1 legged stoolIt has been said that there are three legs on every recovery stool: Physical sobriety, Emotional sobriety, and Spiritual sobriety. Think of the acronym P.E.S.

Failure to address any of these three legs will result in quite the shaky stool and greatly increase the likelihood of relapse.

Prior to formulating a relapse plan that will carry any significant weight, it is crucial to take a good look at each one of these legs on the stool to ensure optimum stabilization. We do not want that stool collapsing every time we sit down!

Here is a preliminary list of areas to address. We will work through this list more thoroughly in our future blogs:

Physical Health:

  • Learn how to get a good night sleep. Make this a priority.
  • Develop healthy eating and exercise habits.
  • Obtain a physical evaluation from your doctor.
  • Address any health complications that your addiction has caused – or health complications that you have been neglecting because you were active in your addiction.

Emotional Health:

  • Getting sober is often followed by some mood swings depending on the drug of choice you are giving up. Be prepared to address a potential rise in anxiety, irritability, depression, or distractibility.
  • If you are in danger of harming yourself or others go to the emergency room immediately or call 911. If you have no plan to harm yourself or others but are suffering with depressed moods, you should obtain a thorough assessment from a psychiatrist or competent therapist. Take any suicidal ideation seriously. A free 24 hour crisis help line number is 1-800-662-4357.
  • Learn natural calming techniques such as deep breathing or meditation.
  • Getting exposure to sunlight, exercising, and sleeping at night are natural anti depressants.

Spiritual Health:

  • You do not need to belong to a religion or to believe in God to develop meaningful spiritual practices.
  • Read inspirational or recovery literature and keep a daily journal in writing.
  • Do not isolate! Connect with friends, family, or other recovery people. If you struggle to find nourishing and encouraging human interaction, go to a recovery meeting in order to meet others in recovery – even if this is scary for you. Recovery wisdom suggests going to 90 meetings in 90 days.
  • If you belong to a particular religious organization you can benefit from finding what resources are available within your religious community.
  • Learn how to use mindfulness, deep breathing, meditation, or prayer as a part of your recovery.

What are some of your physical, emotional, or spiritual practices? We would love to know what you have found to be beneficial or where you may have struggled in any of these areas. Please do not leave any comments below that disclose current thoughts of suicide or suicidal ideation! This blog is meant for educational purposes only and should not be used as personal therapy. If you are suffering with suicidal thoughts please call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately.

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