Who me?

learning to see myself clearly

Triggers – what to avoid, what to face

on January 22, 2014

The other day I read an article that questioned the wisdom of avoiding difficult situations entirely.  I wish I could find the link.  The article discussed the discomfort and difficulty of going to a restaurant.  They cited a study where people who avoided visiting a restaurant entirely had an intense reaction even after much time had passed, whereas people who faced the difficult situation experienced a gradual desensitization.   I’m trying to decide how I feel about this.

Last night, I met a friend for dinner at a favorite Mexican restaurant.  I made my way there completely carefree.  I was early, so I sat in the parking lot for a few minutes catching up on email.  As I sat, my mind wandered.  I automatically anticipated the lovely margarita inside and had to push the thought aside.  Finally, I entered the place and was seated.  I asked for water, snacked on chips and pulled up my current read on my phone, good distraction.  My friend arrived and ordered herself a drink.  Fortunately,  as a life-long al-anon person, she never spoke about my drink choice.  It was okay.  We had a nice dinner and wonderful conversation, but I was left to wonder about the wisdom of going to places so firmly connected to drink.

Gray’s discussions this week of pseudo-booze and our routines were good food for thought.  If you haven’t found Gray’s writing, the humor alone is worth the read,  and his insights are thought provoking.  It is wonderful to know that the things we are experiencing are not unique.

Friday, I have been invited to a friend’s surprise birthday bash.  I am already planning ahead.  I will bring my own beverage and a full reserve of strength.  There is also a meeting that night.  The party is right after work, so I will plan to go to both.

The following article about relapse triggers seemed to make good sense.


I fear I have been guilty of number three, at least outwardly.  I think I have been operating on the belief that if I keep telling myself that I am fine, I will start to believe it.  I would love to hear about your ideas and experiences with regards to triggers.  This community has been a gift.


4 responses to “Triggers – what to avoid, what to face

  1. graysgrogblog says:

    Thank you, Jill :o)

  2. Jill, I totally feel you on this stuff. You even inspired me to write a little about it. But I really think it’s like “sacking a horse”. You are scared to walk through the water and trample the scary crackly tarp. You are afraid, but once you experience it positively a few times your fears will lessen. Just go to dinner with a sober friend, or a friend you can trust to help you stay on track while having a great time:) hugs!!!

    • jill says:

      So many things swirling in our minds these days. I’m really enjoying the way we can play off each others thoughts. I get so much from reading what you and others think about. I’m starting to find new sober friends. It helps. Hugs!

      • I really enjoy reading your thoughts and observations too. I am glad we are friends. It really changed the process since I started blogging and reading your blog too:)
        Thanks for being there, and putting it out there for me to read! It’s brave.

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