Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Trigger, and I'm not talking about a horse!

Image result for Trigger horse meme

My post on the MM boards the other day:
Hi all,
I kind of fell of the internet recovery support planet for the month of February, sometimes I need a break from the focus on recovery and need time to go out and start my days acting like a "normal" person-it doesn't take long for me to remember I'm not a normal person and just like thoughts of drinking inundated my head for over 3 decades, thoughts of recovery and reminders that I am a person who still has to think about not drinking on a regular basis invade. No, I didn't drink. Instead, my break from recovery consisted of starting out my days taking my morning walk, messing around in the garden, and not getting on the computer until high noon. I needed that time away to re-infuse my enthusiasm.

So, I'm back. I was reading through the Fabuary thread over on the MM Forum and one post in particular caught my eye. The writer said they were bored because they avoided doing the enjoyable things they associated with drinking. I know that a lot of people do the same thing, but I didn't. One reason I didn't check-out AA when I decided to quit drinking is because I knew they were going to tell me to avoid bars and people who drank, for a year. I could not do that and did not even want to do that. My spouse still drank heavily, all my friends still drank heavily, and besides, some of my favorite places are bars, not the loud music blaring party bars or hip-chic wine bars, I love peeling paint, scarred up floors, torn leather booths, main street small town bars where the same old cronies show up every afternoon at the same time to take their seat at the bar. I grew up in those places, I sure didn't want to avoid them.
I guess, because I had that mindset, bars have never been a trigger for me, my heavy drinking friends have never been a trigger either. Some things that were once triggers, like beautiful sunsets and hot days no longer bother me, you can't really avoid those things. However, I do still have triggers, things that make me very melancholy for the old days, times that make me think, "These are the special times I should allow myself to have a drink." I can't really avoid these either, but I still don't drink, I just let myself feel sorry for myself for a bit. Here's a handful of them: country music, hotel rooms, airports, swimming pools, sidewalk cafes in beautiful cities.
Not that many anymore, thank God. Of course, there are emotional triggers too and they run the gamut from boredom to anxiety to sorrow, can't avoid those either but I have to say, rarely is my first thought, "I could sure use a drink" these days and never do I think, "I deserve a drink."
My point is, one month doesn't get you to the point that you are able to enjoy life without alcohol, especially if you are avoiding everything else you enjoyed. The triggers are going to be there, somewhere, no matter how hard you try to avoid them, so why not go out and face them so they lose their power because one thing I've seen over and over on here and I know firsthand is that boredom is the number one trigger that causes relapse. Life is blah for a while after you quit drinking, don't make it more blah by avoiding everything and everyone you love.
Just my two centavos.

1 comment:

  1. I remember one day in the height of summer my sister and neice were down visiting and I took them to a picture perfect Conish beach. We were so excited and the weather was amazing, especially for England haha. We turned a corner onto the seafront promenade athe every restaurant and bar had outside seating and everyone was drinking. I could even smell the wine and beer in the air, I very nearly cried but I told my sister what was going on and we talked it through. That was my biggest, loudest most visceral trigger still to this day.