Relapse Prevention

Today was a hard grind at work.  I finished up a two day hard turn of painting, caulking holes in ceilings and walls, and a little drywall.   During the day I get time to think, especially if I keep the radio off and just let my mind think.  The idea for the picture for today came to me during this time:

You can probably tell that I love taking a picture of my Bible and my paintbrush.  Both very well worn and used.  But the context for my picture has to do with of all things, relapse prevention.  Even after almost 10 years of sobriety, I still have to work at recovery, though the face of that has changed in time.  However, as far as prevention for temptation, there are some simple and practical steps that I've taken that help.  Much like the Bible and the brush, it is well used. 

It works like such.  Ginger is going on vacation in a couple of weeks.  I'm going to have a week alone for the first time in a very long time.  And sure enough, the thoughts started coming.  It starts like this, you could have a drink then.   It won't hurt.  Such thoughts are pretty easy to dismiss in and of themselves.  Enter phase two of the plan, talk about it.  I did, with Ginger.  Not that things were at a serious point yet, but I didn't want it to get to the serious point and I didn't want it to bounce around in my head.  I've got friends and family I can call, I even have a group to go to should I need it.  As well, thanks to a friend giving me a PS2, and having one of my favorite games of all times to order, I'm looking forward to sitting in front of the TV and playing my game hours on end.  The fact is, instead of planning for a relapse, I'm planning for a recovery.   As far as it not hurting me, it would.  The pain from my addiction, even ten years later is still fresh.  I don't fool myself that after 10 years that I have "got this".  God does, however, and gives me the tools to accomplish this, well, this test that I see coming.  Call it a semester exam.  And instead of blowing off studying, I'm studying and I'm going to be prepared.  I know I don't normally talk about my temptations, but it happens to all who are in recovery, and God can help us, He gives us the tools, we just have to be willing to use them.


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