When the temptation strikes


#1

How’s everyone do it… I was watching tv and thinking about what works for me and how I get through my thoughts about relapsing, about when temptation strikes and I have to dig deep and remember who I was as an addict and why sobriety has saved my life. I know on many different posts over different times people have written about there go to for self help during dark times. The mind is your worst enemy and takes recovery skills in each owns toolbox to overcome your own personal demons. So I was thinking a lot of people on here have time, have learned how to manage those temptations and thoughts in healthy positive ways. For the new recovering addict, I feel like having regulars and members share 3 ways they overcome thoughts of relapse when that thought of either taking a sip, or getting high enters our mind… for a lot of us our using has sent us to rock bottom or severely altered our lives that we have finally made the choice to ask for help, and finally say to ourselves we are sick and tired of being sick and tired! I know when I was on the fence with sobriety in the beginning and I needed help I was scared, I wanted to ask for help but was scared. Even then I let myself hit an even further rock bottom than I thought I could hit and that’s when I discovered prison and what losing my freedom physically felt after losing my freedom mentally with addiction for so long. I don’t know if my ways of overcoming thoughts of relapse will help the newcomer but not everyone’s ways work for someone else, but I do feel if enough people give their way or ways of overcoming those thoughts that will be helpful, and will reach to the newcomer. I hope this can become a thread that regulars and members respond to for the newcomers who are scared to ask like I was and see hope for their own sobriety learning ways to cope with life on life’s terms.
Here’s 3 ways I cope:

  1. Working out, I almost made it my HP bc of the different ways my thoughts come into play to have a way that releases anger, frustration, energy are crucial in my recovery sometimes. I needed a gym that was 24hrs bc urges strike all the time and if I need to I can go workout at 3 am bc that’s what works for me.
  2. Meetings/My Sponsor. I know not everyone goes to meetings or has a sponsor or believes in the AA/NA way and whatever way works for you that’s awesome and I’m really happy it works for you. I needed the steps as guidelines and a sponsor to reach out to that can tell me I’m just being bat shit crazy lol or just their to listen bc he himself or herself has been through my shoes and knowing I’m not alone with my thoughts really was a weight lifted off my shoulders.
  3. Watching sports or playing sports, I know this could be a trigger for some but if I just need to relax and watch sports on tv it can just make me very happy. I haven’t gotten back into it yet bc I still don’t feel deserving of it but for me nothing brought me more joy more peace then playing ice hockey. I grew up playing and I think I could be 80 years old and if I stepped back onto that ice with pads on and a puck at the end of my stick I would feel 10 years old again and be grinning ear to ear happily :blush:.

I really hope this thread takes off. I’m looking forward to reading the different ways people cope and how they manage dealing with the thoughts of relapse or the “fuck it’s” as I used to say all the time when I would think destroying my life sounded better than fighting for it.


#2

Ah the good ole “fuck its”! Great thread by the way :slight_smile:
For me, the ways I manage with the voices or urges depends on my mood and what brought those feelings on. Identifying why is a big help. So for me some things in my toolbox include :

  • HALT - am I hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?
  • Go for a walk or run
  • put on my gloves and hit my punching bag
  • phone my sponsor
  • go to an AA meeting
  • message with a friend/family member who is supportive of my recovery
  • lock myself in a room (away from my kids) for even just 5 minutes and just breathe and recentre
  • jump on this App
  • play the tape through. What happens if I pick up that first drink? Is that what I really want to do to myself?
  • treat myself to some chocolate or favorite energy drink
  • make a nice mineral water drink and play some music/relaxation stuff
  • hand it over to my HP; tell the voices firmly ‘sorry but I don’t have time or want to deal with you, I have more mportant things to do right now’ and literally hand it over.
  • remind myself WHY I want to be sober, the reasons that brought me to this point.

#3

Thank you for contributing. I was very nervous and scared to post this but I do feel if it helps one newcomer scared to ask for help it will be worth the uncomfortable feelings lol. I really like what you posted.

Btw RedBull fanatic myself, what’s your favorite energy drink?


#4

Never be scared to start a thread or post, you never know who you may help!
My favourite is the one I’m drinking at the moment lol


#5

Where are you from bc that can looks intense. I feel the energy from the labeling lol.
What company is that?


#6

Haha I’m in Australia. I’m not sure who manufactures it, its the only energy drink I like. Sparkling mineral water with slices of lime and cucumber is refreshing and a favourite also.
Can I ask why you don’t feel deserving yet to get back into playing ice hockey?


#7

That drink sounds great and a lot healthier than Red Bull lol. Maybe they have an alternative similar to that here in California. I’ll have to look around.
Regarding the ice hockey it’s a very personal matter that I’m unwilling to share sorry. I appreciate your care for concern sincerely. Thank you


#8

These are my tools:

  • No alcohol in my house
  • Refrigerator filled with nice food and alc. free drinks
  • Telling my spouse about my sober plan
  • Avoid alcohol related activities and friends (at least in the beginning)
  • Having a day counter
  • Avoid wine/beer section in the supermarket and avoid liquor store
  • Taking a strong vitamine B complex
  • Taking melatonin to help me sleep
  • Be gentle to myself, like go to bed early, taking a long bath, etc.
  • When I have cravings: I don’t pick up that first one but I walk, run, work out, eat chocolat, watch Netflix, clean, study, whatever.
  • Ask for help when I need it.
  • Be here every day to check in sober.

