Connection with others is my Trigger to Recovery.
Of course, it didn't start out that way. When I first got Clean & Sober, after all the substances left by bloodstream and my brain, a certain residue remained. I was an addict and an alcoholic without the drugs. After 30 years of daily alcohol and drug use, I was left grasping at straws, and swizzle sticks- tell the truth. Everything reminded me of drinks and drugs. The only thing in my toolbox was a half-gallon plastic bottle of the world's cheapest vodka followed by almost anything else available as each day and night progressed.
When everything is a Trigger, nothing is a Trigger. Yes, I was that burned out and hopeless. Not drinking felt like a form of punishment to me. That I could not drink and drug and live seemed obvious. Eight years of multiple relapses was my form of slowly tapering off the drugs and the lifestyle. As a matter of fact, I was a bartender for my very first year sober.
Somehow, a drink found its way into my hands and there began 7 years of drinking and not drinking, on and off the wagon with broken wheels.
The many broken promises and a thousand lame excuses behind me, I thought I could never carve myself a life in recovery that could fill up what had become the empty glass of a broken life.
Which brings me to now, after a sigh, a pause and a renewed breath.
Everything was a Trigger, truly, at first. My drunk dreams lasted for months, daily, seriously daily. Emotions, internal, stuffed deep down by denial slowly released themselves. Internal and external triggers were everywhere. Memories, every sight and sound, took me back to wanting a drink I knew I had to grow beyond.
Eighteen years later, the pop sound of opening a can of soda still sounds like a can of beer to my alcoholic ear, despite the fact I didn't really care that much for beer but would drink it in the shower from a sippy cup to sober up while showering and readying myself for work, when I had work. Home, when I had a home. Self, when I had a self.
It was bad.
I would learn to replace my triggers with actions. Nature abhors a vacuum. The mere absence of drugs and alcohol could never be enough. Replacement of everything I did drunk, which was everything, would have to be replaced, slowly, by what became a life lived fully in recovery.
I had to learn to stop such thoughts in their tracks by taking action, doing something until such thoughts were dispelled. I've heard that doing something, anything, for 20 minutes, will clear the mind of triggers until the next one crops up. Reading, writing, singing, dancing, taking a walk, whatever it takes, take it.
Parties, sporting events, concerts, so much as passing a liquor store or a certain highway exit, on and on, were all triggers for me at first because before I got sober, every activity included a dozen drinks before, after and during,
A Gratitude List and a Daily Commitment to Recovery helped me train my impulsiveness.
The knowledge of my powerlessness over drugs and alcohol slowly were replaced by power over my own choices and behaviors.
Time and dedication of purpose.
Today, triggers make me snicker. I'm a Trigger Snicker-er. OMG (spelled J-O-Y), I am so happy to have travelled the long haul to today.
Let me end where I started: "Connection with others is my Trigger to Recovery."
My Gratitude and Many Thanks to my Facebook friends who gave me much help and inspiration for this post. Last Names are Not Included because I must protect the Anonymity of any who might choose it. Thank you, Claire A, Calvin G, Hazel I, Mike M, Neil V, Lori B, Kimberly J, Linda L, James S, Kyli L, James R, Nicole S. Maggie B, Jode F, Misty L, Pat O, Danny J, Peter S and Linda C & Peggy C. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE & MANY OF YOU KNOW EACH OTHER, So, One and All, I Thank You One and All!
All of you are MY CONNECTIONS TO RECOVERY. Woo-hoo!
Immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal
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