Planning Ahead

How Will You React to the Unexpected?

Everyone knows that it’s incredibly hard to quit using any substance on which there is a dependence. The difficulties of the first few days, weeks, and months are expected, and there’s generally an established timeline of what you may or may not experience. You can brace yourself for these challenges, and in being here, you have clearly found a way to effectively do so. Congrats to you again.

As time continues on, there may be periods in which staying clean is easy and others that are not. Without a doubt, new triggers will arise when you least expect it. An old friend comes to town and wants to smoke with you. A loved one becomes sick and the stress weighs on you. How will you react? What can you do to avoid using again?

The key here is in the cliché, “expect the unexpected”. Though you may not be able to predict which trigger will appear at what time, you can plan for them in general. Start to think about what has worked for you so far and what hasn’t. For instance, do you need to be completely removed from a situation to abstain or do you prefer to have a friend hold you accountable? How do you feel comfortable saying no? What has provided stress relief? You don’t need all the answers or solutions now. Simply take the time to reflect throughout your recovery journey and start to plan for what comes next.

As time continues on, there may be periods in which staying clean is easy and others that are not. Without a doubt, new triggers will arise when you least expect it.