May 3, 2014
Our daily lives often have us braving addiction emergencies, but how do we get through them? What can we do to ensure our best chances of staying clean and sober day in and day out? These are some very good starting points.
Of course, knowing your limits is crucial. What might put one person into intense cravings might completely put another person off.
We all have our own thresholds, and we need not test them to the brink—all we need to know is when they are being tested. Is it a person, or maybe a place? Perhaps it is a smell or a familiar taste that gets our thinking going to those dark places. Whatever it is, the inner dialogue that results is one of turmoil. When that happens…
Every emergency worker will tell you that the first thing you should do when entering a high-risk environment is having a plan for getting out of that environment. Addiction emergencies are no different.
Going to risky locations and environments are much the same way for us. We need a way out if things get shaky. It does not need to be some James Bond or Mission: Impossible type master plan. No, simply knowing what to say under certain circumstances is a good start, as is having a handy excuse to leave in case things get uncomfortable. Rehearsing is not a bad idea, either, depending on the circumstances.
It might seem excessive, but it is a small step for something that could otherwise end poorly.
Fellow addicts and alcoholics, a sponsor, spiritual advisor, friends, the local central offices, sponsees, a therapist or councilor…there should be no excuse for not getting someone on the line. Yes, that phone is heavy, but not as heavy as the heart after a relapse.
Those working a solid program know that for us to stay clean and sober, we have to give it away to keep it. We have to help those in need. If we do not, it might not be that particular time that sends us back to the drinking and drugs, but eventually it will happen. Most of us would rather take that late night call than the alternative, both for personal reasons as well as the behalf of the caller.
Last and most importantly, we need to pick up and use the tools we have so generously been given.
Trust in God. Find someone to help. Be open and honest about what is happening. It might be what saves us from that fate that too many addicts and alcoholics meet. At the end of the day, we are all still drunks and drug addicts. Just because we have dodged the bullet for as long as we have does not mean that will continue to be the case. When we stop being humble, and instead choose to save our face instead of our backsides, we can save neither.
What are some of your tips on dealing with addiction emergencies? Let us know in the comments below!