People who are in recovery from an addiction can be sensitive to their environment, in particular, how others treat them. Some of you may look outside yourself for praise, support and assurance. In recovery you can be egocentric—the world revolves around you. Of course, you need to think or question how you are doing, and your recovery needs to come first, but not at the expense of others.
In recovery, as in sober living, you are going to come up against others moods. It can be a challenge to think a gripe or a snarl is not pointed at you. In our small towns, big cities or in the country, people’s lives take sharp turns everyday. The baker who serves you a chocolate chip cookie and plunks it down hard on the counter, may have just learned his best friend has terminal cancer. A lady in the subway may bump into you and not apologize. She’s dealing with a parent who has alzheimer’s disease. It would be a perfect world if those in stressful situations acted perfectly, but that’s not the case. In accounts of the inhumane conditions during the Holocaust, some survivors noted, though not everyone for sure, that it brought out the worst in individuals.
As you move around in your sober life, it’s important to try not to take every little thing personally for all the examples aforementioned. Think, too, about your ego. It could still be in a fragile and healing state from climbing out of the terrible merry go round of addiction. Besides becoming aware of a tendency to jump to conclusions, you could start noticing and being curious about your reactions. Why am I so sensitive? Is being sensitive helping my recovery? Do I need to reboot my self esteem?
Practice letting go. Practice giving people a break and the benefit of the doubt. This can help you move from hyper-focussing about yourself, to strengthening your empathy. Skills like these take time to incorporate, so there’s no beating yourself up, if one day you are more sensitive than another day.
Learn about mindfulness meditation. Being mindful, not just about others actions, but in everything you do, can have the potential to improve your overall well-being.
“For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.”— Elie Wiesel
What if, for just this day, you didn’t drink or take drugs? The staff and clinicians at Infinity Malibu offer an excellent treatment from individual plans to family programs. Take the step you need. Call today 888-266-9048