Coping Skills

Recovery offers you the opportunity to live without the harmful effects of addiction. You will then be required to face life’s challenges like everyone else. How well you do this will depend on your coping skills — those abilities and attitudes that help you deal effectively with whatever comes your way.

How You Take It

Someone said that life is 10 percent how you make it and 90 percent how you take it. You don’t have to consider yourself a victim of life. There are many resources to help you develop the power to deal with any situation.

Coping with Temptation

You first have to cope with the temptations that lure you back toward addictive eating or other addictive behavior. Fortunately, the tools and skills necessary to avoid relapse are readily available. Powerful help is found in the fellowships of the Twelve-Step groups and in using the Steps as principles in your daily life.

Living Sober

In 1975 AA World Services published a book called Living Sober, which is filled with solid Twelve-Step program information. It contains practical experience of recovering alcoholics, with useful tools to avoid drinking. It also helps with other things, like self-pity and insomnia. It is easy to adapt those suggestions for other addictions.

Help from Others

Most addicts find that the best assistance for coping comes from other people who have had similar experiences. That is a benefit of having friends in recovery, a sponsor, and regular meetings.

Dealing with Life

Your recovery may require dealing with the consequences of addiction. You may have to live with decisions you made while in active disease. You may have relationships that need healing. Other family members may be active addicts. You may discover your family of origin was very dysfunctional, and you lack self-esteem or social skills to make life click for you. Fortunately help is available for all these problems.

Early and Later Recovery

You need coping skills to deal with addiction itself, especially if you are in early recovery. Addictive behavior does not die an easy death. After your recovery is established, and you have been eating moderately for a while, you may simply need skills to cope with your job or career, relationships with family and friends, illness or natural disasters, and the other challenges of life. The good news is that your Twelve-Step program is a good design for living. It comes from practicing the Steps in your daily life.

Blessings of Recovery

Recovery can open you to many new and wonderful opportunities. Simple blessings, like a day without the pain of addictive eating, food obsession, or other addictive behavior, provides simple joy. Being grateful, using the Steps, the slogans, the Serenity Prayer, and your Higher Power or Program should give you a solid basis for living. Then you can pursue tools for stress management, bio-feedback, meditation, therapy, or whatever you need to enhance your recovery and provide you with the coping skills for life.


Coping skills, see also: Celebrations, Exercise & activity, Hunger & appetite, Moderation, Nutrition, Program, Stress & strain, Therapy & treatment, Tools of recovery, Visualizations.

Updated 8 Nov 2015

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Addictionary 2 by Jan & Judy Wilson

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