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Another New Meeting in Bromley, Greater London UK!

Bromley Green

We first posted about a couple of new meetings starting up in the Greater London, UK borough of Bromley in July, and we’re thrilled to report they’re doing so well that another meeting has been added!

Here’s the information:

When: Thursdays at 2:00 PM, starting this week

Where: Bromley Recovery Service, Norton House*, 26-32 High Street, Bromley, Greater London BR1 1EA

Convenor: Jenny W.

Contact Information:

*Please note that Norton House has has a 12 hours of abstinence requirement of all meeting attendees

We wish Jenny and all meeting members our very best!


Countdown to the Holidays in 3, 2, 1…

Happy Halloween


Well, here comes the holidays, starting with one of my favorites. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved Halloween, and not just because of the free candy but because you get to be someone else for whole day if you want to – and I always wanted to.

So does our Addicted Self – it gets to use all the holiday rituals, parties, get togethers and every other opportunity to get our favorite substance(s) of choice into the mix as excuses in which to do so. For people like us, that’s about as scary as it gets, and it doesn’t stop here.

The holidays are also perfect times to either give up on being clean or sober (because it’s hard) or on even trying to get clean and sober, because it’s even harder now than any other time of the year! Plus, we’d get to drink and use for another few months, and there’s always an advantage to that…right? Besides, we can finally get it together after the New Year…

But enough of all that. The holidays can be difficult for a lot of people for a lot of reasons, but in and of themselves they’re harmless, and can be some of the most wonderful times to enjoy life.

So gird your loins, dear friends, but remember this: it’s more than possible to have a little good, clean, real fun while you’re at it! 

You can, you know.  Honest. 🙂



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


Keeper of the Month – September

Stay Calm


One of the most magical things that happens in LifeRing’s e-mail groups is that someone new(er) to the group who may be struggling or have multiple relapses under their belt might post something about how difficult it’s been for them, but how it’s so seemingly easy for others…

And then the group does what it does best, and post after post from other members who’ve been through much the same things roll in, and the original poster realizes they’re really, truly not alone, and that despite everything they’ve been through, there really, truly is hope for them, too.

This month’s Keeper is one such response from long-time group member Richard:

[Replying after another member told their story] “…my story is such that I can’t tell it even in the space you used. So here is the very truncated version for you and anybody else who might benefit.

 I’m one of those folks who drank to excess from the time I started. I was surrounded in my youth with lots of other big drinkers and drug-takers, and I managed to function (i.e.,get up and go to work, or school) most of the time, despite being out of control with uppers, pot, acid, always accompanied by lots and lots of booze.
When I turned 30, I had my first kid, and then a couple of years later had another one on the way. Until then, the big deal was the few times I had stopped for a week or two, just to prove I could do it. But I knew I needed help, and finally sought it, entering a rehab in the summer of ’84. I had to go back again in the spring of ’85, and this time it stuck for a decade.
I was directed to AA and found a home there, of sorts. My life improved significantly, although of course I still had a lot of  ‘issues.’ I remain grateful to this day that I was sober throughout much of my kid’s youth, despite having split with their mom after a few years.
Finally, nearly ten years after stopping, I decided (while on a business trip in the midst of a painful break-up), that going on a little bender ‘just this once,’ would be okay. After all, I had been in therapy most of the ten years I’d been sober, and told myself I had ‘grown’ so much that I’d have no problem resuming long-term sobriety. I lasted a couple of months, and then the drinking times started getting closer and closer.
So, I stumbled inadvertently into LifeRing 15 years ago, and started putting together some longish periods of sobriety, but I never seemed to hold onto it. Finally, in February of 2010, I began what is now by far my second longest period of sobriety, which is continuing.
I should stress that not everybody struggles, and I do have to say that I have no doubt that my extended periods of sobriety probably saved my life. I figure I’ve been sober over 20 of the last 31 years, just counting periods of longer than one year, plus I know I have around half a dozen six month stretches. Nonetheless, there is no substitute for continuous sobriety, at least not for me. Things don’t always get wonderful right off the bat, but you give yourself a darn good chance to get the most out of life. We all have learned that the other way is just fighting a losing battle against misery.”




Keeper of the Summer (July and August 2015)

What can I say, dear blog friends? It’s been a great Spring and Summer for me but in the interim the blog’s been far too neglected, and it’s time to fire her back up.

So, we shall  begin again with this simple, apt, and true to its word quote contributed by our own Dennis M. – who also contributed our last Keeper in June (thanks again, Dennis!):


Don't Nurture the Urge


To which I can only add, whatever it may be, whenever you know it’s unhealthy for you!

Hope you’ve all had a good one, and see you again soon! 🙂 Bobbi C.