Health & Medical Self-Improvement

Isolating Variables When Confused or Overwhelmed

When you are upset or overwhelmed, it is an uncomfortable and often frightening time.
The big picture can seem like too much to deal with at this time.
When you find yourself overwhelmed by early recovery, isolate the things (variables) that are bothering you and assign a percent of your feeling to the particular thing.
Start with "100% of me is overwhelmed about this thing called recovery".
Now, break it down into its parts and assign a percentage of your feeling to that variable.
A breakdown of 'being overwhelmed about recovery' can be as simple as: 50% - Angry and Overwhelmed with all I have to do to recover 30% - Guilt and anger over past actions 10% - Scared about meeting new people in recovery supportive meetings 10% - Fearful about not making new friends Now that you have broken your variables down, decide if there is anything that you can do immediately to relieve some of the feeling, or is there something that can be done in the near future about this aspect, or do you simply have to accept that this situation will neither improve nor get worse by any of your actions, so the situation will have to resolve itself.
With just this simple isolating exercise, you have begun to look at the smaller aspects and can correct some things that cause you to feel confused or overwhelmed.
When you start taking action to correct the problems or change your perspective of the problem, you can lessen the feelings of being overwhelmed or confused.
For example, you could relieve some of your guilt by changing or making amends people.
When you isolate the reasons that you have a particular feeling, it helps you find resources within you to correct the problem.
In early recovery, there does seem to be a lot that people are required to do and time management can be part of the problem.
Making a simple chart of all that you are required to do can show you that you do have enough time to do everything - family obligations, work, and meetings should be priorities, but you will find that you still have some time for fun.
Part of the problem tends to be that a good percentage of time in addiction was spent waiting - for a pick up, the liquor store to open, or a package to come in the mail.
Most addicts and alcoholics did not use time wisely, so in early recovery, being responsible and accountable for your actions can seem confusing and overwhelming.
When you take the time to isolate the smaller aspects of your confusion and make positive changes in your life, you may find that your feelings are changing, also.
Some predictable new feelings might include Confident, Disciplined, Encouraged, Pleased, Productive, and Proud.

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