The stress addiction relapse cycle is about as unforgiving as it's possible to be. If you are recovering from an addiction and stress gets out of control in your life, you are doomed to fall of the wagon or pick up the needle again. The stress doesn't even have to be serious.
Just ask anyone who has been on a lifelong diet. The vast majority of people who are overweight are very highly stressed in their lives and they eat in response to stress. Many have become resistant to their own insulin and have developed an advanced addiction to sugar. I know because I was one. I have lost count of how many diets I have been on in my life and the number of years that I spent being overweight. Not a lot overweight, but just enough to keep me miserable and in that vicious stress addiction relapse cycle.
The only thing that has helped me to break this cycle was education about stress management and food and chronic disease.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) does a great job of explaining the
stress addiction relapse cycle
from the perspective of drug and alcohol addiction.
But, no matter what your addiction, whether it be substance related such as food, sugar, drugs or alcohol; or behavioral related such as gambling, sex, or overworking, you can bet that stress will make it worse and keep you in your prison.
Stress and addiction go hand in hand. Even addiction recovery stress will trip you up. By this, I mean that feeling you always have when you first try to break an addiction that you will surely fail. It's stressful just thinking about getting clean, sober or healthy.
But, YOU CAN DO IT. Have faith in yourself, and make sure you get access to as much knowledge about your condition or situation as you can. The key to empowerment is definitely education.
I was looking on Amazon for some resources to help explain the stress & addiction relapse cycle and I found this excellent book by Lynn Telford-Sahl called "Intentional Joy." Lynn has a M.A. in Psychology with a Holistic Specialization from John F. Kennedy University, Orinda, California. She is a Certified Addiction Counselor and has a private practice in Modesto, CA. Lynn's book talks about the stress & addiction relapse cycle from the perspective of guilty pleasures such as eating, shopping and video games, but the basic principles apply to the more serious addictions as well.Book Review:
Lynn Telford-Sahl gets it. Her beautifully written book contains wisdom, humor, and practical strategies to head for joy and leave the addictions including the lite ones behind. She clearly shows the path to intentional, conscious living and those who follow her insightful approach will experience a new beginning and a life of fully realized potential. --Kathleen Brehony, Ph., author Awakening at Midlife, Ordinary Grace, After the Darkest Hour