Stress Relief is Key to Navigate the Challenges of Addiction for Lawyers

Stress Relief is Key to Navigate the Challenges of Addiction for Lawyers

Lawyers are not immune to the stress and challenges of life and work. They have higher rates of substance abuse because of their profession, some of it due to personality, and other due to the myriad ways addiction can take over a person’s life. The challenge is lawyers often suffer a lot of stress from long hours and difficult work environments which make it necessary to navigate these issues effectively in recovery if lawyers want to maintain sobriety (and their careers).

Numbing Out

Anybody can turn to substances or behaviors that are not healthy to numb out pain, trauma, neglect, abuse, stress, and difficult life circumstances. Whether it is alcohol, food, gambling, or something else, knowing how to cope with stress can help but is not the whole picture. The brain and body are impacted by addiction, which are essentially hijacked by addiction. When a person is desperate to get away from what is causing the stress, they tend to numb it with drinking or drugs, which only make things worse. Finding healthy ways to cope (and healing past hurts) is the best way to support moving forward in recovery.

Know Your Thoughts

One of the best ways to challenge yourself in recovery from addiction is to know what is going on in your mind. The brain can be tricky when it comes to addiction. Before you even start to change behavior, it helps to practice writing down what you think about when you are reaching for the substance or crave it. This will tell you something about what is triggering you to go for that substance so that you can work on healing that mindset in recovery groups and therapy. Keep track by writing it down and noticing what comes up.

Your Body Keeps Score

If you want to fight back with your body, you have to know how it feels when you are dealing with addiction. Drinking, shopping, gambling, or myriad other things can help numb the stress and pain you feel. Your body gets into a loop that keeps going if you feed into it and don’t stop to notice what is going on. Being able to change your habit means feeling comfortable enough to feel an urge without caving and giving into it. Practice getting curious about what is going on inside your body. Notice what comes up, see how it feels, and don’t be afraid of it. This will only cause more stress and anxiety to rise up, causing you to think more about how to get rid of it. The key is to sit with it and feel all of it so you don’t try to push it away. Instead, you work towards healing what is difficult.

Finding Hope

Lawyers are people just like anybody else. They work in a high stress environment and perhaps are higher stress people, in general. The key is not to let that define who you are in recovery. The best thing you can do for yourself or a loved one is to release judgment, let go of who you feel expected to be and work towards healing your brain and body. Once you start making different choices in recovery and going to groups, connecting with mentors and staying on top of your therapy work, you can make longer lasting changes that will keep you able to work in the profession you love without turning to substances or behavioral addiction to cope.

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.