disorders in Daily Life

Each alumnus will have their own best strategies for continuing to challenge and overcome anxiety disorders in sobriety. Having a collection of practiced strategies for overcoming anxiety disorders without returning to the use of drugs or alcohol is paramount for a robust approach to continued sobriety. 

Continue Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient programs are instrumental in maintaining the sober transformations that each person makes in residential treatment while also addressing new stresses, challenges, and sources of anxiety that may not have been present before. Continuing to engage in outpatient treatment programs and working alongside peers can help ensure that an individual has access to a supportive and understanding community in sobriety while empowering each alumnus to express new concerns about anxiety and feel supported through these challenges. 

Keep to a Routine

Anxiety disorders can be highly disruptive, and an individual may experience elevated anxiety levels if they feel as if their days are out of control, or as if they are being pulled from one stress to the next. Establishing a healthy routine with consistent mealtimes, enough time for effective rest and sleep, and incorporating self-care routines as integral parts of the day can help alumni maintain the energy, focus, and consistency necessary to tackle other challenges. 

Journal Experiences Surrounding Anxiety Disorders

Journals are an effective tool in recovery. However, they can also be instrumental in the continuing journey of overcoming anxiety disorders. Journals can not only serve as a repository of milestones that each person has reached but they can also be used to document gratitude or add context to a person’s experiences with anxiety disorders. By documenting times of day, people present, or the context around the situation where a person felt anxious, it is possible to better understand new stresses or triggers that may be emerging and focus one’s efforts to address these situations in the future. 

Managing Social Anxiety for a Sustainable Sobriety
Managing Social Anxiety for a Sustainable Sobriety

Navigating the challenges of addiction and the complexities of recovery at our Hawaii sober living and recovery center may still have goals to achieve, and managing the effects of social anxiety and tending to social needs is just one of how alumni may continue their healing journey. To learn more, call us at (866) 390-5070.

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Work on Communication

Educating spouses, family members, and trusted friends about the effects of anxiety can be incredibly helpful. Being able to communicate openly and honestly, as well as feeling confident that one will be understood, is crucial. From developing communication strategies in family programs to exploring the language used in discussing anxiety disorders, challenges, and needs, working on communication is paramount to creating a healthy support system. This is also instrumental in establishing regular check-ins with peers or family members to address feelings of anxiety before alumni feel compelled to seek more drastic or self-destructive ways of attempting to cope with newfound stresses or challenges. 

Addressing anxiety disorders is crucial in preventing relapse and creating a fulfilling sober life. However, overcoming anxiety disorders takes a lot of work, especially while also continuing to navigate the challenges of overcoming urges and cravings, and transitioning into a sober life as an alumnus. Hawaii Island Recovery’s dedicated Hawaii recovery center is always available to explore each person’s needs and goals as they overcome anxiety disorders and the lingering effects of addiction. 

Anxiety disorders can profoundly affect daily life, introducing a plethora of uncomfortable feelings and fears that can impact a person’s perspectives, behaviors, and mental health. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we understand the need to address anxiety disorders and addiction in tandem for a truly holistic approach to healing and a healthy daily life. Our dedicated Hawaii recovery center can help you explore not just effective coping strategies for overcoming substance use disorder but also create plans to address anxiety and develop life skills, routines, strategies, and more for a healthy daily life. Each program is backed by our community of understanding peers and professionals ready to further personalize your recovery experience. For more information, call us today at (866) 390-5070.