18 Years of sobriety yet, you can still be triggered out of nowhere.
For those that know me, I have always been very vocal about my alcoholism and my journey to continue staying sober. In February 2023, I reach my 18th year milestone. As I continue to celebrate my monthly wins (the 9th day of each month) I always try to share some insight with those who follow me.
In the past couple weeks, I was triggered by a simple smell of Jack. In my heavy drinking days, Budweiser and Jack Daniels were my "go to". Day in, and day out, I would sip, gulp and pour both down my throat. Always searching for the "high" the feeling of being "comfortably numb" where you're not "drunk" but you're no longer sober. Relaxed enough to forget the trials of the day, but coherent (at least thats what I'd tell myself) enough to function.
So the last Friday in April, my wife and I went out with my longtime, best friend, Todd to happy hour (with many friends) then we three went out to dinner. During our dinner, Nickie saw a drink that was based with Jack, a splash of Fireball and a toasted marshmallow hanging across the brim of the glass. she loves roasted marshmallows, so she was intrigued with the drink. Not a normal "whiskey drinker" she asked if I cared if she ordered it, I said no, go ahead. After 18 years, I can easily handle friends and colleagues drinking around me, my Time limit in bars is about 2 hours, so I was find with this.
As the drink arrived, the scent of Jack Daniels made its way over to me. The smell triggered me in a way I wasn't ready for. It was kind of a shock, I can handle NA Beer all day long, but the smell of Jack as she tried it and set it on the table made me nervous. I quickly moved the drink over to Todd so it was away from me. Understand, neither of them would let me "touch it" and it was not my intention, I am much stronger than that. But the scent triggered a desire.
If you're struggling with booze, drugs or any mental health issues, make sure you have someone you can lean on, talk too and make sure they have your back in time of need. I am lucky, I have a few of those people in my life.
Heres a the story in a little more detail: