© by Robin M. Gilliam
Welcome back! I am so glad that you decided to join me for the second blog on the first tool in my recovery arsenal!
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. This week’s blog is about AWARENESS – the first tool in your recovery tool belt.
Awareness is that light at the end of the dark tunnel. As I walk further into the tunnel, the light gets brighter and I can start to see my way out. But while I am in the tunnel I become aware of a yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach. That is a sign that a negative thought—a lie—is starting to rear its ugly head calling me to turn back toward addiction. Like when I am driving to a family celebration and that dark cloud starts to swirl around my legs chanting poor aunt robin is the only one without kids, she is all alone.
What I see the most when people head back into their addiction, is their surprise at the thoughts that trigger them. They think that being in the rooms or in a recovery program removes addiction. SURPRISE! Addiction is trotting right alongside our recovery poking its nose where it doesn’t belong, screaming lies at us to pull us back and down.
But AWARENESS is a glimmer of hope for us. Even as uncomfortable and painful as a trigger can be, we can recover when we become aware that triggers exist.
What thoughts are you aware of that trigger your addiction?
PRO-RECOVERY TIP: Let’s start a holiday recovery journal and write down our triggers to get them out of our head and start to experience the healing power of art.
A sponsor one time told me that we are only as sick as our secrets. She told me that the more we talk about triggers the less power they have over us. I learned that, in addition to sharing in the rooms, creative expression was my way of processing these triggers. So let’s move toward the light of recovery together by using the tool of writing to journal our awareness.
Once we become aware, then we can start to plan how to process them in a positive way. Stay tuned for the next tool for your recovery toolkit to learn more about how to process and manage your triggers and keep your recovery strong through the holidays.
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.