September 17: Triggers

Topic for the week: Triggers

The meeting topic from last week (to relax and take it easy), got me thinking about the types of things that could threaten my sobriety. Being stressed, overly busy, caught up in drama, are things that I can work on daily to better manage my response and avoid relapse.

However, sometimes we’re hit with bigger things to manage. When things happen unexpectedly like illness, job loss, death of a loved one– really any negative event, I know that staying sober would become even more important. In the times I’ve been sober, I haven’t yet dealt with something like that. So sometimes it makes me wonder what it will be like when it happens. Am I vulnerable to potential triggers, could something get thrown at me that could spin me out of control?

As I come up on the anniversary of my father’s suicide, I’m reminded of how I responded to his death — years of harmful drinking to try to numb the pain, which didn’t help at all.

Since then, I’ve gained knowledge from this program that shows me, my actions/response are my choice under my control, with the help of my Higher Power, regardless of external factors, triggers, or “excuses” to drink.

In the AA Big Book, Appendices II, Spiritual Experience, it says, “Most emphatically we wish to say that any alcoholic capable of honestly facing his problems in the light of our experience can recover, provided he does not close his mind to all spiritual concepts. He can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance
or belligerent denial.
We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty, and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.” (pg. 568)

Today I believe I’m strong enough to handle anything life throws at me as a sober woman. I don’t need alcohol to deal with emotions. I have ways to deal with life other than drinking, and having a plan in mind for when bad things happen can help me feel prepared.

Ultimately, even though there will always be potential triggers to relapse, I’m responsible for working daily on my emotional state with help from my Higher Power, to get me through.

What are your thoughts on triggers to relapse? How have you handled unexpected events in your life to maintain sobriety? How do you prepare for this and strengthen yourself in daily life?

Thank you,