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Avoiding Triggers in Early Sobriety


Updated February 09, 2014

Avoiding Triggers: Jimmy Buffet Tunes

I was so beat up and worn out from all my years of drinking I just felt like I was through with it! I know for me to drink again is as much as signing my death warrant. It just is not an option.

In all honesty though, there were a couple of times when I would see an add or hear ole' Jimmy Buffet sing a tune and thoughts of the old days would cross my mind... just for a few seconds... then I would remember my last drunk. I would remember how I could no longer walk under my own power, how I would wake up after an hour or two of sleep and reach for the bottle to sooth my shaking hands and drown out those screeching demons in my head. And I would remember how afraid I was to live but too afraid to die!

Today those "triggers" are just another reminder of where I "don't" want to be. Whether having "one" glass of wine is good for the health of some is neither here nor there, it is not good for my health and I seriously doubt that I would "live longer".


Euphoric Recall

What I have to do for myself if a fleeting drinking thought comes to mind is to make it a point to "think the drink through" to its logical conclusion. These days it is HIGHLY unlikely that stopping off at a bar and drinking would net me any young, compliant, ego-stroking young women, but it likely WOULD net me yet another opportunity to try on some ill fitting orange clothing……The thought of wearing ill fitting orange clothing and the attendant humiliation and loss of personal liberty goes a LONG way toward quelling the "euphoric recall". For others who do not have the advantage of having experienced a stay in the local drunk tank, their own personal version of hell will, no doubt, do nicely…


Walking By the Liquor Store

One of the places where we hold meetings in a basement is about 4 doors down from our town's liquor store. We get a lot of laughs over that one. I learned from the beginning that trying to avoid walking by there was harder than just walking by and waving to the gals that work there. They know I'm in the program and every now in then come out to ask how I'm doing. It sort-of gives me a safety net to keep them posted on my continued sobriety. They have even joked with my husband and I that Jack Daniels sales have gone down since we joined AA.


Don't Tease the Tiger

By the time I had been at treatment for a few months this subject had come up many times. What I believe is: Don't Tease The Tiger!! I don't even use shaving lotion containing alcohol. If I'm allergic to something, why would I rub it all over my face? I have learned quite a bit about the physical aspects of addiction the last three years. Deep inside my brain, there is a part that will never "forget" what alcohol smells like or feels like. It sits in my head waiting for a connection to form.

With me, the first "shock" I received after coming home was opening the cabinet and seeing "THE GLASS" that I always used to pour the whiskey just so-so. I got rid of it. Why do we alcoholics take such a chance? So, I just don't tease the tiger.

Ray S.

Eating Away at Me

I have been lucky from Dec. 1, 1999 til now. I have been fighting this disease for 23 years, I'm 37 now, and until I humbly and honestly accepted the fact that I could not drink, the triggers would eat away at me until I couldn't stand it any longer. My Higher Power is the main reason for the sobriety that I have today. Without Him, the fellowship of A.A., and people like you with places like this, I would not be here today. And for this I am Grateful!


Benefits of Alcohol?

When I see articles in health magazines purporting the benefits of alcohol, I have to admit I feel a little itchy, because like many of the folks who have already posted said, drinking may be healthy for someone else, it isn't healthy for me. and frankly, that makes me mad, cause I want to be 'healthy, normal' and just like everybody else. and I get all itchy and get annoyed cause somehow I got singled out to be an alcoholic. But then I stop that line of thinking and start thinking about all the things I can do that other people can't. My friend can't eat sugar cause of health reasons, I can. etc.


I Can Change Me

There is no way that we can run from it as everywhere you look at there is going to be an add for some kind of a drink. I can't change the world but can change me. You do not bring alcohol in my house, nor do I go to bars any more. Seeing adds or watching people drinking on TV doesn't brother me at all. I have a choice each morning, and today I choose not to take that FIRST drink, as one more drink just may be the death of me.


Television Commercials

In my early sobriety, I avoided as many people, places, and things which I knew would be triggers for me. However, there were some, like commercials on TV, liquor stores on my way home from work, etc, which I could not avoid. I was so into recovery that I did try and avert my attention from those scenes to other views along the way. And it worked.

Even today, 18 months sober, I still get a very slight urge when I watch a movie, or something where alcohol is involved. But I know I DO NOT want to have one drink! I know what that would lead to.


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