How to Walk Through Temptation and Stay Sober

We get the invitation: A co-worker is retiring, and there’s a send off at the local restaurant/bar. Or, an old friend is flying in from out of town, and the gang is planning a welcome-home party. Though we know there’ll be alcohol or drugs at these gatherings, we’re sure we won’t be tempted to partake.

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When we get there, we’re greeted by laughter and booze. Everyone is having a great time, and we find ourselves loosening up. “Just one drink couldn’t hurt,” we think. Just one line. Just one hit. Just one.

The scenario could be one of a dozen in which we’re presented with an opportunity to use. When faced with the temptation to pick up a drink or a drug, it’s easy to con ourselves into thinking this time will be different. “I’ve been sober for a while,” we tell ourselves. “I’ve learned my lesson. I can handle it now.”

As recovering addicts and alcoholics, we know, deep down, that we cannot have just one of anything. We have “the disease of more,” and just one sets off the phenomenon of craving that soon spirals back out of control. The only defense is total abstinence. But how?

First, we acknowledge the temptation. We’re mindful of the situation and the fact that we’re facing a relapse. As soon as we can, we step away from the situation by retreating to another room or going outside. We immediately call our sponsor, a sober friend or a trusted family member, and we honestly discuss our temptation. We don’t minimize the situation; this is life or death.

We ask our higher power to remove the temptation to relapse, and we say the Serenity Prayer. We think back to the bottom we hit before entering treatment, and we play the tape all the way to the end. We remind ourselves of the misery and misfortune our addiction brought us. If we pick up a drink or a drug, it will not end well. The idea that we can safely use again must be dispelled. Above all, we remember that today, we have a choice. We choose sobriety, we choose recovery, and we choose life.


Life is yours for the living. Through the rehabilitation programmes at Smarmore Castle Private Clinic, you will learn how to live in a way that promotes lifelong abstinence while continuing to create optimal health of mind, body, and spirit. Call to speak with one of our caring staff members today for information: +353 41 214 5111

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Smarmore Castle has the facilities and staff to help you regain control of your life, request a call-back from one of our professionals today. The choice you make today could change your life forever.

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