Triggers That Cause Relapse – Part Two

Hello everyone! Thank you for stopping by once again. Let me start first by saying, “I apologize for my absence”. Most of you do not know that I was taking care of my elderly father, who went into Hospice this past May and passed on June 5th, of this year, 2022.

It was a long season for me, but I am back and ready to continue where we left off and so excited for your recovery.

We will ALL go through some “stuff” during our recovery. This is a guarantee with no expiration date on the warranty. You can count on it! But hopefully with the right tools, you will continue to be equipped to face life on life’s terms.

Now then, we were discussing triggers that cause relapse and we were able to look at the “people” in part one.

Remember, we are looking at: people, places and things. Now it is time to look at the “places”……..so, shall we?

Where We “Got Down At”

I like to keep it in a format that is easy to understand and relate to.

Anyone who has dealt with addiction, or is currently dealing with, has heard the term, “that’s where I got down at” or “this is where I used to get down at”.

And if you haven’t, it simply means, “this is one of the places that I used to drink, get high or where I got loaded at”.

Now before we go any further, you need to understand the difference between people and places, because people can always be avoided; places, such as where you live, may not be that easy for some.

As a matter of fact, some people are only in your life for a season. However long that may be, it is a decision who you associate with.

My father used to tell me, “The only reason why someone exists, is because you acknowledge their presence”.

That is literally an undeniable statement. If you don’t acknowledge someone, then they really don’t exist in your world.

This, however, may not apply to everyone situation as far as “places”.

Some people are able to do what is called the “geographics” and move around to different places to avoid the memories of “those old places” that may be a distraction which could be avoided.

People in this category may be well-to-do or well-off and can “afford” to do the geographical thing by moving (I call it “running”).

And that may work for some. But for those who are in their addiction and are unable to afford some new scenery, or relocating to somewhere unfamiliar to your addiction, then you will have to “get down where you got mad at?”

What in the world does that mean, Timo?

Well, I am glad you asked.

You Take “You” With You Wherever You Go!

Listen…. I am not the type of counselor that believes in “geographic” success. You can’t “move” to get rid of your addiction.

Simply because wherever you go, or try to run to, you will be taking you with you.

And let’s face it, everyone cannot afford to move from where they live.

Not everyone suffering from addiction has the resources or the means to “run” even if they wanted to.

So, you are going to have to fight your addiction, no matter where the battlefield may be.

That does not mean that you can’t be wise while living in the same area of where your addiction originally took place.

If you think that moving to Palm Springs is going to help change the condition of your addiction that originated in Los Angeles, you are sadly mistaken.

Oh sure, it may be a nice, contributing factor to “new scenery” that could be a supporting factor and conducive to you recovering.

But it will do nothing for the work that you must put in to stay sober. It simply is just not going to happen.

Choices In “The Neighborhood”

Remember the choices you make to stay sober doesn’t matter where you live.

What does matter is the activity that took place and in what places in addition to where you live, did those activities take place.

A direct correlation in where you live in the neighborhood and what other places contributed to your addiction, in the neighborhood is something that, now you are sober, you have to be able to identify.

Example is, for instance, down the street from where you live is a bar that you once used to frequent to drink (and probably use as well; drinking and drugs go hand in hand for most.)

Although you are not changing your address and where you live at, you are going to be changing the attendance that used to take place at the bar. You no longer can attend the bar in “the neighborhood”. It is not conducive to your recovery.

Hanging out at Joe’s, where everybody is partying, rather drinking or using drugs, is no longer a place in “the neighborhood” that you can afford to hang-out at because…it is no longer a place that is conducive to your sobriety.

Same neighborhood your home is in, one less place to visit in “the neighborhood”. This process of elimination must happen.

In other words, wisdom from the mistakes you made need to prevail. You don’t need a new place to move to or a new roof over your head to address your addiction….”you get down where you get mad at!”

Right now, you should be pretty angry at the disease of addiction if you are not yet in recovery mode.

So, all the other places that contributed to your disease, in a nutshell, are the places you have to let go of.

But I Got High in My House Also

The difference in your house and that other place is this…you live in your house.

You did not have a responsibility to those other places as you do your home.

As a matter of fact, part of you might even feel guilty bringing that madness home.

Home is supposed to be a place of refuge and safety. You will have to treat it as such.

Whatever the case, you have a responsibility to yourself and your domain.

If you got high in your house, moving is not going to solve that issue.

You make a decision to no longer use and especially in the place that is your safety, is what you must decide.

Once again, moving and doing the Geographic’s will not cure your addiction.

You take you wherever you go…period!

Process of Elimination

If you were to sit down and make a list of places that were connected to your “getting high or drunk“, these may be on that list, just to name a few:

  • neighborhood or local bars
  • nightclubs
  • house parties of friends or relatives
  • visiting your connections house
  • going on a date where you know alcohol & drugs will be
  • getting high in your house

Listen, you cannot change who you are. But you can change the things that “do not serve you!”.

By process of elimination of places, you used to attend or frequent, you become more empowered by your decisions.

Making better decisions is not easy because it takes work if you are used to making poor decisions.

Remember, you can’t change who you are…. but you can eliminate the things that do not serve you so that you can evolve into the best you that you can be.

You have to start somewhere. That somewhere is in “your mind”. It’s the decision to make choices conducive to your recovery.

Making good decisions that you feel good about leads to making better decisions and you can accomplish this without having to relocate to some foreign place where you are going to be taking you along anyway.

Remember…it’s always an inside job!

Please feel free to comment and leave any suggestions or burning desires that you would like addressed ~ Timo

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