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Reminding Ourselves of the Consequences of Using

Withstanding Being Tempted and Triggered

Part of our recovery is learning to withstand the temptation we feel to use our drugs of choice. We can’t escape every trigger, but we can offset them and minimize their impact. An extremely helpful way to help ourselves when we’re feeling triggered is to “play the tape through”.  Trying to remember what happens after using our drug of choice can prove a powerful deterrent. By reminding ourselves of all the consequences, repercussions, and painful experiences, we put our triggers in perspective. After all, we have a wealth of experience with negative consequences, why not put them to good use? When we’re feeling particularly vulnerable to our addictive impulses, we want to pause and think things through clearly and rationally. We want to develop more mindfulness in these triggering moments. It’s not always easy, but it becomes second-nature with practice. 

Falling Back on Default Coping Mechanisms

When we’re feeling emotionally triggered, we default to our old behavioral patterns. For most of us, this means turning to our drug of choice as a way of coping. Our addictions have become second-nature to us. They are the coping mechanisms we instinctively fall back on without a second thought. We’re not usually mindful of how we’re thinking, feeling, and reacting in those difficult moments. Likewise, we’re not taking the time to slow down our breathing and calm our thinking. When we’re experiencing this kind of crisis, we want to pay attention to our thought patterns and emotional responses. What thoughts and feelings are you having? Chances are, you’re feeling nervous, anxious, and worried that you’re going to relapse. You might feel guilty and ashamed for having already relapsed. The old way of thinking suggests that your drug of choice may provide some emotional relief. You may feel as though the temptation is too strong to resist, and you may have convinced yourself that you’re too weak to withstand it. Keep breathing and stay calm as you think things through, objectively and carefully. 

Remembering the Emotional and Circumstantial Repercussions

Now remind yourself of what will happen if you use. Think back to the disappointment and regret you feel after every relapse. Remember the pain of letting yourself and others down. Remind yourself of the times you endangered your well-being and that of the people around you. Call into your memory all the stressful life circumstances that were a result of your usage. When you think objectively about the consequences of using again, everything becomes much clearer. Ask yourself if it’s worth it. Consider whether you’d feel good about yourself, proud of yourself, and at peace with yourself. Affirm to yourself that you are strong and powerful enough to stay sober. Know that you love yourself enough to make the healthiest possible choices for yourself.

Even with preparation and planning, our triggers can catch us off guard. Learn to overcome triggers and cope with compulsive thinking in a safe environment. The Guest House is a welcoming and supportive recovery home where you will be met with open arms, wherever you are on your journey, without judgment or expectation.

Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.