You’ll learn a ton of tools for dealing with anxiety while you are in the program — beginning, of course, with identifying it and expressing it to others in the community.
Journaling is also a great way to start making the connections between your anxiety and your addictive behaviors. You can write an IFAB (I feel… about… Because…) statement choosing an appropriate word to match the intensity of your anxiety. You can rate your anxiety in your journal on a scale of 1 to 10 so that you and your counselor can have a sense of how big your anxiety is in a given moment. It may also be helpful to record what you want to do when you start experiencing anxiety.
…Once you’ve acknowledged all of this to yourself, you can think about a different, more relational, way to deal with the anxiety.
…As we learn how to experience our emotions and express them to others without pushing the escape button of addiction, we grow in our ability to tolerate discomfort — a huge factor in emotional maturity.
–Melissa Haas, Emotions 101
Other recent Trek posts on Anxiety: