We talk about “triggers” a lot, but do we really understand what they are? We say things like, “I walked into Joe’s Bar, and the sounds and smell triggered me!” Is that what happened?
Dr. Pavlov taught us about stimulus and response. He conditioned dogs to salivate when they heard a bell by ringing the bell and then immediately giving them food. The bell was the stimulus, and the salivation was the response. Simple.
We’re a little more complicated, but we too have our conditioned responses. Some of these may be wanting to act out in our addictions when we’re exposed to certain sounds, smells, places, people — even things. We may respond to certain situations, but we have to ask ourselves how we got into those situations. Continue reading
Adult smokers with a history of problem drinking who continue smoking are at a greater risk of relapsing three years later compared with adults who do not smoke. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150930140351.htm
In solitude we find ourselves; we prepare ourselves to come to conversation with something to say that is authentic, ours. If we can’t gather ourselves, we can’t recognize other people for who they are. If we are not content to be alone, we turn others into the people we need them to be. If we don’t know how to be alone, we’ll only know how to be lonely.
If we woke up tomorrow morning with only the things for which we are grateful today, how far would we get?
Do we need to expand our gratitude lists?
Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, and it seems to me a good day to talk about making amends.
The idea of making amends confused me in the early days of my sobriety. I knew I was supposed to do it, but I really had no idea of what to do or how to go about it. I equated it with saying “I’m sorry.” I was well-practiced at that, as most addicts are, but somehow it didn’t seem like enough. That was how I went about it, though, and pretty quickly. I suppose I had a sponsor, but I wasn’t big on taking advantage of sponsorship (or taking direction), and I saw recovery as more or less an event, rather than a process. Thus I was gung ho, ready to go — and far from being in the know.
That went about as you would expect. Continue reading
In recovery, I believe, we tend to talk more about the things that can go wrong with our programs than about the things that indicate growth. I hear a dozen conversations or shares about how to spot relapse for every one about progress; about spotting things that are going right instead of wrong.
So I thought I’d write a couple of posts about ways we can take an inventory of our changes, new behaviors and general progress toward sobriety. Most of us know what alcoholic/addict behavior is, but how often do we think about signs of recovery? So here goes…