Ask Yourself “And Then What?” When You’re Stuck With Anxious Thoughts, Lapses Or Loss Of Motivation Or Direction


Ruminating over something that’s making you anxious isn’t going to achieve anything. But you can help push your thought process forward by forcing yourself to think ahead, Dr. Clark says. “This helps elucidate thoughts that are reasonable, probable, or sometimes even rational,” she says.

For example, if you keep worrying that you’re not going to achieve stable recovery, ask yourself what would happen if that were the case and you couldn’t maintain a stable, clean and/or sober recovery?

That might seem terrifying at first, you may lapse or relapse, you could lose your home, it could impact your relationships with family and friends, you may spend all of your money on drugs and/or alcohol and end up in further debt, your physical and mental health may suffer, you may loose out on seeing your children, you may gain a criminal record if you commit crimes to gain money for your drinking or using and so on.

But then follow those thoughts through to their conclusions- what would happen next? Maybe you could:

  • Apply new coping strategies & techniques
  • Re-engage with your local drug and alcohol service
  • Look into MAT treatment programs
  • You could start counselling or other therapies such as hypnotherapy
  • You could get referred for mental health treatment via your Doctor or GP
  • You could work with a social worker to gain better access to your children
  • You could contact your local council or housing association for emergency & long term housing
  • And the list goes on and on…

Eventually your thoughts should come around to reasonable solutions to your biggest worries. You might even realise that these scenarios, while certainly anxiety-inducing and nerve wracking, are unlikely to come to pass if you apply yourself to do what you need to in order to stay motivated and apply yourself to achieving your desired goals and outcomes before you end up getting to the stage where those fears and worries come to fruition.

Asking for as much help, support and grabbing hold of every single opportunity to propel yourself forward, no matter how big or small, will be vital if you want to avoid the “what if” scenarios.

Things that can help you include:

  • Speaking to your drug and alcohol Keyworker (if you have one) or your local drug and alcohol service
  • Posters and flyers inside your drug and alcohol service or around your community advertising groups, clubs or activities
  • Searching online
  • By asking others what’s available
  • By asking others what groups or activities they attend
  • By contacting other organisations such as your local mental health service, online on the NHS website or by visiting the websites of local charities and organisations
  • Contacting a local residential rehabilitation facility to ask if they offer services to addicts who aren’t residing with them, this isn’t always possible but is worth asking!
  • By attending online or physical NA, AA, CA fellowship meetings
  • Joining groups and pages on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms
  • Families, partners and friends can also access help via their local drug and alcohol service or online
  • Physical or online courses, training or educational opportunities for knowledge about addiction or for a hobby or interest
  • Volunteering for relevant groups, charities or organisations

You can find contact information for most of the above mentioned services, groups and organisations on our help and support page here.

You can tie this in with mindfulness techniques such as urge surfing or meditation, which brings your mind back to the present moment, whether it’s good, bad or indifferent.


I Need More Help, How & Where Can I Access It?

We have a wide range of groups, charities and organisations who can help you on our help and support page here. You can also search online for groups, charities and organisations who can help.


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Published by Drink ’n’ Drugs

Providing useful, relevant, up to date information and support for those suffering from active addiction or those who are in recovery.

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