Most of us who are in recovery went to rehab before ending up in the new found world of sobriety! Hooray sobriety! And if you went to rehab chances are you had an addiction counselor. Your addiction counselor had your best interest at heart and put up with your crazy antics. So while we list some of the stuff addiction counselors say and some of it is kind of funny or irrelevant try to remember they put up with your sick butt back in the day.
Here it is: The Stuff Addiction Counselors Say
“Have you had any triggers?” Before you got into recovery you believed triggers were like, um, a real thing, that you were going to have to deal with, like, um, all the time. Chances are you answered the question the exact same way I used to, by listing the literally infinite number of things that triggered you that day. It was, ya know, that one dude’s veins during the H&I meetings making you want to shoot up, you seeing the glowing lights of the bar across the street, you catching a whiff of orange juice, or someone just mentioning the word drugs. Ah! Insanity! “Yes, I had triggers!”
Your addiction counselor asks this question to see how you are doing and to see how capable you are of handling yourself in sobriety. Luckily, many addiction counselors are in recovery themselves and can direct you toward a solution that will get rid of those pesky triggers.
“Are you experiencing any PAWS?” Oh, PAWS, aka post-acute withdrawal syndrome. I was taught PAWs can last for years! Your counselor also asks this question to get a scope of how you are doing physically and mentally and also to get an idea of how you are handling those PAWs. I used to blame much of my behavior in early sobriety on PAWs as a joke. You know what I mean. Oh you tripped over your own feet? It was just your post-acute withdrawal. No big deal. The counselor gets an idea of how your body is healing based on PAWs.
“Any thoughts about using today?” I hate to put it like this, but DUH! I am sorry but if you were in rehab, and very early in recovery, and you went a day without thinking about using I applaud you. I spent my first few days and even my first week or so, in rehab in front of the TV, at night, watching Shark Week trying to forget about how much I wanted to use. Every time my counselor asked me this question in the very beginning of rehab, my answer was a resounding YES! Thank God for Shark Week.
“What does everyone think about that?” Okay, now we have gone from a one on one setting with your counselor to more of a group setting. You know this question well, but hopefully you never had this question presented in relation to something you did (wrong). Usually this question is presented to the group when you have, if I may put it bluntly, screwed up royally.
So what, you decided to sneak over to Gary’s room to have sex with him in the middle of the night, and you don’t think it’s that big of a deal. I mean you are still sober? So what is the issue? Your counselor has already pulled you aside before group and you think you are off the hook of dealing with it because ya know, you’ve chatted about it. Then your group starts and your addiction counselor says to the group right off the bat “What does everyone think about Sally’s actions last night?” and you are left to deal with feedback of the people whose opinions you actually care about. Your community. Eh. This terrible question is usually scary and makes your stomach do flip flops because you don’t want your community to dislike you. And to find out what they truly think is absolutely terrifying! But it is also necessary to your growth and being held accountable. Accept responsibility. Learn from your peers regardless of what is going on and then move on. Your addiction counselor knows what they are doing.
“I have been hearing you have been acting out on old behaviors.” Dun, dun, DUN! If your counselor says this, you messed up. I wouldn’t know exactly how, because your old behaviors can range from everything from gossip to isolating to flirting with other clients. I don’t know. Either way if you are acting out on old behaviors your addiction counselor is bound to hear about it and knows exactly what your old behaviors are. You blame yourself for even telling your addiction counselor what your old behaviors were, wonder who the little bird was that told on you, and may even try to explain how “THIS ISNT THE SAME”. Ohhh, but it is. You and your addiction counselor know it. Work on it. You can’t get sober and stay sober by acting the way you did when you were out using and drinking. Meaning you cannot keep acting like a selfish, um, butthead and stay sober.
That’s all for now! If you have any other good ones let us know!
If you or someone you love is seeking help for substance abuse or addiction please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.