In the old days I would use drugs as a way to “relieve stress”. With that not being an option any longer, mostly because it ended up causing more stress, I am now searching for ways to relieve stress without the use of mood altering substances.
As I had mentioned in an earlier post, I have made the decision to stop taking Cymbalta which is the antidepressant that I was prescribed about 2 years ago. Since I have been taking Cymbalta for 2 years I haven’t really had the need to practice stress relief. When I was on Cymbalta I never felt stress, or anything else for that matter.
I want to be proactive about this because I don’t want to find myself caught up in feeling stressed and not knowing what to do. That is a dangerous place for an addict. It would be like second nature for me to start to feel some stress and automatically want to self medicate myself. I need to have things in place that I use as my stress relievers.
One thing that I have already started doing is cardio at the gym. Sure, it’s been a while and I usually feel like dying half way through my work out but afterwards I definitely feel the benefits. Have you ever seen the Propel Water commercial? There is a huge being running through the streets with all of this junk stuck to him…screaming boss, crying kids stuff like that. The further he runs the more of that stuff falls off. When the guy is done running he no longer has any crap resting on him. He freed himself up. He de-stressed himself and is now ready to take on another day.
According to my therapist, I should find an additional way of dealing with stress. It is really hitting home that this is a coping skill that I have never mastered in my 30 years on earth. That is not to say that I haven’t had any stress. I have had enough stress to make weaker people jump off their roof. The thing is, I got through it with the use of drugs. Like I said, that is no longer an option.
Deep breathing, meditation? What do people do?