Maybe some people at your job use. Maybe someone you live with uses. Believe it or not, these situations can be what you make them.
One of my clients who works in a pizzeria has a manager who smokes meth right in front of her. Sure, the urge strikes her, but she takes a big deep breath and focuses on her decision. Every time this happens, Carol (not her real name) feels empowered. She has faced down the monster, and she has won. It has actually gotten to the point that Carol welcomes these challenges because it shows her that her inner strength is protecting her, and she has become full of pity for the manager.
It might have gone the other way. Maybe the first time Carol saw the manager light up, she would have had an uncontrollable urge and would have succumbed to the temptation. In these ongoing events that test her, Carol continues to win. Carol says that urges she once considered uncontrollable can actually be controlled after all. These episodes are related with an amount of happiness that is infectious.
It seems that the restaurant business is notorious for employees that use. What is interesting is that getting a job in a restaurant is the most available job of all. Maybe openings happen with great frequency because employers discover that employees are getting high.
Another client, not as strong as Carol, landed a job in a shoe department of a major department store. This client had been clean for the better part of a year. The temptations were just too much for him, and he used after finally being offered drugs time after time. Fortunately, he is back in treatment, but he no longer has the level of confidence in himself that he was beginning to develop. In cases like this, where the addict has been clean and finds himself in an environment where people are using and offering drugs, the best thing to do is to quit the job. But the reality is, with unemployment being so rampant it is hard to walk away from a job.
It is imperative that you pay attention to self-talk when you find yourself in this type of a scenario. You must pay attention to the voice in your head. When you hear the voice starting to waver, maybe saying, “why can they smoke weed and I cannot?” or you start to feel jealous about them using, or maybe starting to feel left out, at these moments you have to take action. Yup, you know the drill. You don’t even have to find a telephone. Chances are you have a phone in your pocket. Call! Call your sponsor, your coach, or anyone of the five people on your slip plan.
Fill your head with thoughts of strength. Tell yourself that the urge will pass because it will. Be clear about what it really means to you, to your life, if you use. Remind your mind who is ultimately in charge. Repeat your mantra. I tell my clients to repeat over and over: I. Control. Me. While you start to repeat this, move! That’s right. Move away. Move fast. Move as if your life depends on it because that is exactly what is happening. It is a speeding freight train coming right straight at you. Move.
Deep breaths. Congratulate yourself. Every time you win, you win. It is recorded inside of you. It is the building of a foundation. It is the watering of your own little acorn. Make no mistake; it is easy to cave. Recall that you decide. You are the decider. You are the boss of you. You are your authority.
Move away and smile. Yeah. Good move. Another deep breath. It’s OK. It’s OK.