Strategy 1: Awareness


Awareness is becoming more fully grounded in the present moment.


Developing the ability to stay in the present moment is an important step in recovery. Many abuse survivors spend a lot of time fixating on the past or thinking about the future, but healing comes through recognizing what your current thoughts and feelings are. The first step in learning to manage your emotions is becoming aware of them. Cultivating a willingness to be fully in the present moment will help. To be present, you need to be aware of what is going on, both inside and outside of you. In a moment of crisis, you can use this strategy to become aware of your body and bring yourself back to the present.


“Going through the classes and group therapies taught me I am normal. I learned, I wasn’t weird or abnormal in what I felt. I found out to be aware of my surroundings and what triggers were and how to deal with them. In all these years, I just hid things back in my mind so I wouldn’t think of the sexual abuse. I found out that others felt the same thing I was feeling. I wasn’t alone anymore.”

 

Addiction and Living in the Present

Awareness, one of the Five Strategies to Reclaim Hope, means being grounded in the present moment. So what does that mean to a trauma survivor with an addiction?

Grounding Techniques: Breathing

Breathing gives you something to focus on and control as well as providing much-needed oxygen to your brain during a triggering moment…