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Family: my ultimate trigger

Old 09-19-2018, 03:57 PM
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Family: my ultimate trigger

If there was one ultimate trigger I suppose family is it. They have a way of pressing my buttons and creating anxiety like nothing else. They are coming to town for the weekend and I'm already feeling it.

The last few days I've had massive craving. They eventually do pass but they seem to be getting more frequent and for very long periods of time. I know it's because of the upcoming weekend.

Today I came extremely close to drinking. Got in the car, drove to places I was ready to go and drink, etc etc. But I didn't. Yet part of this nightmare is feeling overwhelmed by the frequency and the anxiety that all of this poses. It makes me just want to give up because I can't see a way past this- especially once my family arrives here.

I've never handled family without alcohol before. I don't know if I can or not. I guess time will tell. I'm not looking for any "no please don't drink" sort of pleads. I hate feeling like I have to do that with others and I certainly don't ever want to put that on anyone else. I'm just desperate for thoughts and experience with "the big triggers". I'm sure I am not the only one here who gets triggered by family.

So any thoughts or advice is appreciated. I'm running out of ideas.
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Old 09-19-2018, 06:43 PM
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There's no magic bullet WaterOx - but one of the things that helped me was to remember that "triggers" aren't what make us drink. We are what makes us drink. I don't even really like the term trigger because for me, drinking alcohol was my default response to anything that made me feel uncomfortable. Certainly some things in life are more stressful than others, but none of them can make us drink - we choose to drink ( or not ).

Perhaps you could instead focus on a plan of what you'll actually do to reduce the stress created by your family being around? No one can "get in your head" unless you let them. Maybe you could plan some other activities that you could participate in that aren't the 'same old" ones? Or if you truly can't get along, maybe just tell them you aren't feeling well and don't want to participate in whatever they are doing?
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottFromWI View Post
There's no magic bullet WaterOx - but one of the things that helped me was to remember that "triggers" aren't what make us drink. We are what makes us drink. I don't even really like the term trigger because for me, drinking alcohol was my default response to anything that made me feel uncomfortable. Certainly some things in life are more stressful than others, but none of them can make us drink - we choose to drink ( or not ).

Perhaps you could instead focus on a plan of what you'll actually do to reduce the stress created by your family being around? No one can "get in your head" unless you let them. Maybe you could plan some other activities that you could participate in that aren't the 'same old" ones? Or if you truly can't get along, maybe just tell them you aren't feeling well and don't want to participate in whatever they are doing?
I wish I could "thank" this comment more than once! Absolutely spot on
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:26 PM
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Are they staying with you for the weekend? Maybe you could plan a lot of outings that donít involve alcohol (zoo, museums, tourist stuff) to keep everybody busy during their time with you.

I would advise you to create several escape plans as well. For me, when I entertain in my own home, I have a list of escape plans to draw from.

- Medication I need to pick up right now
- Friend in crisis - gotta go talk to her
- Migraine
- Tummy trouble
- Dr Appointment
- Forgot an ingredient for dinner, gotta go to the grocery store and get it

The possibilities are endless. It helps to know that you have an ďoutĒ which can clear your head for a few minutes to get past the craving.

My family are huge drinkers. My kids birthday parties are major drink festa for the family. Not one of them would avoid drinking if I asked them too. I also know itís not realistic for me to expect them too. Itís definitely difficult, but doable to be around them.

They probably just wonder why I have so many headaches and stomach aches these days

Iím rooting for you!
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