My weekly blogs are inspired by the people I interact with daily in my Instagram and I’ve noticed a plethora of triggers. This seems to be trigger season. This left me with a lot of questions and thoughts to analyze. I myself hit my year sober on the first. Having been completely trigger free for months I was hit with the most intense urge to drink, something that I hadn’t felt in months…..why? The simple answer would be the anniversary of the death of my father, but then it escalated. Became nightmares, feelings of panic, and general tiredness. This was so much more than a painful memory. Then came the messages from my sober friends struggling in just the same manor. What was this phenomenon?
First I feel we need to address the word trigger which has become somewhat of a dirty word and thanks to the media brings images of cry baby millenials and safe spaces. In recovery this can be dangerous. Hiding, felling ashamed, and not reaching out is a direct cause of stigmatization of the word. For those of us in recovery triggers are a real thing. They are not just thoughts and not as simple as oh I saw someone drinking and wish I had one. They are mind, body, and soul shaking. The feelings can last hours or days and will effect every aspect of your being. Support your sober friends by taking them seriously as a trigger could easily throw a sober person off the wagon, or even worse into a depression. We as a sober people struggle to get people to understand and when you negate our emotions we feel it and tend to isolate.
Now my thoughts on this rash of New Years triggers. The first thing that came to mind was after surviving the holidays sober and for some placing ourselves in some very trying situations we are for lack of a better word, drained. Now it is January, a month synonymous with cold and lonely. A time when everyone hibernates and waits for warmer days. I won’t lie when it’s crazy cold I kinda wish I had a hot toddie, but that is normal. Pool side I think of a margarita. So that can’t be it……I mean I went all Christmas without an eggnog and New Year’s without Champagne. So there has to be more right?
There is an enormous amount of pressure in the New Year to reflect and set yearly goals. For people in recovery this is a double edge sword. When you are living one day at a time and for some fighting seasonal depression along with generally crappy weather, talk about pressure! We are already fighting a battle to be a better person now we have to commit to weekly yoga? saving money? When our first priority is just staying sober. My advice KEEP IT SIMPLE. For me I made a board of daily goals, they seem silly and small but for me I can only handle small as I fight a much bigger demon than losing 10 lbs. My list workout 30 minutes, walk the dogs, and blog once a week and STAY SOBER. Take that pressure off screw New Year New Me, we were doing new me way before the New Year.
The components of weather, seasonal depression, and societal pressure lead to nightmares, cravings and self deprecating thoughts. This my friends is the time to stay connected to your support system. Talk about it, reach out and know you are not alone. Screw resolutions your resolution is to STAY SOBER and if anything continue to be kind to yourself. Focus on self care, save those resolutions til March right now you fought a holiday battle and came out the other side. This will be a good year if you keep your sobriety #1 and keep stocking your sober tool box. One day at a time! As tired and old as that saying is it’s the reality we live, let others live one year at a time.
Sending love and light to everyone fighting the daily battle of addiction, stay connected with others and your own feelings. When those nasty meanies called triggers hit. STOP. BREATHE. RELAX and REACH OUT! To everyone who has reached out to me personally I commend you on having that strength. Fight on Sober Warriors we have 2019 in the bag!!!