Tag Archives: Pain

Poetry: Used To

She’d say

you used to
pen little notes
to me
used to text
me
all the time

used to
make a nice
dinner on
some nights
and talk to
me for awhile.

you used to
tune into
me
when I talked
used to smile
at me always

used to
throw me
anywhere
and show
me why I
mattered

I should have
told her why
but by then
retreat was
complete I
used to drift

where I would
imagine the
thoughts I
wanted to say
wanted to share
wanted to feel

where I would
talk about
forgiveness
letting go
moving past
perceived wrongs

and dead pauses
and bad timing
and change
and vagrant looks
and wrong choices

but then
no matter
it was decided
always before I
ever decided
to stop the bleeding

I should have
said that she
never listened
never gave ground
to get beyond
her ugliness

her jealousies
her insecurities
her pettiness
her retribution
for a thousand
paper cuts

She said I inflicted

I should have
regrouped
come at it
a different way
no matter
she always decided

We should have
quit way back
when the
liquid bandaids
started this
theatre run

doomed almost from
the start
all those lights
actors called in
scabs really
to play parts

which were
hastily sketched
around fragile love
not fleshed out
barely rehearsed
it’s no wonder

I used to and I should have

Recovery: 8 Factors In Relapsing

We start with a very strong desire and a clear picture of being a sober person.  We continue with a strong belief that we can persist in sobriety.  Then we have a positive expectancy that this sobriety is going to turn out well.

Then we implement relapse prevention strategies.

Research by Helen Annis and Alan Marlatt over 20 years has identified 8 common factors that people report preceded their initial return to alcohol and/or drug use.

painfulemotions on justruminating men's blogPainful Emotions–frustration, anger, hostility, aggression, guilt, “hassles”, fear, anxiety, tension, depression, loneliness, sadness, boredom, worry, apprehension.

testingcontrol on justruminating men's blogTest Control–“testing” your ability to engage in controlled or moderate use; to “just try it once” to see what happens, or testing the effects of treatment or a commitment to abstinence.  Also includes tests of “willpower.”

conflict on justruminating men's blogConflict–with family, friends, or at work.  Alcohol or drug use following a current or recent conflict associated with any type of relationship such as marriage, friendship, family, significant other, and work relationships (especially scenarios in which you feel frustrated or angry with someone).

socialpressure on justruminating men's blogSocial Pressure–direct or indirect pressure from a family member, friend, significant other, or supplier to drink or use drugs.  Includes drinking or using drugs in response to seeing one or more other persons drinking or using drugs.

publicparties on justruminating men's blogPleasant Times–socializing with friends or family at parties, dinner, sporting events, etc., or attending at public social events such as concerts, exhibits, etc.

physicalpain on justruminating men's blogPhysical Pain–sometimes associated with prior substance use, such as “withdrawal agony” or “physical sensation of craving” associated with withdrawal, and sometimes they are not associated with prior substance use, such as pain, illness, injury, fatigue, migraines, etc.

pleasantfeelings on justruminating men's blogPleasant Emotions–using substances to increase feelings of pleasure, joy, freedom, sensuality, and celebration.  using the substance for positive effects of “getting high” or “partying” to feel pleasure, celebration, sexual excitement, freedom, etc.

temptation on justruminating men's blog

Urges and Temptations–Alcohol or drug use in response to urges, temptations, or other promptings, including “craving” or intense desire, either in the presence of drinking or drug cues (e.g., a beer bottle or pack of cigarettes, passing by a bar, seeing someone with whom you have partied with in the past) or urge or temptation that comes “out of the blue” and is often followed by trying to gain access to alcohol or drugs.

Just being aware of these 8 major factors can greatly reduce your chances of threatening your recovery.  But that is not enough.  The best way to manage these factors is to AVOID THEM!  This one simple step will help you big time.

sobersuccess on justruminating men's blog

But if you can’t avoid them, then many of these factors can be properly controlled with regulating your emotions relating to them.  Establishing boundaries, using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and, if you are in a 12 Step Program and one of these situations arises, calling your sponsor!

One of the biggest lessons I learn here in treatment–over and over by the way–is that your reactions to situations largely dictate your subsequent behaviors.  Learning to keep my emotions in check relative to challenging situations has resulted in my having minimal conflict resolution issues, and a fairly absent desire to drink!