An awareness and understanding of urges is crucial to recovery. One way to understand urges is by recording them. After a few entries, participants may notice patterns and similarities about their urges. The log then becomes a road map that will help them to anticipate situations and emotions that may trigger urges and plan ways to avoid recognized triggers or distract themselves from the urge until it passes.
The urge log is a worksheet that can be completed between meetings, whenever a participant feels a strong urge to use or engage in their behaviour of concern.
By keeping a record of urges it is possible to see:
- That urges are time-limited
- That urges often arrive at particular times and in particular situations — in other words, they have a recognisable or predictable trigger.
This record can help us to understand urges and be less driven by them. It can also help in avoiding potential triggers. Sometimes, just by taking notice of a behaviour, it begins to change.