To me, dealing with a problem means defining it, describing it, and coming up with a plan for handling it. In a way, it’s a very soothing process. Problems that aren’t discussed become these huge nebulous things, creeping in to every aspect of your life, beyond control. Describing them pins them down, allows you to spot their weaknesses. I’m in total strategizing mode right now.
The problem is that I need to redouble my efforts to stay sober. I’m going to flesh out a more complete strategy the next time I get to see my therapist, but these are the steps I’ve been able to devise so far:
I’m admitting it. This has been hard to write; the urge to pretend this isn’t happening is almost overwhelming. I feel ashamed and stupid and guilty and scared. So step one is to try and push those feelings aside. I’ve let them take over and prevent me from making any kind of progress before. I’m trying really hard not to do that again.
I’m shaking up my routine. This may be the most common advice given to people who are trying to break a habit or addiction. I am going to avoid the things I used to do while drinking, because I know they’re going to trigger cravings. I’ll be trying to find new ways to spend my evenings.
I’m going to shelter myself for awhile. This is what I had to do the first time I got sober. For those first few days, almost anything can trigger a craving, in my experience. This means I have to be careful about what songs I listen to, what shows I watch, what topics I discuss. That sucks and I’m not looking forward to it. But I’ve learned that it’s necessary.
I’m going to figure out what kind of help I need and what kind of help I can get. This is something I’ll need to discuss with my therapist. I want to try different programs than the ones I used before, which didn’t work out for me.
I’m scared of how hard this is going to be. But I’m trying to focus on the benefits, trying to remember what I want out of this. It just occurred to me that I should make a list. I love making lists. I’m going to list the reasons I’m doing this and tape it up somewhere.
I really think I can do this.