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Triggers and coping strategies

Old 04-10-2009, 03:13 PM
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Triggers and coping strategies

This week this is on my mind a lot, for obvious reasons. Anyway, I have certain triggers and have yet to develop good coping strategies. With this said, what are yours and what do you do to cope rather than drink? Here are mine...

Big triggers for me - holidays, weekends, romantic relationships, asthma, programs that are not secular in nature, taxes and bills, talking on the phone with certain people, my mother, too much clutter and feeling overwhelmed with clutter. Then all the internal triggers like boredom, frustration, loneliness, anger, etc. Pretty much any bad mood.

Coping strategies - beading, walking around this little lake here, looking at clean rooms after I clean them, going to Costco for things I need, going to thrift stores and not going overboard, SR, SMART, IOP and taking my meds, sleeping. However, right now I don't feel like beading, walking around the little lake, cleaning, going to thrift stores, but they are still good ideas when I am up to them.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Phaleron View Post
Romantic relationships and paranoia, those are my two main triggers. I've eliminated romance (for while still) and my paranoia isn't very potent.

One of my main strategies to deal with the emotional response of a trigger is to get my body moving (walking, working out, tennis, golf, bicycle riding, hiking, fishing......) this really seems to dissipate the force of the emotion.

Great thread Katie!

Phal
Thanks, Phal! Yeah, I do hear you on romance. In fact, a former BF came over last weekend and blew me off today. Says he'll call me "sometime." Ugh! Major trigger and I will be avoiding him going forward.

I too need to get back into working out. It really does help but I've let things go and am really out of shape so it's hard to start again. I'm curious, but what do you mean paranoia?
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:41 PM
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Romantic relationships *shudder* There's a trigger. Coping strategies: run screaming the other direction That's all I've figured out for now. Maybe someday I'll figure out something a bit more constructive.

Ex called me today, talked for a minute and then told me his sister was calling and he'd call me right back. And he DID! I don't think he ever returned a phone call while we were dating. WTF? He keeps saying he's clean now and I am starting to wonder if he's telling me the truth. He's sure acting sober. Damn him for attempting to kill my carefully constructed image of him as a hopeless druggie. I'm actually happy for him, I hope he can do it.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
Romantic relationships *shudder* There's a trigger. Coping strategies: run screaming the other direction That's all I've figured out for now. Maybe someday I'll figure out something a bit more constructive.

Ex called me today, talked for a minute and then told me his sister was calling and he'd call me right back. And he DID! I don't think he ever returned a phone call while we were dating. WTF? He keeps saying he's clean now and I am starting to wonder if he's telling me the truth. He's sure acting sober. Damn him for attempting to kill my carefully constructed image of him as a hopeless druggie. I'm actually happy for him, I hope he can do it.
Hmm, maybe I am reading more into this than I should. If he is indeed clean now, I wonder if you'll talk to him again in the context of getting back together. Just be careful, ok? I know the trickiness of all of this. OTOH, I hope you are just truly grateful that he is clean. I know, for me, that I'd probably get sucked back into something. Not saying that is your reality, just sharing my own. And, of course, you realize I am projecting my own reality on to you, right? My own fears, my own stuff. One has to be aware of this, as am I.

Last edited by Katie09; 04-10-2009 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:24 AM
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hello, what is beading? is that like making jewelry and stuff?
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:08 AM
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Good thread! My triggers are anxiety and depression and loneliness.. I think all triggers are internal because no one can control how I'm affected by things except for me.
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Phaleron View Post
Katie

So you've taken his ****** doll out of the boiling pot of water??! Seriously, there isn't a coping skill for ex's besides limiting contact (just my biased opinion).
I took the ****** doll out of the boiling water some time ago. I wonder what happens if I repeatedly throw it against the wall? Just kidding. I'm actually finding the High Road is a lot easier to deal with than the Low Road.


