When you’ve become used to certain daily routines or habits, changing them can bring on uncertainty that can be unsettling. Making the decision to start living a new life in recovery can bring on a slew of questions that may not be so easily answered by getting lost in an online rabbit hole of information. Learning some skills for dealing with uncertainty and building your uncertainty tolerance is a great first step to living a more peaceful and fulfilling life.
Coping with big life changes and stressful events used to mean going on week-long benders and binges with alcohol and drugs only to come out the other end even more stressed and even more unable to manage the situation. The unmanageability of active addiction creates so much chaos in our lives. For myself, when I was still drinking and using, I thought that was normal. I had never experienced a different way of living, thinking, acting, and coping. In recovery, managing stress and changes in life looks much different. Once the manageability of myself and my emotions came back, after much work, I was able to confront stressful situations and life changes head on.
“Self-care.” On paper the term is self-explanatory and straightforward, meaning to take care of yourself. By Google’s definition, it means, “taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.” Simple! Right? …well, if you’re anything like me, and you spent a significant period of your life doing the opposite of this, it can be challenging to develop an effective self-care routine.
There are many reasons why LGBTQ+ people face higher rates of addiction and mental health disorders than others. According to research, LGBTQ+ people are 2-to-4 times more likely to have a substance use disorder than their heterosexual counterparts. These addictions include alcohol, smoking, and other drugs. Some people, heterosexual or LGBTQ+, report using drugs not only for partying, but also for sex. However, this might happen more often among LGBTQ+ people. Many drugs that are more popular among LGBTQ+ people enhance energy and libido, and increase feelings of intimacy. For some people who have discomfort with their sexual orientation, drugs can lift inhibitions and increase the joy of their nightlife. Some regular community events that are popular with LGBTQ+ people, including circuit parties, more commonly involve drug use. A questionnaire-based study of gay men in San Francisco found that half of the studied population who had attended bars and dance clubs reported using methamphetamine in the past three months. As many as 46% of gay men surveyed reported drug use in the past year. Substance use problems are not exclusive to gay men. Lesbian and bisexual women report higher rates of alcohol use disorders than women of other sexual orientations.