Being pregnant while still struggling with addiction can present us with unique challenges, many of which are very difficult and emotional. We feel ashamed of ourselves, embarrassed that we’re still using, and filled with regret. We’re afraid that we might harm our unborn child’s health. We’re afraid we’ll never be able to successfully get clean. Addictive urges and compulsions are a reality for all addicts, but the temptation to use can feel particularly acute when we’re pregnant. We might want to use in order to escape our sadness about our pregnancy. We might find the urges even stronger when we’re pregnant. Here are a few tips to try the next time you’re feeling an addictive urge coming on that you feel powerless against.
First of all, try not to beat yourself up too much for still being addicted. As you know, addiction is a devastating and debilitating illness that so many of us suffer to recover from. Judging ourselves harshly and criticizing ourselves excessively doesn’t help us to heal. In fact, it can make us even more driven to use because we’re desperate to escape our own self-disparaging thoughts. Try to practice having unconditional forgiveness for yourself. Try being accepting of your situation and your illness. When we resist something, with fear or self-judgment, we tend to make it stronger. Acceptance helps to calm the heightened energy so that we can think more logically and plan how we will move forward.
Second, try to remember that our urges may feel extremely strong, uncomfortable and painful, but they are energy just like any other emotion or physical sensation we experience. We can allow the energy to move through us without letting it overpower us. Rather than reacting to it, we can practice just sitting with anything that comes up for us – any discomfort, uneasiness, restlessness or anxiety. We can practice letting these feelings be there without responding to them. When we try not to overreact to them, they have a way of dissipating on their own. When we panic, or try to fight them, run from them or avoid them, we’re feeding them with our resistance. Try to breathe and meditate through any difficult feelings that arise. Soon you’ll see that you do in fact have the power to withstand them. You’ll see that you’re stronger than you were giving yourself credit for.
Bayview Recovery provides you with a safe, secure, judgement-free space to focus on your healing. Call 888-570-7154 today for more information on our addiction recovery treatment programs.