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    3 Tips to Avoid Triggers and Fuel Your Recovery While Sheltering in Place

    As I closed out our Family Healing group last Friday, I wished everyone the strength they needed to get through the first weekend of Georgia’s Shelter in Place order.  Although we are still having our treatment services in person at this time, we do not have family members in the building and the process of family healing group has changed.  The vital role that family work plays in addiction treatment and recovery has not changed, however.  We have long known that who we live with, who we hang out with and who we turn to (or don’t turn to) during early treatment and recovery has an impact on us.  Relationship conflict and isolation are two of the most common relapse triggers.   I’ve been thinking a lot about how to help our patients and community with this long-standing challenge that is now amped up exponentially.

    There are several points about the disease of addiction to keep in mind.  First, we teach that Addict Brain thrives on vagueness and Recovery Mind grows stronger with clarity. 

    • Tip #1 is to take some time (you have some, right?) to get clarity about the ways your current living situation either drains or charges your “recovery batteries.”  Try not to judge the situation, just make a list with two columns.  One side of your page can be “Ways my living situation nourishes my sobriety” and the other side can be “Ways my living situation drains my sobriety.”  This action alone starts to heal your brain…and leads to…
    • Tip #2: Create a plan to focus on your strengths and minimize your deficits.  There are multiple recovery principles that come in to play with this point.  But, focus on what you can control and practice letting go of the rest! 
    • Tip #3 is TAKE OPPOSITE ACTION.  Addict Brain wants us to isolate and create conflict and chaos in our lives.  Reach out for support and connection with safe people.  Even when you don’t want to. 

    Our living situation can nurture or deplete our recovery reserves.  We can’t do this alone, but sometimes those we’re in quarantine with can be triggers.  There is hope.  We can heal.  Please reach out.  Your act of courage can help not only you, but also the person you reach out to!   Wishing you all the strength and courage you need to take your next right action! 

    Catherine Baer, Clinical Director, MS, MS, LPC, CPCS

    in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield