I Just Want a Break
Brenda is in early recovery and she “just wants a break.” She writes in with a question about an invitation to go with some friends to the beach for spring break. Of course, there are all kinds of triggers that could come in such a scenario at this stage of her recovery.
A little knowledge goes a long way. Understanding what your mind is going through in early recovery and what you can do to combat triggers will help you beat triggers. Here are a few tips.
People changes. Spend your time with people who support your recovery, not those who pull you down or tempt you to trod back onto the old destructive pathway. There may be people who are emotionally toxic for you. You probably know who they are. It’s okay to avoid them or maybe even disassociate from them altogether. But what about old friends? You have to decide whether or not such continued relationships are good for you early on in your recovery. These are always difficult decisions but you have to decide what’s more important.
Change places. Maybe the beach can wait this year. Instead of the old familiar faces and places, try the gym. Better: Go to dinners, movies with new friends. Or go to other events with other people in recovery.
Situational changes. Avoid situations associated with substances. Certain social situations like parties may be better to forego for a time. There will likely come a day when situations like that don’t have the pull they used to, but in early recovery, you’re better off avoiding them completely. If you really want recovery, you’ll find creative alternatives. Consider any situation that triggers you potentially as dangerous as the substance itself.
We can’t say it enough: Getting involved in a new community of people in recovery is readily available and is crucial to long term success. If you want recovery, you have to go get it. The people who have moved into a flourishing life of abundance and successes are the ones who soak up every bit of recovery knowledge they can and apply it every day in community. Anyone can do this. You are certainly no exception!