Originally Posted by Katie09 View Post
Hmm, maybe I am reading more into this than I should. If he is indeed clean now, I wonder if you'll talk to him again in the context of getting back together. Just be careful, ok? I know the trickiness of all of this. OTOH, I hope you are just truly grateful that he is clean. I know, for me, that I'd probably get sucked back into something. Not saying that is your reality, just sharing my own. And, of course, you realize I am projecting my own reality on to you, right? My own fears, my own stuff. One has to be aware of this, as am I.
I am truly happy for him if he can get clean. Underneath the drug habit is a pretty decent guy, I think. But that doesn't mean I want to get back together with him, at least not with only a bit more than a month drug-free (for both of us), and maybe not ever. It was such an ingrained thing: we did drugs. That became the basis of our relationship for a while and it would be soooo easy to fall back into that. That conversation, if it happens, is a long way off and I kind of doubt it will ever happen. I do like talking to him though; we were good friends for over a year before we started dating and it's kind of like that again, we are sort of getting reacquainted as friends, and from 200 miles apart. That distance is good for me.

That said, he's said some things in the last week that made me take a step back. Things like, "I know I'm trying to work it out with [baby mama] and I am giving it an honest effort with her, but I love you and I think about you every day and I can't wait to move back up there for fall semester." Whoa. This is why I'm keeping my distance; too much too soon for me.

[/hijack]
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by seemethrough View Post
hello, what is beading? is that like making jewelry and stuff?
Oh, yes. It's great fun when you have the right beads! Unfortunately, good beads are hard to come by. I've made tons of necklaces and earrings to match. It's creative and time consuming. And it really is quite easy! I've made Christmas necklaces and all kinds of necklaces. Again, the beads are all important. If you ever go on Ebay, search on wedding cake necklace. There you will see Italian beads that are simply beautiful with swirls of color layed over flower patterns. I have a collection of wedding cake necklaces and earrings to match. Also really cool are millefiori beads and you can google on them too on Ebay!

Ok, so I love pretty beads
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Phaleron View Post
Katie
It is hard to start, but well worth the effort! I was a 'paranoid' during my late teens-early twenties, but I haven't felt that 'fear' since then, up until the latest dental trip, so it was just a reminder of what used to be a trigger.
Egads, dentists. I freak when they put that globby stuff in your mouth and you have to keep your mouth shut for three or four minutes. I HATE the dentist. And as far as working out, yes, you are totally correct. I used to run and now have this cross trainer that doesn't have the impact on my knees. I really need to get back into it.
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Eroica View Post
Good thread! My triggers are anxiety and depression and loneliness.. I think all triggers are internal because no one can control how I'm affected by things except for me.

Thanks! Yes, I think I have just about every internal trigger imaginable. How do you deal with them?
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Katie09 View Post
Egads, dentists. I freak when they put that globby stuff in your mouth and you have to keep your mouth shut for three or four minutes. I HATE the dentist. And as far as working out, yes, you are totally correct. I used to run and now have this cross trainer that doesn't have the impact on my knees. I really need to get back into it.
I <3 my eliptical. Low-impact at its finest.

Now, if I could manage to actually use it...
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Old 04-11-2009, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Katie09 View Post
Thanks! Yes, I think I have just about every internal trigger imaginable. How do you deal with them?
I agree, "external" triggers are really nothing more than normal life situations. What really does it is how I react to those situations, making everything internal.

All I've come up with is distracting myself. Bad moods make me want to drink, so I go for a walk or play with my dog, anything to get me out of the present mental funk. And a little exercise usually helps.
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Katie09 View Post
Thanks! Yes, I think I have just about every internal trigger imaginable. How do you deal with them?
Good question. lol If I had a good answer I guess I wouldnt need SR. I don't know..I look around and some people seem so content.. when they're in a rut it doesn't last long. So I just try to distract myself like gneiss said, but it doesn't really seem to "cure" the feeling. It just gives me a break from it..
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:53 PM
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I drank all the time for everything, so I guess all things were triggers. When I made up my mind to quit, the ONLY thing I've had to learn to cope with is the voice in my head telling me I could have just one, or that I wasn't that bad, or I'll just "relapse" this once and then start over, or no one cares so why shouldn't I, or I was happier drinking, or I can hide it and not tell anyone, etc etc. I always cope with the voice by laughing at myself, because I know I am not alone, and lots of people here are listening to the same self-bs. So far so good, I laugh, voice shuts up, each time for a little longer. Haven't tried to convince myself to drink in weeks now.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:08 PM
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Trigger?



