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Category Archives: Toolbox

Hitting the Toggle Switch: Tools for Triggers

Eckhart Tolle Quote

 

Friends of the Blog, I cannot stress to you enough the vital, powerful, and user-friendly importance of the following exercises, shared with us and created by our San Francisco Convenors. Please have a good look see at it, put yourself in place of where it says “I”, and by all means, tell us what you’ve found out here in the comments, as will I!

🙂 Bobbi C.

For Every Trigger There is a Toggle

Most of us have experienced a Trigger—something that generates an immediate and overwhelming desire to have a drink or take a drug. Usually it’s some kind of sensory experience, like the smell of limes, or hearing a sad song, or talking with a specific person. Sometimes it’s a place. These Triggers are echoes of the past—your Addict Self trying to get back some control.

How can I get around such a powerful force? It begins with my Sober Self being fully aware of my personal Triggers. If I know them, I can anticipate and prepare my response. If I can’t avoid them, I can plan for them. That’s where Toggles come in—they can be a counterbalancing force to the Trigger.

Begin with Self Knowledge: Know My Triggers

  • What is the trigger? A smell, a sound, a person, a place?
  • What feelings does it create?
  • How long will it last?

For example, a trigger might be smelling lime juice because I used to drink vodka-limes. The smell causes a deep, immediate desire to drink, and lasts for a short anticipated time.

Create My Toggles

  • Imagine a sober opposite that will temporarily disable the Trigger.
  • Imagine a sober feeling and attach it to the Toggle.
  • Practice the Toggle until the Trigger disappears.

In our example, I might imagine a lime tree that reminds me of my garden, and think about the peace and happiness I feel while enjoying the garden until the craving passes (and I know it will pass eventually—a powerful understanding by itself).

Anticipate and Practice

  • What Triggers could be coming up this week?
  • Imagine them happening and practice the Toggles
  • Create a list of Triggers and their opposing Toggles
  • Notice the transition as Triggers become Toggles

With practice and repetition, my Toggles will override and become a natural and healthy, habitual, unconscious reaction to the Triggers, something I am fully aware of and don’t even have to think about.

Tell us about your experience

Do you have Toggles that work for you (maybe by a different name)? If so, please share!

— Prepared by San Francisco Conveners

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New Online Voice Meeting Starts Tonight!

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LifeRing is pleased to announce another new online meeting has been added to our schedule, and the first one is tonight!

When: Tuesdays at 8:00 PM PDT, 11:00 PM EDT

Where: LifeRing Chat Room at LifeRing.org. To participate, Register/Sign in to the Main Chat Room at Lifering.org/chat-room, and then start “chatting” via text when the meeting begins!

Convenor: KMarie

We wish KMarie and all meeting participants the very best!

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The Essential Recovery Toolkit

Leonard Nimoy Quote 2

 

Hi Everyone,

Since I’ve been fiddling around while Rome burns (i.e. working very, very, slowly on new blog pieces), I’d like to direct you to a new page placed on our website today that, in my humble opinion, is truly the most remarkable collection of recovery toolkits I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.

Made up of real tools contributed by LifeRing members, including links to LifeRing-related tools here at lifering.org, it’s the perfect starting place for newcomers, go-to for those in early recovery, and a great refresher for those long-timers who can use one.

Please have a look-see at it here:

LifeRing Recovery Toolkit

Enjoy!

🙂 Bobbi C.

Create Your Own Miracle – A LifeRing Member’s TED Talk

BJ Davis Ted Talk

 

BJ Davis, Psy.D., a LifeRing member we’ve also had the privilege of presenting as a Keynote Speaker at several LifeRing annual meetings, tells the remarkable and inspiring story of how he went from addicted ex-convict to the free man living a life of his own purposeful choosing he is today in a powerful TED Talk. 

BJ is living proof that belief in oneself makes all the difference in every person’s life – and we’re honored to present his talk to you:

TEDx  Sacramento TED Talk 

BJ is also Co-Executive Director and Clinical Director at Strategies for Change in Sacramento, California. For more information about this organization, please see here:

www.strategies4change.org/

 We thank BJ for being a part of our recovery community and share with him our heartfelt congratulations for the work he’s done to help himself and then to help others help themselves. Thank you, BJ!

Clean and Sober: The Holiday Edition

Louise Hay Quote For many of us, the holidays in America are fraught with tension, expectation, fear, uncertainty and above all,  an overwhelming sense of obligation. “We have to do this, that or the other, or X will happen,” we say to  ourselves (and very often to one another), and no one wants the dreaded X to happen- no one.

Otherwise, it’s delightful fun and the most wonderful time of the year!

So imagine my own surprise when I stopped drinking – again – on November 28, 2007 and found that it stuck.  By that point I’d tried on several other occasions throughout the calendar year and failed, so I most certainly heeded the addictive voice when it warned me that anywhere on, around or near some holiday, event, milestone or other anniversary – let alone any day that ended in ‘y’ – was the absolute worst time ever to give up drinking.

“I mean, it’s like deciding to go on a diet the week of Thanksgiving: You are automatically doomed to failure, and it’s hard enough as it is, so why put yourself through that on top of it?” it says in it’s most reasonable, dulcet tones. (“And then another six months can pass unabated, and all will be well. And all shall be well,” it also doesn’t say, but is precisely what it unequivocally means.)

But I’d had enough – I was “sufficiently horrified”, as they say in one of my groups – and I didn’t give a rat’s patootie if it was Doomsday, it had to stop some time, and I had to be the one to stop it.

So I did what I had to do: Get up in the morning. Go to work. Come home without stopping by the Quickie Mart for a six pack, and park myself in front of my computer, where I spent the great majority of my evenings all through those first days and weeks, relying heavily upon my e-mail groups and the LifeRing online forum. In the meantime really didn’t worry myself a damn about the Ghost of Christmas Pending. I didn’t decorate my apartment that year (I didn’t clean it, either, but that’s another story). I shopped only as much as I had to, which wasn’t much but enough to let the people I loved know I cared. I spent time with my Mom, for whom the holidays were always a very big, huge deal enough not to worry her that I’d given them up, but I also didn’t hang around long when her traditional Christmas totty started to take its toll.

And since I’ve always been a film fanatic, I remembered with renewed clarity a scene from the movie “Clean and Sober” – starring Michael Keaton as Daryl, the addict who’d never grasped the concept that he was an addict, and Morgan Freeman as Craig, the counselor at the rehab Daryl had checked himself into to get out of one of his addict driven jams. Daryl had picked a fight with Craig and thus got himself kicked out of the rehab, but then came back when he found he was in his bullshit so deep he had nowhere else to go. So while Craig has Daryl pee in a urine sampler for him – standard rehab operating procedure when an addict’s been left to his own devices – he asks him a few pointed questions, including whether he knows how addicts get clean, and what he had to say became a mantra that ran through my mind over and over and over again throughout those first days (and mercifully in that gorgeous, velvety Morgan Freeman voice to boot.):

“You know how we do it, Daryl? A second at a time. A minute at a time. An hour at a time. One day at a time.”

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