Sometimes, there is a misconception that when someone recovers from addiction, every aspect of their life recovers as well. This simply is not true. Yes, they have accomplished one of the most challenging things most people will ever experience: recovering from addiction. However, there is still much that must be done to keep that recovery journey successful and moving forward. This includes managing the stressors that simply come with living day-to-day life, which is true for everyone, not just those in recovery. Also, for many, this includes coping with school stress.
Living “Life on Life’s Terms” in Recovery
There are many effective and helpful maxims that are often uttered in the recovery rooms of 12-Step meetings. Many people playfully joke about them and call them cliches. But the truth is that they are called cliches because they are used a lot, and they are used a lot because, ultimately, they work.
One of these sayings is, “Live life on life’s terms.” What this means is that just because someone is in recovery, that does not mean that everything will suddenly right itself. No, life is going to happen, and many times, those things that happen can be particularly challenging, such as school stress.
There is another saying in recovery that goes, “It took a certain amount of days to walk into the wood, which means it’s going to take the same amount to walk out.” This means that someone shouldn’t expect years of active addiction to be “fixed” in a few months of sobriety. Like most things in life, it takes time. The good news is that life in recovery allows individuals to finally make the most of their time.
School Stress: Take It One Day at a Time
Perhaps the most used slogan in 12-Step recovery is “Take it one day at a time.” This is some of the best advice that someone can get in recovery because it reminds them that even if today feels hard or they make a mistake, there is always another day to do better.
Also, this slogan helps people remember that being in recovery, even one day, is a major accomplishment because, for most people, their active addiction doesn’t even let them have that single day. It is a reminder to be grateful.
Now, more logistically, when coping with school stress, “one day at a time” allows individuals to slow down, take a breath, and focus on the school task that is right in front of them. If they just focus on the work today, tomorrow’s work will eventually fall into place. It is the importance of “patience in progress” that is so pivotal to recovery.
School Stress: Easy Does It
To continue on the theme of effective recovery mottos, another crucial one is “Easy does it.” This one is relatively self-explanatory, but when it is needed, it can be a lifesaver. Now, this is especially true when it comes to coping with school stress.
For example, someone might have a very important test coming up in a week. They can either spend all day feeling anxious and worried about it and every night sleeplessly “cramming” for it. This will only lead to stress, resentment, and a tired, less effective test taker. It should also be noted that resentment is very dangerous for those in recovery because this emotion has the potential to lead to a relapse. This is why, in Alcoholics Anonymous, resentment is often referred to as “the number one offender.”
Now, if that same person utilizes the technique of “easy does it,” they can step back and calmly and strategically look at the task at hand. They can pause and take a breath. Then, they can see where they need to focus their attention. They can also determine if they need any outside help, and asking for help is crucial, not just for coping with school stress but also for staying successful in recovery.
School Stress: The Benefits of Asking for Help
Many people who have struggled with active addiction find it a slow process to bring trust back into their lives. This is because addiction often causes individuals to push people away in order to protect their addictive lifestyle. However, regaining this trust is critical in recovery. The primary text of 12-Step recovery (most commonly known as “the Big Book”) states that “Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from [addiction] as intensive work with other [people in recovery]. It works when other activities fail.”
In helping others recover, individuals are ultimately helping themselves stay recovered. This concept can greatly aid in coping with school stress. Reaching out to others in recovery can help remind individuals that they must “live life on life’s terms,” “take it one day at a time,” and remember that “easy does it.” Also, this habit of reaching out should extend to reaching out to teachers and peers in school for help. There is no need to struggle alone, both in recovery and in school.
At Lantana Recovery, our goal is to help people recover, not just so they can simply “be recovered.” No, our goal at Lantana Recovery is to help people recover so they can live their lives thoroughly in recovery. As they say in the Big Book, in recovery, “We are not a glum lot.” No, in recovery, people are here to live their lives to their fullest potential, whether it be in school or anything else they wish to achieve.
After undergoing addiction treatment and now living life in recovery, it is important to remember that life does not adapt itself to one’s sobriety. In the recovery community, it is often called “Living life on life’s terms.” There will still be stress, triggers, and simply bad days. Managing recovery while in university, for example, can be especially challenging as there are perceived stressors that can put a person at risk of relapse. Therefore, it is crucial to have a relapse prevention plan in place so you can address school stressors before they worsen and impact your recovery. For more information on how to cope with the stress of school while in recovery, contact Lantana Recovery today at (866) 997-2870.