You Always Have A Choice

Written by DeShawn McQueen on Thursday, 03 January 2013. Posted in Voices in Recovery, Breaking News

Freedom From Addiction

At any given moment, alcoholics and addicts feel various different emotions and states of consciousness. Allow me to illustrate; since first waking up this morning, at 3:30 am, I have felt tired, happy, melancholy, overwhelmed, frustrated even angry.

At the recognition of any particularly feeling or emotion, like most alcoholics and addicts, I initially think it is a person, place and thing that brings about the emotion, and in many ways that is partially correct, depending on how you look at it.

To be more accurate, and to paraphrase what I have often heard in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, “…..it is not really the persons, places or things that trigger different feelings and emotions, it is really my PERCEPTION of the persons, places or things.”

Put another way, we can shift out of an uncomfortable feeling or emotion by (1) making the choice to look at the person, place or thing differently, or (2) choosing to take our focus off the person, place or thing and put it on something that relieves us of the emotion or provides us with some semblance of peace.

The more sobriety time that I develop the more that I recognize that we as alcoholics and addicts always have a choice, i.e., if an uncomfortable emotion seemingly overtakes us, we can recklessly grab onto it and let it take us where it wants to take us, usually into fear, resentment, or perhaps even back into active addiction; or, we can take a moment to recognize what we are feeling and then take the suitable action to feel otherwise.

Below are a number of suggestions that I have found useful:

    1. Say “God help me” until you begin to feel some semblance of peace;
    2. Slow down – allow presence into what you are doing;
    3. Take A Break – 10 minutes;
    4. Write a Gratitude list – 10 items;
    5. Take a whiff of an essential oil – lavender, jojoba, chamomile, etc;
    6. Get up, stretch or walk around;
    7. Grab a healthy snack;
    8. Repeat this affirmation – “I love myself just that way I am.”
    9. Turn on some ambient music – anything by Darshan Ambient is amazing;
    10. If a person that triggers you walks into a room that you are in, if you can, get up and walk out.

If all else fails, disregard your ego and avoid people, places and things. You will be surprised how God will eventually take care of the rest.


If you or someone that you love is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, please call or text us. We can help you.

Photo Courtesy of: motherrr.com

About the Author

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen is a staff writer at Recovery Now Newspaper and Recoverynowtv.com, an informative newspaper that serves as a resource for persons of all stages of drug and alcohol treatment, by giving them access to relevant and necessary information so that they may live balanced and substance-free lifestyles. DeShawn graduated from Wayne State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology and premedical sciences. He holds a Juris Doctors degree in law from Valparaiso University School of Law. DeShawn’s writing and research has been published in such academic journals as Behavioral Pharmacology and Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior among others. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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