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Living a life of sobriety can be amazing. You made the big decision to get sober and attend treatment. You worked on your mental health, trauma, and deep-rooted core struggles. It was not always fun, and probably a lot of work. There were most likely days where you did not know if you had the strength to keep going. But you did keep going. You fought for your health, for your sobriety, and for your chance to obtain goals that were at one time simply out of reach because of your addiction. You did it. You got sober. Even as the years go by, however, the temptation will still present itself. You will still be triggered, and you may be tempted to turn back to your previous life. Regardless of the time that passes, being vigilant and remembering what life was really like as a person with an addiction is important. 

Withstanding Triggers

Being able to withstand our triggers is important. It is unrealistic to think that you can journey through life and never face a single trigger. We can work to prepare ourselves the best we can by working on our mental health, having a support system, and staying in therapy. Another technique you can use to help with triggers is to play the situation through in your mind. If you perform a certain action, what will the reaction be? What will happen afterward? What situation or scenarios come next? While this is speculation, you will probably be able to play the situation out in your mind very easily. 

If you find yourself feeling particularly vulnerable, pause and think. Try to calm yourself and understand what you are feeling and thinking. You have personal experience when it comes to addiction. Find similarities or differences within your past, and try to understand and think through your decisions and actions. You now know and understand how your past actions have shaped your life. Use this life experience to make choices and decisions that will lead you towards the life you want to have.  

Coping Mechanisms 

When you find yourself triggered, your first response might be to respond exactly how you used to respond. For most of us, that would be to turn to our drug of choice. When we are triggered we feel stressed, nervous, anxious, and many other emotions, all at the same time. Our feelings and emotions can be overwhelming and scary. Remembering to pause, breathe, and think through the situation helps many people.  

Having a strong support system can help us to battle through our desire to choose old coping mechanisms. Your support system is there to remind you of the hard work you have done, the struggles you have battled through, and the distance you have gone. They are your bumpers to gently keep you in your lane when you begin to drift. We all need support sometimes; it is nothing to feel ashamed of. Those people will be more than happy to help you through a situation. Whether you turn to family, friends, sponsors, therapists, or groups, they will be ready to hear you and support you in any way that you need.

Remember the Repercussions 

When faced with temptation, one technique to try is to think back to the repercussions you faced as a person suffering from an addiction. Remember the emotions you faced telling your loved ones about your addiction. Remember the nervousness, stress, and anxiety making the choice to fight your addiction caused. Do not forget how you felt with each relapse, struggle, and emotional hurdle you had to overcome to get to where you are today. When you remember all of these you will find the inner strength to fight through the temptation. 

You may find positive affirmations helpful. Remind yourself of your strength, determination, and willpower. Say things like “I can withstanding this temptation,” or “I am strong enough,” or “I have the support I need to not feel alone in this struggle.” Tell yourself these things often, and you will notice the positive impact your words and thoughts have.

 Ask yourself: is the temptation worth it? Will it make you feel proud afterward? Will you feel proud to tell your family and friends how you handled the situation and temptation? Play through the situation; understanding your current and potential future emotions will help you to journey down the path that is best for you. Everyone is on a unique life course, so try to not compare yourself to other people journeying down their own road of recovery. Understanding your triggers, temptations, and repercussions will help you journey and move forward.

Withstanding temptation is necessary for your journey through a life of sobriety. We all face triggers and temptations in life. Understanding how you should react and respond is key to learning how you should continue down your road of recovery. Remembering to not fall back into old coping mechanisms is important. You have learned so much in your journey; do not fall back into old thinking or habits. Remember what the repercussions are, and how it will feel if your journey changes directions. Sometimes we find that we need extra help to talk through these situations and gain more skills for handling them. You don’t need to travel down the road to recovery alone. The professionals here at The Guest House Ocala are ready to help you work through these moments and improve your coping skills and mechanisms. Call today to learn more about our programs and options at (855) 483-7800.