When upcoming events seem particularly triggering, it is helpful to arrange in advance to contact someone in SAA, both before and after. Occasions that we might want to book-end include: family visits, parties, business obligations, dates, or travel. Often the “before” call is an opportunity for us to become more aware of what we are feeling. The contact allows us to enter the challenging situation feeling less alone. We create accountability for ourselves, which supports our sobriety. We can make commitments to another person about what might be the best way to handle ourselves in this situation. The “after” call often provides an opportunity to process what happened, to look at how we conducted ourselves, and to acknowledge the ways in which we showed up for the occasion. We also have the opportunity to reflect upon what we might do differently next time.
Some find it helpful to book-end self-care and program commitments. Also, for those of us who have a problem with procrastination around step work, book-ending blocks of time for writing or specific step tasks is especially helpful.
When reaching out to others for support, whether we anticipate a difficult situation ahead of time or simply find ourselves in the midst of one, it is useful to remember that we may be helping them as much as they are helping us.