Riding the SMART Recovery “Tremor”

by Julie Myers, PsyD

Volunteer Adviser, SMART Recovery San Diego

You’ve probably heard of “riding the wave” during an urge to use.  Riding the wave is a way to experience the urge, without letting it control you.  Urges are time limited, and they eventually pass, just like a wave.   Although urges may feel intolerable, frankly, people do not go crazy or die of a simple urge, and with continued abstinence, they decrease in intensity and frequency.

To ride the wave, acknowledge the urge, allowing it to pass.  Some waves will be big, but most will be small swells that you can easily ride out.  From the SMART Recovery® handbook (p. 4-8), “Ride that wave; relax into the feeling; be confident that it can’t last forever; experience the surge; wait for the ebb; stay on top; keep your balance; don’t wipe out…”

But have you ever heard of riding out the tremor?   This metaphor was recently offered by one of our San Diego attendees.  She likens urges to tremors, which are time-limited and easily pass.  Usually, we experience just small tremors, although we never know for sure how those tremors will end.  If those tremors turn into an earthquake (craving), we may have to take preemptive action, such as finding a distraction, exercise, calling a friend, etc,


Copyright 2011 Julie Myers, PysD:  Psychologist in San Diego.  All Rights Reserved.


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