Hi, Boomerang! You is in the right place here. (sorry for the TexasCajun slang. uh ... get used to it.
Boomerang. What a great name for your subject!
Geez ... you've gotten some great advice here. I know I can count on that, myself. I can't add anything to it.
BUT I WILL, whether you like it or not!
I got sober Jan. 7, '09. Just got my 5 mo. chip. And I haven't relapsed since then (thank only God). But I hang out regularly with some real old timers who have relapsed at times, and slippers who keep comin back. Their experience, strangth, and hope are very important to me until I get some of my own. I've had really great advice from them ... and it's working for me ... so far. (Uh oh. Did I say that? "I GOT ONE!" "Great, kid! Don't get cocky" Luke & Hans during a Starwars shoot-out.)
This is what they tell me:
1. I go to a Relapse Prevention group every week where we discuss sobriety problems we face, especially with temptation, warning signs, triggers, cravings.
2. Do the 5 things every day: a) Don't drink. b) Morning prayer, meditation, and BB reading. c) Call your sponsor. d) Call at least 2 other sober people. e) Go to a meeting (or do something AA specifically sobriety related).
3. At the very first thought of a drink - Immediately LEAVE the situation if I can. (I've found that, if I can do the next things, I probly left already. But I don't stop there.) PRAY! CALL MY SPONSOR. Not immediately available? Call the next number on my extensive
sober-people list. (They recommend having at least 20 people I see regularly in my phone list ... keep calling till one answers.)
4. If I know I'm going to be in a place or situation that may be a problem for me, I call my sponsor and tell him about it. Get advice.
5.Know my warning signs and pay attention. That will help me bail-out before the trigger happens.
The best thing I read here is KEEP IT SIMPLE! Nuthin difficult about it. Trying to think my way out of it IS obsessing over it. "Don't think, Tim. You're an insane acloholic. Just do what you're told to do." Simple.
I LOVE this website! But, sorry guys, it doesn't keep me sober. Being around sober AA bodies with eyes on me and inflections in their voices and facial expressions is what I need. There is no substitute for that. No website can do that for me. Anybody else here agree with that?
Of paramount importance to me, constant conscious contact with my HP. Incorporated in that is that I have a sponsor who intensely and regularly works me through the steps. (Actually, its MY program. I
intensely work my sponsor through my steps.
I work his ars off. I often make him take me back through steps I'd like to get down better. He loves it.)
My personal advice for me? RELAX! To mine own self be true. I'm one o'them guys who tends to project my fears going over and over things in my sick mind trying to cover every possible permutation of things that COULD happen. I even do it when stuff DOES happen long after it's over. "Shoulda coulda woulda" done or said this or that. UGH!
RELAX, Tim! It's my own fear and anticipation that makes me over-react when something happens. I'm learnin'. I'm getting HPized.
Good luck to ya, Boomer. (I like that! Sounds like a go getter. Nevertheless, I nickname peops. Let me know if it bugs ya.)
PS: I go to several different meetings and groups. If I think I'm being followed, I can change-up my schedule. I dunno. Helpful idea?