First, to all our readers in the United States, happy Thanksgiving. It’s usually a time when family gathers. So what better place to blog post about “triggers,” right?
Triggers are those people, places or things that trigger your desire to get high. It could be an off ramp on the freeway you often took while heading to your dealer’s house, a certain neighborhood, a particular song on the radio, or that aforementioned family gathering at, say, one of the upcoming holidays. The advice to avoid obvious triggers is especially good in the early weeks and months of getting clean, but the ultimate goal is to be able to handle—to feel and move through—any trigger which comes your way. You can’t simply avoid triggers forever, so let’s look at an example of a trigger you can see on the horizon and how you might cope with it.
Suppose large family gatherings usually trigger you. In the past, you’ve always responded to the pressure of such situations by using, either before, during, or after (maybe all three). But now that you are clean and sober, there will be family gatherings where you’ll need to show up without getting loaded. Aside from holiday gatherings, an obvious example is a funeral. You’ll want to be responsible and support your family. So, how do you handle this triggering situation?
You handle it exactly the same as you would any sudden trigger. You lean on a sober friend.
Instead of calling someone or going to a CMA/12 Step meeting, you ask your sober friend beforehand to accompany you to the family gathering. If you get a craving, you’ll have your sober friend there by your side. You can literally lean on them, if needed.
Knowing you are likely to be triggered, you don’t run away. Instead, you prepare ahead of time. You are able to feel the trigger and have your support system in place so you can move through it. There’s an old saying that goes: feel the fear and do it anyway. It’s like that with a trigger you know you must eventually face, better awkward than backward.
As you grow in your sobriety you will become stronger and more able to handle the triggers that life throws at you. You’ll prepare by having tools at your disposal—twelve step meetings in which you can share, sober friends on whom to lean—that help you become the person of character you want to become.
Have a beautiful week. Stay clean no matter what. And let’s be thankful (from whatever country you’re living in) that we are quitting crystal meth together. If you’re just starting out the journey of quitting or have several years under your belt, it doesn’t matter. Let us be thankful that ice has melted away for today. Just for today, let’s be thankful for overcoming our meth addiction.