Things that causes a desire for a drink or a drug are triggers that compromise our sobriety and need to be avoided if possible. Triggers can be situations, people, places, anything that we did while drinking on a constant basis. People can be really difficult if we have to avoid friends that we drank with. It can make sobriety a lonely place to be. Life never stays the same and in time we can make friends that are sober. It is about putting sobriety first. Triggers are sneaky and if you are not vigilant you can find yourself with a drink in your hand shaking your head wondering how you came to be here again.
Years ago when I first decided to get help for my alcoholism and I was due to go into a rehab in a few days, a friend dropped by with a bottle of sparkling soda meant to look like wine. She is a good friend and she meant well but she didn’t understand that the fake wine was just a substitute and therefore a trigger. I was going to have to learn to socialize without real or fake alcohol. Many people drink the beer that is said to have no alcohol but it does have small amounts and it is a trigger.
I have shared in other articles that my family likes to go to restaurants for celebrations and typically we sit near the bar or it can be seen from where we are sitting. I have no desire to drink, however I don’t go to restaurants where there is a bar where people are obviously out to drink and have a fun time. I am okay with that. My sobriety is more important than missing a family get together.
Getting sober has to be our first priority. I have learned that by putting my sobriety first brings a life that I am proud of and contented with. I am not implying that there are no bad days, of course there will be. The worst day sober is nothing compared to the hell of alcoholism and drug addiction. Early in sobriety I made a list of things I new were triggers and then added to it as time went by. It was helpful in staying vigilant about my disease. It is important to remember that no matter how long you are sober you do not have it licked!