When quit­ting Tina, you will like­ly have to deal with trig­gers, crav­ing and the pos­si­bil­i­ty of relaps­ing.
Espe­cial­ly if you used for a long time and inten­sive­ly.
The temp­ta­tion will be par­tic­u­lar­ly strong in the begin­ning.
Hear­ing Grindr’s noti­fi­ca­tion beep or the word “slam”, or even sim­ply feel­ing lone­ly might be enough to pro­voke a crav­ing for Tina.

For­tu­nate­ly, the temp­ta­tion will dimin­ish over time.
But there are also things you can do to get through the process and pre­vent a relapse.

Process: Trig­ger >> think­ing >> crav­ing >> using


A trig­ger is any­thing that revives a mem­o­ry of using Tina.
These mem­o­ries typ­i­cal­ly make you con­sid­er using Tina again.
These thoughts tend to pro­voke intense crav­ing par­tic­u­lar­ly in the begin­ning.
If you do noth­ing to resist, you’ll soon have your hands on a pipe or a nee­dle in your arm once again.

Try to remem­ber that even the worst crav­ings will usu­al­ly sub­side after a few min­utes.
Crav­ing does not have to lead auto­mat­i­cal­ly to using!


Trig­gers
Avoid­ing Trig­gers
Block­ing unhelp­ful thoughts
What to do if you expe­ri­ence crav­ing any­way?
Han­dling a relapse


Trig­gers

There are exter­nal and inter­nal trig­gers.
Exter­nal trig­gers are things in your envi­ron­ment that revive mem­o­ries of using.
These may include a par­tic­u­lar scent, Grindr’s beep, bump­ing into some­one you know from sex par­ties, or cycling through your reg­u­lar dealer’s neigh­bour­hood.

An inter­nal trig­ger is any­thing with­in you that revives mem­o­ries of using.
These are usu­al­ly emo­tions.
When you’re down or sad, you may be tempt­ed to sup­press these feel­ings by using Tina.
Oth­ers are tempt­ed to use when they’re hap­py.
The idea being to cel­e­brate their hap­pi­ness and enhance it.

For oth­ers still, being crit­i­cized, or feel­ing hurt, embar­rassed, reject­ed or bored can be a trig­ger.
Any strong emo­tion or feel­ing can be a trig­ger if it is linked with using Tina.
Besides emo­tions, horni­ness can also be a pow­er­ful trig­ger.


Avoid­ing Trig­gers

The pre­vi­ous sec­tion offered some strate­gies for han­dling trig­gers.
Keep your home free of drugs, make sure your old sex bud­dies can’t con­tact you, and don’t leave your week­end sched­ule emp­ty.

If you’re trig­gered fre­quent­ly, con­sid­er redec­o­rat­ing your home, lis­ten­ing to new types of music, cycling alter­na­tive routes or doing your shop­ping else­where.
Any­thing to change your rou­tines and ban­ish mem­o­ries of Tina.


Block­ing unhelp­ful thoughts

Ulti­mate­ly, you can­not ban­ish trig­gers com­plete­ly.
Some­thing you may nev­er have con­sid­ered a trig­ger can sud­den­ly pro­voke thoughts of Tina.
You’re think­ing about some­thing inno­cent, and the next thing you know you’re think­ing about sex and Tina, and before you know it you’re gripped by severe crav­ing.
It’s there­fore impor­tant to block such thoughts before they pro­voke crav­ing.
You can do this in dif­fer­ent ways.
Exper­i­ment to find what works best for you.

❗ Tips & Tricks - Here are a few exam­ples:
  • Visu­al­i­sa­tion
    If you’re high­ly visu­al, you can use this method to pre­tend you’re watch­ing TV or a film.
    Imag­ine watch­ing a film of your­self using Tina.
    Then use the remote con­trol to change chan­nels or pick a dif­fer­ent film.
    Make sure the new pro­gramme or film is one that makes you feel good.
    For exam­ple, visu­al­ize a won­der­ful vaca­tion or some­one you love dear­ly.
  • Sum­mon strong emo­tions
    If you’re some­one who expe­ri­ences strong emo­tions, sum­mon­ing those that do not trig­ger crav­ing is an option.
    Sum­mon­ing these emo­tions can block out thoughts of using.
    Think, for exam­ple, of some­thing that makes you very angry (such as a polit­i­cal issue) or some­thing that scares you (such as spi­ders or heights).
  • Phys­i­cal dis­trac­tion
    If you aren’t very good at visu­al­iz­ing or sum­mon­ing emo­tions, then a phys­i­cal strat­e­gy might be the answer.
    A wide­ly used trick is to wear a thick elas­tic band around the wrist.
    When­ev­er you catch your­self think­ing of Tina, give your­self a jolt of pain by snap­ping the elas­tic band.
    This will inter­rupt the thought.
    If you’re at home, clench­ing your fist around some ice cubes for a few min­utes can help.


What to do if you expe­ri­ence crav­ing any­way?

Haven’t been able to block out the thoughts and you’re now expe­ri­enc­ing a strong crav­ing?
This is frus­trat­ing and can even be fright­en­ing.
But if you resist, the crav­ing will usu­al­ly start to ease in a few min­utes.
There are a num­ber of tricks that can help you to out­last the crav­ing.

Crav­ing does not have to lead auto­mat­i­cal­ly to using.

