RosieF wrote:any strong emotion leading to stress and anxiety which is followed by desperate need to disassociate myself from people and feelings - this is what will drive me to pick up.
Has been my downfall many many many times.
Two things: reducing my exposure to high stress / anxiety when possible and when it's unavoidable dealing with them in a healthy manner is what I've worked on.
Some things that helped me: meditation, spiritual fitness, helping others, exercise, writing, talking to others, praying, getting adequate sleep, healthy eating, personal inventory, making amends, steps, journals, reading
Being sober and making better decisions has led to less stress in a lot of ways, and I have better coping strategies now too.
I don't hit that mental state where the desire for a drink becomes overwhelming and all consuming like it had in the past. I know that mental state well, if I get there, things won't go well for me. I have to maintain vigilance and awareness in times of higher stress to stay healthy, or bad things happen.