Being Afraid of Triggers

Old 05-22-2014, 08:43 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 36
Being Afraid of Triggers

Hello All,

With the three day weekend looming and only being 5 days sober, I have carefully calculated my weekend activities as to minimize my exposure to alcohol and alcohol related activities. Then I started thinking... Why? I have so much to prove to myself, my loved ones, and others who are supporting my in my quest to be sober.

I'm not saying that going to a local club on Saturday night is a good idea, but why not face my demons, grab a lemonade, and deal with it? It isn't like my family is going to let me crack open a beer in front of them, nor do I want to.

Maybe it's because I am newly sober and motivated. I'm not sure. At any rate, I am going to face my fears and addiction square in the face.

Breadfin is offline  
Old 05-22-2014, 08:49 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
biminiblue's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 24,776
That has been my belief, too. If I have truly committed to sobriety, there is no party or event that can cause me to shoot myself. "Trigger" is one of those words in sobriety that I do not particularly care for, though.

If I have committed, there is no such thing as something outside of myself causing me to drink again. It was never outside of myself.

With that said, really early sobriety still can start a cascade of unhealthy thinking. Planning ahead to leave early or to call a sober friend or take a sober friend with me are good tools I have in my box should I become overwhelmed.
biminiblue is offline  
Old 05-22-2014, 08:51 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Sobriety is Traditional
Coldfusion's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Orcas Island, Washington
Posts: 8,761
Welcome, Breadfin!

Be easy on yourself.

Exposing yourself to alcohol so early in recovery may lead to false feelings that you are strong enough to have just one drink.

You will have plenty of demons to face without going looking for them.
Coldfusion is offline  
Old 05-22-2014, 08:52 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Canine Welfare Advocate
doggonecarl's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 10,959
Originally Posted by Breadfin View Post
I'll be blunt. You're crazy.

Once the obsession is lifted you can do anything you want regarding being around alcohol and engage in all your "normal" social activities. But you have five days sober. There are demons enough at five days just sitting around your house. Face the other ones when you have a solid foundation of recovery under your belt.
doggonecarl is offline  
Old 05-22-2014, 08:58 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Forum Leader
ScottFromWI's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 16,945
I'd tend to lean towards Carl's response on this one. You most likely aren't even out of the acute withdrawal/physical side of things at 5 days. Rest assured though that It is VERY, VERY common to feel this way in early sobriety - overconfident, ready to take on the world. Some call it the "pink cloud" effect.

I personally avoided obvious drinking situations for several weeks and I think it was a good choice for me. Everyone is different though - just make sure to be careful and always have an "out" or "plan B" should you become overwhelmed around alcohol and need to leave.
ScottFromWI is offline  
Old 05-22-2014, 08:58 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South Dakota, USA
Posts: 1,429
It's impossible to avoid situations involving alcohol for the rest of your life. But I tried as hard as I could in early sobriety to limit it. A few tips before going somewhere that you know alcohol will be present:
1) Drive your own car, so you can leave if you feel uncomfortable.
2) Pray before you go and do a "systems check". How do you feel spiritually, physically, and emotionally?
3) If in doubt, stay home.

I found after some sobriety time and working the program of AA, being around alcohol once in a while does not trigger me. But I still don't put myself around it unless I have a reason.

As the saying goes "If you hang around the barbershop too long, eventually you will get a haircut."
bdiddy5522 is offline  
Old 05-22-2014, 09:05 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Joe Nerv's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bklyn. NY
Posts: 1,859
I'm with carl on this one.

For me to get and stay sober I was told I had to be willing to do anything. Sobriety had to be top priority, number one, and nothing else could get in it's way. I had to learn to do things differently, because if I didn't chances are I would drink again. Doing things differently for me meant going to AA, getting involved in the steps, staying away from people and places and things that may inspire and urge to drink, and about 1000 other things. For others it means doing something else. For most people who are successful it means doing something. Differently.

I listened to what people told me.

I stayed out of bars and away from any of my old friends for about 3 or 4 months. After that I went once in a blue moon, but my life thankfully took off in different directions. I did have one point in college where "sorta" got back into the bar scene, but I noticed it was having an effect on me. I could hang out in a bar and not drink with no problem at all. It was the days after that I'd start missing alcohol. Don't know why. I also started to feel very left out.

It's going to be thirty years without a drink in August for me. I never picked up after the first time I put it down. The "suffering" I endured staying away from bars in early sobriety has been re payed in ways I can't even begin to tell you. I have an incredibly rich and full life, free from any desire or thought about drinking alcohol.

I'm a musician, by the way, and have since the above spent 1000s of nights in bars. Alcohol has no power over me anymore.

If being sober is important to you, it has to have top priority. IMO. I'd stay away. At least for a while.
Joe Nerv is offline  
Old 05-22-2014, 09:22 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Mentium's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: North of England
Posts: 1,442
'Avoid wet places', to quote an AA cliche - at least in early recovery. Why take the risk?
Mentium is offline  
Old 05-22-2014, 09:37 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Hears The Voice
Nonsensical's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Unshackled
Posts: 7,892
Originally Posted by doggonecarl View Post
I'll be blunt...
And you're normally so cagey, Carl!

