If You Cannot Cope, It’s Time for Help

If you cannot cope, it’s time to get help. And, if you are addicted, you may be coping far less effectively than you even know because intoxication impairs us in every way eventually. Taking stock of your situation in self-reflection and through feedback from trusted supports can help you get some perspective on how you are coping with everyday life. Hopefully, too, it will help you decide if you need help, and if you do, to reach out for it.

Poor Coping Looks Like This

Understanding what poor coping looks like can help you see how you’re doing right now. Remember that poor coping is a key characteristic of any addiction, and just because you don’t see a direct connection to substance use, a problem can definitely be related anyway. First and foremost your abilities and capacities are negatively impacted significantly in all aspects of life when you are addicted. Cognitive processes are impaired from the toxicity of substances, for example. This means you do not perceive things well, get confused, can’t problem-solve, can’t remember things well, and can’t make decisions effectively. These impairments go wherever you go and negatively impact whatever you do.

Poor coping also shows up in our emotional states and our inability to manage our emotions overall. We become less able to tolerate stress, become fatigued, run down, overly sensitive and over-reactive. We might make mountains out of molehills, imploding or exploding; we might retreat and withdraw, unable to manage interactions without distress…

Taking Inventory of Your Coping

Consider some of the following aspects of healthy and effective coping to inventory your own situation right now.

  • Are you able to work or study?
  • Are you maintaining the expected level of performance at work or school?
  • Are you fulfilling your obligations and responsibilities at home?
  • Are you parenting in a way that helps your children are happy, secure and successful?
  • Do you call in sick to miss work, school or other obligations?
  • Do you participate in family activities and events?
  • Do you make and keep important appointments?
  • Do you cancel scheduled events at the last minute?
  • Is your home environment disorganized and chores frequently left undone?
  • Do common but unexpected events upset you?
  • Do you spend a great deal of time alone?
  • Do you sleep a lot?
  • Are you troubled by negative thoughts?