❗ Tips & Tricks - What to do if you expe­ri­ence crav­ing any­way?
  • Surf your crav­ing
    Crav­ing is like a wave.
    It builds and builds until it breaks.
    After which it rolls back into the sea and dis­ap­pears.
    The mech­a­nism of crav­ing is sim­i­lar.
    If you don’t give in to it, the wave will break and dis­ap­pear again.
    So imag­ine your­self surf­ing the crav­ing-wave towards the beach.
    You’re on top of the crav­ing rather than inside it.
    Surf the crav­ing-wave all the way to the beach until it rolls back into the sea.
  • Acknowl­edge your crav­ing and talk hon­est­ly about it!
    If you suf­fer reg­u­lar bouts of crav­ing, talk­ing about it is one of the best things you can do.
    Some men feel ashamed, pre­tend they’re all right and keep it to them­selves.
    But crav­ing devel­ops a life of its own when kept secret.
    You’ll be amazed at how relieved you’ll be when you talk about it.
    Crav­ing eas­es its grip when you talk about it.
    Find some­one with whom you can be com­plete­ly open.
    This may be a friend, fam­i­ly mem­ber or sobri­ety spon­sor.
    What’s impor­tant is that the per­son can lis­ten with­out pan­ick­ing or judg­ing.
    Show them infor­ma­tion on this site con­cern­ing trig­gers, crav­ing and relaps­ing.
    It’s impor­tant for them and for you to under­stand that crav­ing is part of the process, and does not auto­mat­i­cal­ly lead to a relapse.
  • Tell some­one about it imme­di­ate­ly!
    Don’t give your crav­ing time to devel­op.
    When you feel it com­ing, don’t wait for it to build; call some­one imme­di­ate­ly and talk to them about it.
    At NA (Nar­cotics Anony­mous) or CMA (Crys­tal Meth Anony­mous) meet­ings, there will usu­al­ly be a list of men you can always call in case of emer­gency.
  • Go straight to a group meet­ing
    Don’t wait until the next occa­sion of your favourite meet­ing; go to the first one you can find.
    If you’ve nev­er been before, now is the time to start.
    Lis­ten to oth­ers or share your sto­ry.
    What’s impor­tant is that you’ll be sur­round­ed by sober men who can lend sup­port.
    If there are no CMA or NA meet­ings in your city, go to an AA meet­ing instead.
  • Recall the rest of your mem­o­ries
    The thoughts that pro­voke crav­ing are usu­al­ly mem­o­ries of the “good” times.
    Mem­o­ries about things like the first time you had sex on Tina, sex with attrac­tive guys, or oth­er sim­i­lar­ly arous­ing expe­ri­ences.
    If such thoughts flood your mind, force your­self to also recall the “bad” times.
    Recall the men you wouldn’t have fucked if you’d been sober, the fright­en­ing bouts of psy­chosis, the hor­ri­ble com­ing downs, the things you lost because of Tina, and just how bad you felt just before you decid­ed to stop.
  • Get up and move
    When you feel your crav­ing com­ing on, intense phys­i­cal activ­i­ty can be a help­ful dis­trac­tion.
    Take a brisk walk.
    Go jog­ging, swim­ming or run­ning, or go for a work­out at the gym.
    You’ll find that phys­i­cal activ­i­ty also has a men­tal effect.
    Mov­ing the body moves the mind.


Han­dling a relapse

If you suc­ceed in quit­ting Tina the first time, you will be an excep­tion.
Espe­cial­ly if you’ve been using inten­sive­ly and for a long time.

Quit­ting Tina is a learn­ing process, and relaps­ing is often a part of that process.
It’s a bit like learn­ing to ride a bike.
It often involves falling off, get­ting back up and try­ing again.

How you cope with a relapse mat­ters con­sid­er­ably.
Stop using again as soon as you can, don’t be too hard on your­self, and learn from your relapse!

❗ Tips & Tricks - Han­dling a relapse:
  • Get back up and car­ry on
    A relapse can arouse feel­ings of pow­er­less­ness, shame, guilt or anger.
    Cast these feel­ings aside imme­di­ate­ly.
    They are not help­ful and solve noth­ing.
    Focus on get­ting back up and try­ing again.
    Reflect on what caused your relapse.
    And think about what to do dif­fer­ent­ly in future.
  • Learn­ing process
    A relapse can make you assume your efforts have been for noth­ing.
    And think that you’ll have to start from the begin­ning again.
    Like a moun­taineer who has fall­en all the way down.
    And that get­ting back up again means start­ing anew.
    But you can choose instead to put what’s hap­pened in per­spec­tive.
    In 6 weeks of sobri­ety, you’ve used just once; this means you’ve been sober for 5 weeks and 6 days.
    That’s prob­a­bly a lot more than in the 6 weeks pri­or to quit­ting.
    Not a 100% suc­cess, but it is sig­nif­i­cant progress.
    You have not lost every­thing you’ve learnt in the 6 weeks.
    Get­ting back up and car­ry­ing on may even become increas­ing­ly eas­i­er.
    Car­ry on until you suc­ceed.
  • Stop as soon as you can
    It can be tempt­ing to let your­self fall back into your old habit after a relapse.
    But resist the temp­ta­tion to go: Fuck it! Now that I’ve used again, I might as well car­ry on using.
    The soon­er you stop again, the eas­i­er it’ll be to climb back on that horse and learn from the relapse.