As the calendar turns another page and 2017 makes it start, we are yet again faced with the infinite possibilities for what may come. The New Year could hold a change of career or a promotion at work. It could be the year you find the love of your life or end a relationship that is no longer working. You could find yourself going back to school, pursuing further education, or it may be the year that you finally find a hobby that feeds your soul. You could find yourself learning how to set healthy boundaries something that I still find elusive and challenging. As many possibilities as there are for how 2017 will shape up for you, one possibility that does not need to become a reality is suffering from the same triggers and bad influences that bogged you down in 2016.
With each New Year, or really with each new day, we are given a brand new lease on life. Each time that we open our eyes we are given the ability to try again To try better to become the person we have always wanted to be, and to free ourselves from unwanted intrusion from bad influences and negativity.
As people in recovery we are given something special. Something that many other people on this planet are not given, and that is a blueprint for self-improvement that really works. We are given a spiritual way of life that when incorporated into our daily routines gives us the ability to self-reflect, pray, and attempt to move past the many things of this world that seek to hold us down. We are given the ability to be honest, with ourselves and others, and to stand and face life as our unadulterated self.
Yet being in recovery is in some ways a double edge sword, because as we are given the tools of freedom, we also have to deal with the fact that we have an illness which at any given point in time is plotting against us, hoping to see us slip up and fall back into its clutches.
So with that said, let’s take a look at the New Year, and how you can avoid the triggers that your disease will attempt to lay in your path. Let’s see how you can navigate and remove bad influences from your life, so that you can have a happy and healthy year—one that will contain all of the good things that life has to offer.
How To Avoid Triggers and Bad Influences
Depending on whom you talk to in recovery, the idea of a trigger is either a very real thing or some made up treatment jargon that doesn’t really amount to anything. For people who believe the latter, they focus on the fact that in the 10th Step promises, the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous talks about how the obsession to drink is removed and liquor becomes a non-issue. It says that we will no longer be tempted by alcohol or drugs if we remain in fit spiritual condition, and because of this they believe that being triggered is not a real thing.
This however is not the case for everyone and not every single person who gets sober experiences this neutrality towards drugs and alcohol from the start. So for those people who do not have this experience, triggers are a very real threat to their sobriety. They need to figure out ways to avoid them, or remove them from their lives if possible, so below are some of the best ways that a person can do this.
This is a very simple way to avoid being triggered and it also serves to remove people who may be a bad influence on your life. The reality is that many of the people that you drank or used with will have no real place in your life once you are sober. Though it may feel like the relationship wasn’t centered on using substances, once sober you will find that you do not have as much in common with people as you initially thought.
Every relationship has its ups and down, but if you find that a particular relationship in your life just seems to cause more trouble than it is worth, then think about possibly making a change. This sometimes happens in recovery, where you outgrow people, or you start to move in two different directions. Having this occur isn’t always a negative thing, and sometimes it is just the Universe’s way of showing you that you need to branch out and meet new people.
Many times people have certain individuals in their life that just know how to rile them up. They know what buttons to push and they seem to get some sort of joy out of pushing them. If you have people like this in your life, and you can avoid them, do so in the New Year and save yourself a ton of grief.
While we are capable of maintaining our sobriety anywhere we go, sometimes it is best to avoid places where alcohol is served or drugs are prevalent, until we have a firm footing in our recovery. This is especially true during early recovery, so if you do not feel comfortable in your recovery just yet, maybe avoid going to bars or concerts for a little while.
While on the surface this may not sound like a way to avoid being triggered, taking care of yourself and your needs is probably the best way that a person can ensure their recovery and avoid the pitfalls of negativity in their life. By making sure that you are emotionally, physically, and spiritually well, you will find that many of the bad influences in your life “magically” disappear and you will no longer feel a draw to hang out in places or with people who bring you down.
Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.