“In particularly challenging moments, committing to our sobriety for just an hour at a time is what we may need to do in order not to give in to our impulses.”
Tools of Recovery, page 11
About six months into SAA recovery, I was riding my bicycle along a canal. Exercise had become an integral part of my recovery program, but after six months, I was no longer riding the so-called pink cloud of recovery. I was about to be tested.
My bike route took me close to an adult establishment that I had frequented in my addiction. Suddenly, I felt the “imperious urge” to stop and go in. I knew that going in would inevitably lead to my inner circle. The compulsion was visceral, powerful, and terrifying. I was powerless to resist, so I asked God to help me.
When I asked God for help, I sensed the suggestion to continue on my bicycle route for another fifteen minutes. Then, if I still felt the urge so powerfully, I could return to the current spot, which would take another fifteen minutes, and see how I felt.
By the time the first fifteen minutes had passed, so had the urge. God had relieved me of my craving. This was a turning point in my recovery. I learned that, with God’s help, my cravings would pass, that I did not have to be a slave to them. That fifteen-minute God break between craving and action has become a fundamental tool of my recovery and has saved me from relapse on many occasions.
God, grant me the willingness to pause and ask for help before acting on my craving.