The first of the 5 heads of the dragon represents the behavioral triggers that have become associated with our using. For a smoker, some common behavioral triggers are pouring a coffee, starting the car, answering the phone, and finishing a meal. We use the letters BE to represent that connection between wanting to use and the BE-havioral that triggered it.
It’s important to note that replacement medication (nicotine patches, gum, etc., for the smoker) will not make your coffee cup stop reminding you that you smoked while you drank coffee in the past. A chemical (medicine) won’t resolve a behavioral trigger. When all is said and done, we need to change our habits, and perhaps more importantly, change our minds.
To use the example of smoking again, that coffee cup we’re holding may have a dozen or more tiny, but distinct chemical rewards “attached” to it – one chemical reward for each puff we took while having that coffee. You can certainly see how some of these behavioral triggers become to persistent.
Identify your behavioral triggers – those things you do while you use. Recognizing them and being willing to change some routines will really help you regain your freedom.
TO DO TODAY: Let’s agree that a behavior can’t “make” us use. Let’s be bigger than the trigger.
PLEASE COMMENT: What are your most noticeable behavioral triggers – things you do while you use? How might you be able to rearrange some of those habits and routines to make the association weaker?