It has often been said that two of the biggest triggers for an addict / alcoholic to relapse are romance and finance. The Big Book of Alcoholic’s Anonymous suggests that resentment is the biggest offender. However, when there are problems with relationships or money, those can often times turn in to resentments. When things are good at home romantically and financially, sobriety seems to be easier to manage.
However, triggers from romance and finance have no predjudices. They can occur when things are bad or good. When we are struggling to make ends meet, that could trigger us to want to just give up and use drugs or drink. The other side of that, when we have a lot of money this could also stir up thoughts of relapsing. We get a raise or a promotion at work, we inherit money or hit it big on a lottery ticket. These are things that might make us feel on top of the world and we should celebrate. Why not have a drink? Maybe we feel that we have the right to pay tribute to our new found earnings. The alcoholic and addict mind works in mysterious ways. Some times we are never satisfied. Our life is going good, we say “I deserve it”. Our life is going bad, we say “The heck with it, what do I have to lose?” We lose our job and we think the worst. We think our lives are over and desperation sets in. I might as well get wasted, I have nothing else.
When it comes to relationships, this also can trigger thoughts of relapse. It could be a new relationship, that is in it’s honeymoon stage. Everything is going great, we are so in love. We think that we have found the one. We have found our soulmate. Everything in our world around us seems bright and wonderful. A thought of a drink, or maybe a pill sounds like a good idea. We are so happy, one or two couldn’t possibly bring us down. On the flip side of that, should that relationship start to sour, all bets are off. There starts to be more fighting in the relationship. Maybe you find out that your spouse has become unfaithful. Perhaps the finance issue has become a problem in the relationship. This is when desperation sets in. We think that we will never find anyone like them ever again in our life. We think that we will be alone forever. We always think the worst. We think we are going to die alone, no one will ever want us. This desperation often leads us to the bottle or drug of our choice.
These are two of the things that addicts and alcoholics have to really watch out for. We really have to pay attention to the warning signs. When big changes or any changes for that matter occur, it is imperative that you discuss it with your sponsor. If you are thinking of leaving your job for another, run it by them. If you are thinking about ending or getting into a new relationship you should talk to them about it. When there are changes like this in your life that are so significant, it is so important to get another point of view. Especially from a sponsor or someone that has quality sobriety. Nothing too good or too bad is worth risking your sobriety.