#9

Great lists people!!


#10

Awesome list Buts and definitely a great way to keep sober and continue your recovery :blush:


#11

I’m one of those that swears by distraction. It’s still my go to after 600+ days. Apparently I distract myself so well I didn’t even realize I hit 600!

My detox was around a month long because of benzos on top of alcohol. I honestly don’t remember too much of those early days. What I do remember was spending so much time on my porch. Being in my apartment was too much sometimes. My neighbor would hang out with me, or a friend who was trying to stop as well and was shaking and sweating worse than I was. I had to go to the hospital for the last ten days of that month and it really saved my life.

Once I got out I started doing things to take up my time. I learned how to draw (kinda). This was probably one of the most important things for me. My coordination was absolute shit! I spent way too much money on books and art supplies, but used them religiously for months. It helped me get my coordination back and took a butt load of time. Also, I could physically see the progress I was making. I colored, with pencils and pens. I took tracing paper and traced elaborate coloring pages. But the learning to draw was the most important. Anything that could physically resemble progress was my best friend.

Next… I did something similar to what @Becsta said. I don’t think I have the thought about handing it over the my HP, but I essentially tell it to fuck off. I have better things to waste my time on! Like the insanely complex strategy PC game I play or the never ending books I read. The PC game took me a long time to learn the ropes. I’m still learning new things all the time. I watched a thousand YouTube videos on how to play it. After 400 hours of playing it I’m still considered somewhat of a noob by the community. And the books… I read every night. I love to read fantasy. And fantasy is notorious for its stupid long series, so I always have another few books to read after I’m done with one.

The “fuckits,” like stated above I tell them to fuck off. My temptations don’t involve the fuckits anymore. I have kept the feeling of the morning after very close. The anxiety, the popping more and more Xanax to try and level out and be able to function, the fear that it won’t be enough (which eventually did happen in the worst way), the struggle simply to get dressed, the taste and smell of stale booze, the shame of not taking my car home before the bar and not remembering driving home… I have forgiven myself for these things, but I will never forget them. When I forget them, that’s when I will be in trouble. I made the connection between the benzos and the alcohol as soon as I decided to get clean. If I take benzos (even prescribed) I WILL drink. It’s a shortcut around the post booze anxiety. If I drink, I WILL take benzos. So neither is an option.

I know that a lot of people like to move forward and past all this stuff. If that’s what works for them, excellent! For me, remembering is my biggest defense. Will it ways be that way for me? I have no clue! One thing that I really learned in a very solid was is the importance of one damn day at a time. Other things I’ve learned, people’s shit isn’t my shit. Take care of me first. Don’t take others problems onto myself, at least not in an unhealthy way.

So, basically, I find something better than living in the temptation. It took time and a lot of trial and error to find this way, but it’s what works for me.


#12

Really awesome share and insightful, thank you. The just for today mentality has helped a lot bc thinking much further for me at least is troubling and I wouldn’t say a trigger but it’s just potentially very overwhelming.
I’m really sorry about your month detox. That shit sounded hellish but also a great way to remember why your sober today.


#13

I’m very open about my sobriety with EVERYONE around me. People know how rough my detox and first 5 months were, I had to take those 5 months off work. Being completely transparent with people is another huge part of helping with temptations.

My first detox and hospital stay wasn’t bad enough to convince me I needed to stay sober. Not even close. For 3 years the progression spiraled like crazy! This time I was given the gift of desperation. And all the shit I went through is DEFINATELY a gift! I know deep in my soul that this is forever, I tell people I will never drink again. I’m very comfortable with that statement and even wear it like armor. BUT, when living life and dealing with the shit life throws at me, it’s one day or hour or minute, or even second, at a time. Tomorrow is tomorrow. I can’t stop tomorrow from coming. The only thing I can do anything about is what is happening right now. I can plan for things that need to be done tomorrow, but they still remain tomorrow’s things.

I hope that other people contribute here so that newcomers or people struggling can see many different options. This all works really well for me, but it might not be the solution for someone else.

Come on people, let’s do this! Take the time to do the next right thing and help someone else out.


#14

Completely agree and I really am hoping some “veterans” lol ya know some in recovery with some real time share bc not everyone is comfortable sharing, scared to open up or admit they are powerless and need help and. maybe for a bit they just need an instruction manual from others on how to cope till they warm up! I can only speak for myself and the first times trying heating your message or becstas or Buts ideas are incredibly helpful and I really want to thank you guys for sharing!
Isnt it crazy our minds, prison didn’t even truthfully sober me up. Relapsing twice after. Being in the worst place imo for myself still didn’t convince me this shit has to stop. It’s wild and a serious fight for your life and congrats man and i cant imagine how great you feel probably being fully present for your boy 24/7/365! Those are the gifts recovery and sobriety give!!!


#15

Haha, I don’t have any kids and I’m a chick, but I do have a new, fast as hell sports car! I’m very dude like in most ways. Thanks dad!