One of our biggest challenges when living with addictions and mental/emotional health issues is dealing with our changing moods. We often find ourselves feeling drastic changes in our moods, also known as mood swings, that can make handling our challenges all the more difficult.
When a mood swing hits and we experience a rise in anxiety or sadness, we often react with fear and panic. We worry that we’ll always be dealing with these issues, that we won’t be able to cope with them, that they will overwhelm or incapacitate us. We are reminded of past depressions, and it scares us.
To offset the panic, we might try to convince ourselves that everything is ok. We might be in denial about how difficult our mood swings can be. We might avoid thinking about it or dealing with it. We may have considered getting help but then put it off because we are afraid or in denial.
The more we can respond to our changing moods with self-compassion, the easier it is to move through them. Don’t judge yourself or beat yourself up for any of the emotions you’re experiencing. They are normal, and you are human. Rather than adding to your distress by being upset with yourself or panicking, comfort yourself and remind yourself you will get through this. Affirm you are strong. Have faith in yourself.
Be patient with yourself. Our mental health problems, emotional challenges and addictions didn’t develop overnight, and they will take time to unravel and process. We can learn how to move through our moods, but being frustrated and impatient with ourselves only makes it harder.
Allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling. Suppressing our difficult emotions is a form of resistance that ultimately exacerbates them. Usually we bury our emotions under our addictive behaviors, but true healing and recovery mean learning how to manage our moods without our usual coping mechanisms and distractions.
Ride the wave. Our emotions will naturally ebb and flow. As much as you can, try to surrender to them. This doesn’t mean allowing our emotions to take over our lives. It means accepting and embracing all of our emotions with grace, knowing that the difficult moments will pass.
Commend yourself for your resilience. You are living with some very real challenges, and you haven’t given up. You are strong. You are brave. We are living with fears, traumas and grief that we could have let derail our lives but haven’t. Be proud of yourself for working through your emotions and keep going.
We can all use help processing our stuff. Enlightened Solutions is here to help. Call (833) 801-LIVE.