How to cut ties with people who trigger you in sobriety

New to AA? Got questions? Here's the place to ask. Note that no one person speaks "officially" for AA. AA meetings in your local area are always the best source of information. Note that anyone may post and reply to messages in this forum.

How to cut ties with people who trigger you in sobriety

Postby lamaenad » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:12 pm


Most of us know how important it is to cut ties with people who trigger cravings of drugs or alcohol, but many of us many don't know how. I have friends who are in recovery that I used to use drugs with... even in sobriety, they trigger my drug use. Any practical advice on how to approach this without causing resentments, conflict, or feelings of guilt later on? Also, what is the most helpful, loving way to cut out triggers who are still in active alcoholism? Thank you for your advice.
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:06 pm

Re: How to cut ties with people who trigger you in sobriety

Postby Brock » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:03 am

Welcome here lamaenad. I think the question of those still in active alcoholism is one in which I have some experience, and in my case most of those friends were just drinking buddies I didn't see anywhere but the bar, when I stopped going to bars I stopped seeing them, looking back we couldn't have been real 'friends' in any case. It cut the list of those who I thought were friends way down, and the couple of them who kept in touch I told them what I was doing regarding recovery, they supported my effort and we remain friends.

It's tough for you if friends in recovery still 'trigger' your own drug use, but I believe the fact that you are concerned about their feelings if you stop seeing them is a good indicator, and if you put it that way to them by saying I really don't want to hurt your feelings, but this is what I feel I have to do, they will understand. Maybe not right away in some cases, but the recovery program itself when we go through the steps opens everyone’s eyes, and any resentment they feel now they will drop later on.

I wish you all the best in getting over this hurdle successfully, and a bright and happy future in recovery, for me it's opened a great new life I never expected.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Forums Coordinator
Posts: 3545
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: How to cut ties with people who trigger you in sobriety

Postby Noels » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:38 am

Hi Iamaenad :D I second what Brock said
Mwah xxx Noels

Re: How to cut ties with people who trigger you in sobriety

Postby positrac » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:00 am

If you expect success with your program then changing people, places and things is a huge start.

1) People- Since you aren't using then many of those people are outside of your circle, and those in the rooms you know are just as messed up as you are----- No criticism here as this is a fact as I've been on this path at one time. So next is;
2) Places- I would hope you aren't visiting the places you used as it is a sure way to get into a relapse, meetings go to other meetings if these people trigger thoughts. We are supposed change out conversations from all about our addiction to more lessons learned on right living and we do mention our past as a means of not forgetting. Drug/drunk a logs aren't healthy to our recovery.
3) Things- This one is really open ended and it takes a lot of time to narrow down our things we should not be around. Music, or TV shows, places to eat and or whatever as our sobriety is on our shoulders and we need to learn to live life on life's terms.

Over they years I have shed a lot of people even in the rooms as just because we get sober doesn't mean we get wings and hallows as some people just aren't using and don't try to change for the better. My opinion this is a process and you can work this in many different ways.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.
User avatar
Trusted Servant
Posts: 1284
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: How to cut ties with people who trigger you in sobriety

Postby Roberth » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:01 pm

Hello lamaenad. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. You might want to attend a few Alanon meetings.
The book states for us to stay away from slippery place unless we have a reason to go there.
So our rule is not to avoid a place where there is drinking, if we have a legitimate reason for being there. That includes bars, nightclubs, dances, receptions, weddings, even plain ordinary whoopee parties.” Pg 101
I had to accept the fact that I couldn’t drink anymore. What others do is not up to me. I can blame my drinking on so many things but plain and simple it’s my disease trigged me. If I am not spiritually fit my disease will win. And so far the score is Robert 9191 to disease 0
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!
User avatar
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 703
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:53 pm
Location: In The High Desert of California

Return to For the Newcomer

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests