…Relapse Prevention (part one)

This is my struggle lately.  Alcohol has dulled emotions, helped me to fall asleep, made life more livable..  Alas, I am out of control.  As the twelve steps would say, my life has become unmanageable.

I don’t want to change.  Alcohol simplifies everything.

But, for those of us that need to change our thought patterns, here are some examples of how to change..

First, acknowledge your emotion.  Check out my post on mindfulness.  Being aware of your thoughts goes a long way.

So, lets start with acknowledgement.  With any of these, try completing the statement “I feel…” then take a suggested action.

Anxiety

  • take a nap (not too long though)
  • journal your gratitudes (you need to stretch this one out.. give me 20)
  • meditate

Sadness

  • journal
  • call someone that understands your feelings

Fear

  • keep your routine to the letter (no matter how bad it gets, keep going)
  • be in contact with a trusted friend
  • find a safe space

Frustration

  • practice controlled breathing
  • journal/speak your mind out loud
  • meditate

Loneliness

  • call a trusted friend or family member (They want to hear from you, I promise.)
  • write a letter or send a card (there are few things better than receiving hand written letter or card)
  • email (for those of you that have zero patience)

Self-Pity

  • call someone supportive
  • play the “How-Could-This-Be-Worse” game
  • do something rewarding for yourself (within reason) (you deserve this)
  • focus on things you can control

Shame

  • focus on the present (see mindfulness)
  • own up to your mistakes (this goes a long way)
  • be honest
  • let it go

Depression

  • exercise
  • treatment!
  • call your friend/sponsor
  • do something you’re good at
  • walk a dog.. unless its not your dog and you don’t have permission.   (don’t steal dogs)
  • AA (I guarantee that someone has a story that trumps yours)

Try some of these.   Your substance of choice doesn’t need to be the cure-all.  Just be aware of what you’re feeling and follow some steps to get you back to the present.

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