© by Robin M. Gilliam
Hey welcome back – It’s great to see you again!
As I mentioned in my first holiday blog –Recovery Survival Guide and Toolkit for the Holidays, I am blogging throughout November – December to share tools I have used over the past 25+ years to recover over the holidays. The 1st tool was AWARENESS. The 2nd tool was ACCEPTANCE, and the 3rd tool is ACTION.
That’s right ACTION!
Once we are aware of a trigger and accept it, we need to take an action to manage it. For me managing triggers means to make them go away in my head, stop the spinning thoughts, and get back to that calm quiet mind.
By taking ACTION to manage our triggers we focus on the solution of recovery today and not the problem of addiction.
Once when I called a sponsor to deliver a list of complaints about the holidays, she asked me what tool was I going to pick up. Boy that really pissed me off. I told her, I picked up the phone to call you, isn’t that enough?
She said, what tool are you going to pick up to acknowledge the sadness and walk through it to enjoy the event? With that I realized that sadness was okay, but it’s about the event, about celebrating the holiday. So, she suggested that I pick up the tool of service, helping to set up or clean up, focusing on someone I haven’t seen for a while and listening to what is going on with them. What a concept, I didn’t realize that I could take service outside of the rooms!
Then if that wasn’t enough, she said, if that doesn’t work, pick up another tool and another tool, but don’t pick up – ‘cause we don’t use no matter what, no matter what we don’t use. So the action tool is to keep picking up tools to prevent addiction and stay in the solution of recovery.
Here are three of my favorite ACTION tools:
1. I visualize that there is a trash shoot in the back of my head
and when the thoughts are spinning out of control I open it up and let all those thoughts out. Then the trash shoot closes and the thoughts are NOT allowed to come back.
2. I talk back to my crazy thoughts, saying – thanks for stopping by but I don’t need you anymore – and watch the thoughts drift by and out of my head – like a movie. Again, they are NOT allowed to return. But I have to replace the nasty-lying thoughts with something positive so I use the SERENITY PRAYER a lot.
3. The serenity prayer keeps my Higher Power close and my triggers at bay. I will say that prayer over and over to replace the negative thoughts sparking in my brain like fireworks.
- Slow and steady, over and over, even while someone is talking to me, I am saying the serenity prayer.
- And, slowly but surely the fear, doubt, and insecurity skulks back to a dark corner in my mind where I can shut the door on it.
CONGRATULATIONS – Like me, you really care about putting your recovery first and will pick up these ACTION tools to focus on the solution and keep your recovery strong!
- Rock your recovery through the holidays – Use the SERENITY PRAYER CHEAT SHEET
- Please SHARE these blogs to help others manage their addiction
- Keep Coming Back to Recovery Art Studio – to stay in the solution and keep your recovery strong – you won’t want to miss
- the remaining Hope for the Holidays Blogs, and
- the Art of Recovery Blogs coming in 2017!
Keep the FREE 4 Master Recovery Tools PDF with you to manage your addiction
Robin M. Gilliam is an artist and author in long-term recovery since February 6, 1991. Read her powerful recovery novel, Gift of Desperation, to meet Claire and journey with her out of addiction and into recovery. Robin uses the healing power of art and the spiritual principles of the 12 steps to maintain her recovery and teaches these tools and techniques through her workshops. She is also a keynote speaker where she shares her journey to recovery and how others can do it too.