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The Buddy System

In community we have power which opens the door to the first concept I’d like to share with you: The Buddy System.

‘Tis the season to be jolly’ that is fast approaching which is a time that certainly will cause increased anxiety for most. The Christmas holiday season is bittersweet because for a lot of people family was a source of trauma which led to active addiction. For others it’s the absence of family and feelings of loneliness, or it could be the thought of all those parties with all those drinks… I guess my point is we are heading into a season of possible landmines filled with triggers. So, let’s talk about triggers: identification and strategies to manage them.

There is a silver lining if you are looking to be curious about knocking your recovery up a notch with mindfulness – It is hard to be fearful when you are in a place of curiosity and exploration. Working with your triggers does involve practical real time experience; I suggest putting a buddy system in place so that when you feel overwhelmed, you can reach out to someone, put a buddy system into place, so you are supported and less likely to relapse.

Activate the Buddy System:

1. Choose your buddy, much like a dive buddy!

2. Make this person a favourite contact so they can be easily reached.

3. Make a promise to be there for your buddy.

4. Reach out immediately when you need to!

5. Share your plan of action with your buddy so they can help you engage with it.

What are triggers? They are thoughts, feelings and memories that remind you of your substance use or the lifestyle around it. It is usually in response to your environment.

Buddy rule number one: Don’t shame your addiction – we recognise our addictions were the body’s attempt to keep us alive and cope with trauma when being connected or present was too overwhelming. Now that we have moved into recovery, we can use connection as a source of strength in a mindful recovery.

TOP TIP: The best way to work with your triggers is to recognise that your triggers are in response to a safety system designed to keep you alive.

Blog post written for the sobriety community within Best Life - Sobriety through connection and featured in the Mindfulness and Meditation Group within the App. Download the app here:

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