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Why Are Relapses Blamed on Triggers? And What’s A Trigger Anyway?


Does the word ‘trigger’ suggest that addicts sometimes act unaware of emotions that are driving their behaviour? Unfortunately – yes. Does this mean addicts are powerless over their drug of choice? No – it suggests they’re temporarily powerless over their ability to control themselves. There’s a huge difference.

But I don’t think this happens very often. My opinion is that most relapses are not the result of a ‘trigger’ – they’re the result of a conscious choice/decision to drink or use again. Keep in mind that not everyone understands the word ‘trigger’ to have the same definition. I’m not particularly fond of the word because being awake (not to be confused with being aware) is all it ever took for me to choose to drink a glass of wine. I never needed anything external to cause me to want to drink.

Becoming sober is one act. STAYING sober requires something else entirely. It requires staying in a constant and diligent position of self- awareness. This feat alone is just that – a triumph of epic proportions. Not easy to do. Addicts are faced with the challenge of ultimate self-control – at all times. And this requires tools. Tools like intense patience, compassion and forgiveness – all things that take time to acquire through the process of practice.

It is possible that sometimes an addict will relapse over something so unsettling for him/her that their emotions (unconscious emotions beneath the obvious intense ones they’re aware of) drive their behaviour before they’re even conscious of them? Yeah. It’s weird and a little scary.

So then, what kind of internal control does it take to lasso these intense unconscious emotions that result in unhealthy and harmful behavior toward self and/or others? Especially when/if we’re not even aware of them in the first place?

An extraordinary sense of awareness and internal perception. And this is totally possible for every and anyone to attain/become/do…

Published by Jennifer

I've finally found my happy place in sobriety. Yay! Go Me!

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