Building My Toolbox: #2

Since I spoke of using visualization techniques as one of the tools in my “Sobriety Toolbox,” I figure now is as good as time as any to reveal what exactly is inside this so-called toolbox of  mine. What are the methods I use when trying to combat my alcohol cravings?

My previous post covered item #1. This post will focus on #2, which is….


I know, I know… prayer? Quiet reflection? Do we really want to sit inside our head and hearts when we’re battling the desire to tip back the bottle? Do we want to let the good Lord in on this “shameful” behavior?

We do! We do!

A lot of quit-lit books nowadays substitute guided meditations for this tool. In fact, some of them even discourage relying on God to help you get sober; they browbeat AA for this (I often turn the page.) I WANT God on my side. I believe that everything that happens in my life happens according to His plan. He knows what’s best for me. He knows precisely what I need in any given moment. So why wouldn’t I pray for his guidance in my time of need?

What I do? I picture myself walking barefoot beside Jesus. We’re somewhere along the road to Jericho. The sun warms our shoulders, the sand heats the soles of our feet. No one is around us, just the occasional bird flying overhead like a tiny stroke of black on an endless blue sky. We take our time. There is no rush, no sense of urgency. Jesus speaks softly to me, instructing me in a loving voice that “this too, shall pass.” He means my urge to drink—whatever negative emotion I’m feeling—and I inhale and exhale slowly. Over and over again. I keep walking.

And eventually, the craving passes.

The “Quiet Reflection” part?

For me, it’s either journaling or just lying in bed with an aromatherapy pillow draped across my eyes. It’s “going there” in my mind, “being there” with my internal thoughts. Sometimes I feel the need to write them down. Sometimes I’m okay with hearing them in my head. No matter what, just recognizing I’m having them, putting a name to them, helps me… let them go.

What helps you?

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