I never saw any reason to point the gun at my head just because I knew I wasn't going to pull the trigger.

Everyone is different, so it could work for you.

Here is a common trap to watch out for, though - you expose yourself to alcohol for an event and come through it fine. The next day you're feeling so good you decide to treat yourself, because you can quit anytime you want, right? Be wary of that mind trick - it happens.

Good Luck!
Nonsensical is offline  
Old 05-22-2014, 09:52 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Raider's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: North salt lake
Posts: 3,325
At 108 days, I don't look temptation in the eye just yet. Good luck.
Raider is offline  
Old 05-22-2014, 10:13 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Psalm 118:24
CAPTAINZING2000's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: ILLINOIS
Posts: 15,203
When, I've ever been on a diet I avoided all you can eat buffets.

Just saying
CAPTAINZING2000 is offline  
Old 05-22-2014, 10:24 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
GwenCummings's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 375
Subtle and cunning. Sneaky and deceptive. This is the voice of the alcohol. Early days for squaring up to such an enemy.

Good luck with whatever you decide. X
GwenCummings is offline  
Old 05-22-2014, 10:25 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 36
Thanks for the comments-

Bimini - I am not planning to go to any parties this weekend, so I really don't have any activities that I would have to leave early from. Big social events might not be the best for me right now, for sure.

ColdFusion - I know I am not strong enough to only have one drink. That is why I have the AA coin in my pocket. My little reminder that I cannot and will not have just one. Hell, why even bother? At this point it would take me at least a 6 pack just to get started.

Carl - You are correct. I have put down roughly 12 drinks a day for over 22 years. That is crazy. I can run a 3:30 marathon, put down a pint of Jim Beam and a 6 pack all before lunch. Again, that is crazy. I also just moved into a new home, so I don't have any "connections" between my home and drinking. I never thought about it before, but it has really helped me the past week having only seen alcohol in it a few days before I quit.

Scott - I hadn't heard of the "pink cloud", but that is kind of what I was wondering about. How do I feel so confident with only a few days behind me? It doesn't seem right, although it feels right. I'll keep my eyes open in case I start falling from my cloud.

bdiddy - Agreed. Alcohol is everywhere except McDonalds and a few other fast food restaurants. Am I not going to go out to dinner with my family because they serve alcohol? What about a baseball game if I wanted to go this summer? I'm not into wasting a beautiful Colorado summer being holed up inside my house.

Joe - My social life is pretty much non-existent. I couldn't tell you the last time I actually went into a bar to drink. I always thought it was a waste of money to spend on one drink what I could buy an entire 6 pack for. And I am trying to do things totally different. I have been doing AA and CrossFit at night. 4:30 PM is my bewitching hour. It would be nearly impossible, I would think, to do either of those activities after drinking. Aterwards, (since my sleep cycle is a bit off) I have been reading my blue book or surfing here on SR.

Mentium - No wet places for me, for now, unless I have my family with me.

NonSensical - I know I cannot have just one beer, or two, or 6. I sure which I could, but I cannot. I'm just not wired that way. Mind tricks are something I have been watching, and are actually part of the reason behind my post. I figured that after such a long spell of drinking that I would be feeling some terrible withdraw. I haven't. I can't figure it out.

Raider - I'm not meaning tempting myself as much as I am referring to having will power.

Thanks for everyone's comments so far. I appreciate your input.
Breadfin is offline  
Old 05-22-2014, 10:30 AM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Bradenton, FL
Posts: 15
136 days sober, have a party I could go to every day of the 3 day weekend and I choose not to go to any because it is too early in my recovery. I rarely think about drinking, but I can see where being in a setting where everyone is partying could be a problem.
Btonbill is offline  
Old 05-22-2014, 11:28 AM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Canine Welfare Advocate
doggonecarl's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 10,959
Originally Posted by Breadfin View Post
Am I not going to go out to dinner with my family because they serve alcohol? What about a baseball game if I wanted to go this summer? I'm not into wasting a beautiful Colorado summer being holed up inside my house.
Breadfin, I don't think anyone is mandating solitary confinement. I think the common thread is be mindful of the situation, seek sober diversions and avoid alcohol-centric activities in early recovery. "Early" being a subjective term.

I went to see my step son's band play early in sobriety and it was tough. Went to a wedding and reception at nine months sober and it was still a little uncomfortable. I didn't go to a live rock concert until I was a sober over 2 and half years. We do what we have to do to protect and ensure our sobriety.
doggonecarl is offline  
Old 05-22-2014, 01:18 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 36
Originally Posted by doggonecarl View Post
We do what we have to do to protect and ensure our sobriety.
Well put. I guess I feel a bit more comfortable having family and friends with me who are not going to let me slip. If I didn't have that group around me I would certainly be less comfortable.
Breadfin is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:26 PM.