Or as they are called….Triggers
I wanted to talk about relapse for a moment. I have seen a lot of posts on the subject relapse and the struggles that people go through when they do relapse. First off relapse does not have to be an option, but for me it was and I want to share how I got through it. Stop judging yourself and thinking about all the people you let down during your relapse. This brings on major guilt and keeps you from coming back to the tables of recovery. It will bring you no glory to sit and beat yourself up over a mistake that you made. Learning to forgive yourself and accepting that you are human is the very first step in recovery and will get you back around the tables much more quicker. If you sit in your crap long enough it will eat you alive and the disease will take you with it down the road of helplessness, hopelessness, and discontent.
When I had my first relapse I had to figure out why I relapsed. I would sit down with old timers for hours and pick their brains and they were more then happy to help me figure it out. You will find that most old timers only want to help and they are great for helping you along the way if you want a straight and honest answer. Don’t worry about then hurting your feelings because at this moment you are willing to o to any lengths, at least I know I was.
I had to figure out what was my red flags (trigger) and how where they going to save me? I had found out that I had not set up any healthy boundaries and I was only falling back onto what I knew before coming to the tables so I had to do some deep thinking about what made me react the way I did.
I didn’t not pick up the phone as soon as I started to relapse in my mind, second off I did not change my actions. Every time I was miserable or un happy I would just drive to the liquor store to pick up my favorite drink and start numbing the pain all over again instead of putting another action there. Look, nothing changes if nothing changes so I had to change my reaction to certain situations and if that called for me to drive to a meeting instead or in my case we had a local 12 step club that I could drive to and sit and release whatever feelings I had without feeling any shame because the people there knew exactly what I was going through.
You have to change your reaction. So I made safety plans for myself. If I felt like I wanted to harm someone or myself by drinking I had to change my reaction to it and by doing so it helped me. I was able to volunteer at our local 12 step club for 3 months and that kept me very busy and it made it easier for me to grow. If you dont have anything like this in your area find a local food bank, church, anything and volunteer some of that time you have to helping others. I promise it will help you stay sober.
Find out what your red flags are. Mine was family, chaos, loneliness, resentments ect… Pin Point those red flags and write them down on paper and then make a safety plan for yourself.
EXAMPLE: ONE OF MY REAL LIFE SAFETY PLANS
When visiting my mothers home there was always gossip and negativity in her home. I hated it and it made me feel some kind of way so I decided that when me and my children would go there on holidays we would always have a safety plan, so I sat them all down and we discussed what we would do if we started to feel uncomfortable. I told my kids if I approached them at their grandmas and said ” it is time to leave”, do not question me, lets just go. Then I told the kids if one of them started to feel uncomfortable they could approach me and say “we need to leave”, I would not question their feelings and we would go.
WOW….There is a solution to our problem with family.
Some people, places and situations are just not good for you and you need to figure out what they are and figure out a solution to dealing with those situations instead of falling back onto your old behavior.
Relapse is optional but if you truly want to live a Happy, Joyous, and Free life you MUST do the work.
I never judge a person on a relapse because I had several of them and every time I went back out I learned a new lesson. Some of us recovering alcoholics, addicts, whatever you may be need this process in order to learn and then some never, ever go back out again.
It has taken me many years to figure out a solution to all my problems today and if I don’t have a solution I don’t put myself in situations I don’t know how to handle but I can tell you, Today I have peace and serenity in my life because of the choices and solutions I have in my life today.
So with all this information I hope you have learned something about relapse.
Fight for your sobriety because you deserve it!
God Speed my Brother and Sisters