Living.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:58 PM
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Bam, I do agree with you - living at times is enough for me!

Thanks to all for your insights. I am going to make some serious headway this week. I got good news that my friend and his wife are coming to visit me in a bit over a week. She is a clean freak and he is a neat freak, so I do have my work cut out for me but it's all good. I need external motivation at times to do the right thing.

I went on a new drug and I think it's working! Yay! It's only been since Wednesday. I can't tell you how happy I am to find a drug that works. I think just getting on the right meds goes a LONG way to dealing with triggers.

At any rate, thanks for your thoughts and would love to hear more!
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:46 AM
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Triggers...hunger, thirst, fatigue, disappointment, anger, and the stupid idea that I can have just "one". For the most part the first 5 I know how to deal with, when I mix them with the 6th I have a problem !
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:41 PM
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Romantic relationships would definitly be a trigger which is why I have avoided socializing for the 19 months I've been sober. Holidays are also a trigger but Easter was not anymore than any other weekend. I cope by cleaning, organizing, rearranging, decorating, gardening and playing a particular online game which I have become addicted to.
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:26 PM
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What game Jamdls?
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:43 PM
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Triggers:
Cultivating alcohol excellence. I liked to visit breweries, wineries and distilleries. I liked to drink dark beer, small label bourbon from the south, aged rum, various tequilas from Jalisco, triple distilled spirits such as scotch or tequila. I could go on and on about the different kinds of wine, who makes it, where its made, what the difference in taste is, what to eat with it. I would always tell myself “this time will be different” “this time I’ll control it” “I’ll practice the art of moderation”…yeah right. I could have just one THAT DAY. But then the next day it would be four, I think you folks know how this story ends.
Dinner. People have mentioned holidays and weekends…A cocktail at cocktail hour, the correct wine for every course of the meal (including dessert, of course) and I’m smashed again.
Friends who drink. A lot of you folks have talked about intimate relationships. I suppose that’s a mix of coping with bad relationships and possibly just being with someone else who drinks. In my case, it has become hard to hang around with friends who drink. It just seems like I don’t want to say no. Then I end up looking like an idiot because I drank too much.
Working too hard. This is a tough one. A lot of people in construction drink. There is a reason, I believe. You come home, your muscles ache, your joints ache, your feet have been wet all day or you’ve been doing repetitious movements so one part of your body hurts worse than the rest. Then you’ve got to get up and do it all over again tomorrow. Every drink just makes it all fade away into a pleasant hazy reassurance that life is grand. Even if it isn’t.
Coping:
I have a list. Here are some of the problems with alcohol as it relates to your health:
Addiction greatly increases the chance of cirrhosis, pancreatitis, hypertension, malaise, obesity, REM sleep disruption, limbic brain damage, frontal lobe brain damage, certain types of cancer, and cerebral hemorrhage. People who drive with a BAC of 0.1% are 3-15 times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident.
This is ironic. Working hard is also a coping mechanism. If I work 80 hours this week, I will not have time to drink alcohol. I’ll need my sleep. If I drink, I know I will wake up at 3:00 AM for at least an hour, and I will wake up feeling too tired to even function.
Aerobic exercise. There is a common belief among runners that there is a runner’s high. I absolutely believe this. It doesn’t even have to be running, but anything that brings my heart rate up and keeps it there for a while can cause this feeling. To me, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.
I think of my children. I don’t want them to see me when I drink. I don’t want them to drink. I’m afraid that they will be like me. I can’t have just one. I can have way too much, and I only want more.
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