Going through a divorce can be a process that consists of sadness, disappointment, and grief. Imagine having to go through it while enduring chronic pain and the stress of everyday life too? If you’re unable to deal with all of these things at once, you may find it difficult to cope.
Struggling in this regard could lead to opioid addiction. People begin opioid use for different reasons, such as health challenges like chronic pain. If not managed well, addiction and ongoing pain can have adverse effects on you and your loved ones.
There is a relationship between divorce and your physical health, so how do you ensure that your health isn’t negatively impacted? A solution would be to look for ways to manage the stress that’s associated with divorce. It’s worth noting that research suggests life events like divorce, loss of child custody, or the death of a partner can trigger substance abuse. For this reason, you should try and conquer stress before it begins and find positive ways to cope. So how can you find healthy ways to manage your physical and psychological pain during a divorce? This article may have tips that can help you cope with divorce and opioid addiction in the healthiest way possible.
Healthy Ways to Cope With Divorce and Opioid Addiction
Try and Maintain Cordial Relationships
People who undergo a divorce are more susceptible to negative health effects like depression, anxiety, and lower life satisfaction. One of the reasons for this could be the breaking down of some of the most important relationships in their lives. To avoid becoming entrenched in more stress than your mental health can handle, try and maintain a peaceful and cordial relationship with your ex. Not only will this give you time to heal, but it could also make future relations easier.
It would be unfair to ignore the fact that some exes do anything possible to counter attempts at dissolving the relationship peacefully. If you do have a toxic ex-spouse, avoid conversations that will end in flames. Get everything in writing instead. When kids are involved, see if you can get the court to put you into mediation to resolve your disputes. Alternatively, they could appoint a therapist or attorney to act as a parenting coordinator. If not, your kids could be exposed to toxic behaviors and the conflict could push you to a vulnerable place. When you maintain cordial relationships, the likelihood of you turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms can significantly reduce.
A healthy way of managing stress associated with divorce is to exercise it away. Some days you may feel too emotionally drained to move your body, but starting with simple movements like walking can make a big difference. Exercise releases endorphins — feel-good transmitters that produce a euphoria similar to opioids. Some exercises can also reduce certain types of chronic pain, making you more mobile.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Did you know that stressful situations cause an increase in stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline in your body? This is one of the many reasons why you should find ways to reduce daily stressors that come from juggling a divorce and opioid addiction. One way to manage this stress is by keeping a gratitude journal. It can help you get rid of negative thoughts and reinforce positive ones instead.
Another healthy way to manage the stress associated with a divorce is to seek therapy or counseling. Talking to someone about your stress and triggers is a healthier alternative to using substances or medication. If you’re worried about the cost implications of counseling, there are ways to get affordable counseling. For instance, there is sliding-scale affordable therapy which means you pay what you can afford. However, keep in mind that therapists may have a limited number of slots, so you’ll need to check their availability and how many sessions you’ll be entitled to. Community mental health centers and therapists in training sometimes offer affordable therapy too, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Avoid Drugs and Alcohol
The stress of divorce and chronic pain can lead to the use of opioids, which can then lead to addiction. According to the American Nurses Association, 78 people in the U.S. die from an opioid overdose every day. In light of this, avoid using them if you have better alternatives. Opioid addiction not only affects you, but also your loved ones. For example, if you have children, addiction could lead to them being put into care.
Remember that there are treatment facilities that can help you recover and learn healthier coping mechanisms. In the event that you happen to relapse after undergoing treatment and things take a turn for the worst, know that depending on your state, you’re covered by the Good Samaritan Law. This keeps you from being arrested or prosecuted if you seek medical assistance in the case of a drug-related emergency like an overdose.
The reality is that divorce isn’t an easy life change to deal with. It can trigger a string of other issues, including addiction. By developing the right coping mechanisms and getting access to the support you need, you can end up a stronger person when it’s over.