The disease of addiction has been referred to as a “feelings disease.” As an addict, I often-times would drink or drug to avoid dealing with my emotions because I didn’t know how to deal with them the right way.
In order to stop using drugs and become a productive member of society, one must employ new coping skills, or ways of dealing with negative emotions that are not self-destructive. For example, instead of running to the first substance or behavior that will numb negative emotions, we must learn which methods of actually dealing with those emotions work best for us.
Some common examples of effective coping skills include:
- Therapeutic Counseling.
- Calling a member of your support system:
- Going to a twelve step meeting:
- Prayer, church, meditation:
- Make a gratitude list.
I went to an inpatient rehab in Florida and while I was not able to stay clean at this point in my journey, I picked up a few “roadmaps to recovery”, if you will. I have gained a little direction at every stop along the way.
One of the therapeutic groups we had to meet for was called Music Appreciation.
There are actually treatment centers centered mainly around type of therapy.
Music can bring you out of your own head, it allows you to connect with others on a deeper level, it can bring back special memories of people, places, or things that when a certain song plays it becomes so real you can feel it. Below is a link that has some of the more popular tracks pertaining to addiction and recovery.
Do you have a song or song artist that helps you change negative emotions because it reminds you of a more pleasant time in your life? Of loved ones no longer with us? Maybe the lyrics express the reason behind your tears, the motivation behind your work, the burning fire and love in your heart; or resentments, fear, and hurt but it puts it in a way that touches your soul…. Or, maybe you just like the beat? Maybe it makes you laugh....
One of the artists on the Youtube playlist, Evan Barlow, was an alumni of The Mcshin Foundation, a recovery center located, in Richmond, Virginia based on a peer-to-peer recovery model. (One addict helping another).