I hope you are maintaining peace and serenity amid all this craziness in the world over the coronavirus. While it is important to take all of the health precautions to care for your physical body, remember to care for your mental and spiritual health as well. Love and faith will triumph over fear and control.
This semester (by the way my college moved online for the rest of the semester due to all of this craziness), I am taking a lot of interesting classes. Most of them are counting towards my women and gender studies minor and world religions double-major. The only psychology class I am taking is Stats in Psych, which is definitely not one of those fun psychology classes. However, I have learned this semester that the benefit of interesting often comes with the downfall of emotionally hard/triggering, especially is you are an adult child of addiction or any other adversity.
Opening our Eyes to the World (the Not-So-Pleasant Parts of It)
College has been more of a worthwhile experience than I ever thought it would be. I enjoy having a more liberal arts/social science and humanities program of study rather than a utilitarian program of study because I am learning a lot about the world, life, and humanity. I now know why American colleges require general education classes for all majors becaue a well-rounded education helps a lot in this world. I have learned that a college degree, regardless of the subject, is vital in today's world because it expands your mind and opens your eyes to the world, including the parts of it that are not so pleasant.
I absolutely love world religions studies and women and gender studies. In a way, I kind of like them more than psychology (but they have a psychology component anyway so they co-exist well in my well). However, as you can imagine, a lot of senstive, controversial, and triggering issues are raised in the readings, movies, and class discussions, especially when it comes to the intersection of religion and gender/ sexuality (the main reason I have these two programs of study together). This has caused me to have some mild depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and thus emotional burnout, which has convinced me a career in any type of social work is not for me. I even had to talk to my therapist about it. It is even more difficult studying these issues in a time of such upheaval in this country and -most importantly- these issues are directly or indirectly related to your life or the life of a loved one. I never predicted that these interesting classes that I was so eager for and ended up absolutely loving would emotionally drain and trigger me.
Here are some coping strategies that have worked for me:
Bria Riley is a published author, recovering codependent and adult child of an alcoholic, who is active in several recovery programs. She knows the turmoil and heartbreak of growing up in an addiction-stricken family and wants to help others who have also been affected by addiction through her writing.