Talking About Triggers in Group Meetings

If you’ve ever been through addiction and subsequent recovery, then you’ve probably learned a thing or two about triggers. Triggers are things – people, places, events, sights, smells, dreams, emotions, or what have you that trigger us into thinking about substance use again, or worse, not thinking and acting on those triggers.

One of the key plans in relapse prevention is taking the time necessary to learn more about the self – finding out what makes you tick, what makes you mad, sad, angry, lonely, (as well as all the good emotions). What you want to understand about yourself is what triggers you? What makes you not want to face the world and go running back to the escape?

It’s hard to think about it like that, but it’s the truth. There are things none of us like to deal with or face. There are plenty of things we simply haven’t learned how to deal with or face during our precious time here on earth. That’s why it’s so important to face the facts about yourself and learn those triggers.

When we take this time to learn about ourselves we can often head off relapse and the return of addiction and dependence. For example, maybe for some of us, a trigger is being spoken to a certain way. When people, especially certain people take a tone with us that we’re all too familiar with, instead of facing that problem, we can shut down, want to escape by any means.

Right? Well, recovery is all about learning how to deal or cope with things in a different way. Instead of accepting the way someone is talking to us and dealing with it by going back to substance use, we’ve got to learn to not allow this person or any person to speak to us that way, right? We either stand up for ourselves, remove this person from our lives, or remove ourselves from that situation as it comes up.

This is just one example and of course it’s much harder than we’re making it sound now. But, if you already know what it takes because you’ve been learning about your triggers and how-to better cope with them, then you’re already one step ahead!

Who’s got triggers they want to share and discuss the way they’ve learned to deal with them?

N.D. “The 10 Most Common Addiction Relapse Triggers". The Cabin. (website). 2018
  • 6 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I was thinking about this thread title for a while folks so here goes.

    We were like 12 eejits sitting in a circle when he asked us about triggers, I almost laughed, everyone started to sweat and shift uncomfortably, the answers we gave were very basic, one or two worded answers like, The pub, ( I am not joking ) and people who are drinking, one smart ass mentioned wine at dinner. I mentioned football ( another debate entirely but there you go..... football that is ) Im very sure that if the counsellor had asked us what 3 + 2 = we all would have itched, scratched and stuttered an answer out.

    Ahh the joys of early recovery and sobriety under the bright lights of rehab. Should my memories be so rose tinted and juvinille you may ask, and yes of course it should, I loved all my time in group, if I had not then its a fair assumption to say it hadnt worked. Its not all tears and tales of sorrow all the time you know. I earned my seat in that group, I was always destined to sit in it, so I can either be happy about it or sad. It only works if you work it. And boy, I do like to work it. Today people im working it right now, right here in this thread.

    Regards AA.
  • I found the times I attended meetings, simply listening to the stories others shared triggered me. I also get triggered when I read some stories when they describe either my DOC or situations I went through. Movies with drugs or similar situations I've experienced also trigger me... I used to fight the feelings... and now as I live life in a beautiful state as often as possible, I am learning to embrace the feelings that accompany the trigger that surfaced in that moment. Yes being around people and places can trigger me as well... however I find the random unexpected moments are much stronger and releasing myself from that memory brings so much peace.
  • @blueorchid
    I took all advice on board given about triggers for the first couple years though. I ditched my entire phonebook bar maybe one or two real and actual friends. I didnt go into a pub once, gave up all football trips, both domestic and abroad, gave up football fullstop to be honest. I gave up trying to be someone I clearly was not or wanted to be anymore. Look, at the end of the day I was the trigger and alcohol was just the fuel. I have learned to see myself at the final destination before it occurs, addmiting this, and also believing in it was easier said than done though. My only friends today are those I love and trust like family, the two chaps mentioned above and those in recovery. I have no time for inane babble lol, I have no need or room for anything else. Recovery is all encompassing in my opinion, and if its not, well, maybe a slight revision of goals should be considered. Recovery is a lifestyle choice, its a trigger for progress. A trigger for change, a trigger to kickstart our frigging lifes into gear hey!

    Great chatting Blueorchid, over to you.
  • So, triggers people, for newbies and oldies alike, Lets be having them.......

    Affairs of the heart.
    Death. ( not the trigger holder ofcourse, but you never know hey!)
    Holidying alone. (A massive red flag imo.)

    For the newbies there is one really nasty, sneaky trigger that must be fought with all your heart. And thats boredom.You need a plan for this, a daily itinery of things to do when the want in you kicks in. That want is disguised as boredom, tell yourself this until your head hurts.
  • Agree 100%, @AlwaysAlex. There's nothing worse than a bored addict.
  • Its crazy how you drink the drink then the drink makes the brain lie to its owner saying its bored.
    This is low rent though, this ' boredom trigger '. What about we replace boredom with 'self harm'? You drink the drink etc, then self harm because the drink has lied to the brain again making you think/feel this is a viable option etc. My point is that YOU have to basically rethink and rewire your brain into understanding the pain your addiction can and will cause to you, and your family.

    And NO this doesnt happen overnight, this wisdom, and there is no magic pill no matter what big pharma or Doctor Quack may try to fill your mind with. Its something learned at the pace you wish to learn, it will only work if you work it.

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