Neon signs shaped like martini glasses signaling the cocktail lounge across the street. Placards with the names of your favorite brands of beer indicating a sale at the gas station. The most interesting man in the world surrounded by women in commercials on TV. Advertisements featuring frosty vodka bottles in the magazines you read. The waiter explaining the wine pairing at the fancy restaurant. Alcohol is promoted at sporting events, concerts and pretty much anywhere you go. These can be triggers that stir the obsession to drink to awaken. So how can one go about avoiding triggers in early recovery from alcoholism and also avoid succumbing to those triggers when they are unavoidable.
Think up some alcohol free sober activities to participate in. Don’t sink into a couch mourning the loss of your worst enemy. Get out and do the things you love that drinking prevented you from doing. Try new things you never had the chance or motivation to try before. Without anything holding you back, the world is your oyster. Outdoor activities like going for a hike or anything else one can do in nature is a sure fire way to avoid those flashing neon signs. Explore poetry and literature related to recovery. Filling your mind with positive vibrations will be much more comfortable than reinforcing a disappointment that you can no longer drink. Always remember where alcohol took you. For some individuals life may depend on this.
Making connections with other sober folks in early recovery is vastly important. Those in early recovery will be facing similar challenges upon which notes can be compared. Those with significant sober time will be valuable resources for useful advice. So, your cousin is getting married and you have to go to a wedding where alcohol will be served at an open bar. Make your plus one someone with strong recovery who can look out for your best interests. Your favorite band is playing a concert and you have tickets. Go with a group and find safety in a herd. Chances are whatever you do you will have a great time and you’ll find perhaps it’s even more pleasurable without alcohol holding you back.
Early recovery might not be the best time to read a book by Earnest Hemingway or watch a TV show or a movie about partying that has a lot of alcohol and drug related content. In media alcohol can often be glamorized. It is made to reflect youthful exuberance or classy sophistication, but there’s nothing joyful or sophisticated about being alone in a room with a bottle cut off from the world and for many alcoholics that is the hard and lonely reality of it that is to be overcome.