A “time-out” is a guaranteed method for stopping the cycle of addictive, self-destructive behavior toward oneself, or destructive, violent behavior toward another. All is takes is contientious effort to work with yourself and a commitment to do the exercise faithfully.
Whenever you begin to feel frustrated or out of control, or you feel your desire to ‘use’ arising, say to yourself or your partner:
“I am beginning to feel _____ and I need to take a time-out.”
The find an alternative behavior that will help change your physical and emotional state.
Go for a walk
Feel the wind on your face
Write in your journal
Call someone
Take a shower
Attend a 12-step meeting
Call your sponsor
Brush your teeth
Call a crisis line
Talk to your ‘inner child’ and find our what is really going on
Think about a time when not taking a ‘time-out’ led to real pain or problems in your life
Fantasize what the worst-case scenario could be if you acted on your impulses right now
Ask yourself, ‘what about me am I trying to avoid experiencing right now, and what would be so bad about experiencing that?’
See if you can find compassion for the suffering you are experiencing, and treat yourself in a nurturing way instead.
The point is to break the stressful energy, and to do something that will not be damaging to yourself or others.
You can also take ‘practice time-outs’. This means practicing whatever self-soothing, self-nurturing behaviors you find useful to you when you are not feeling in danger of using or abusing. This helps incorporate these new stress-management tools into your daily life, so that they are there for you at all times, not just when you are in a potential state of crisis.

Author's Bio: 

Johanna Courtleigh is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Hypnotherapist and Confidence Coach in private practice in Lake Oswego, OR, just south of Portland. She is also a Certified HypnoFertility® Therapist, assisting women and couples who've been unable to conceive reach their goal of becoming pregnant and bringing beautiful, healthy babies into the world. She has been a Certified Hypnotherapist since 1988, a Licensed Counselor in full-time private practice since 1991, and in the helping professions for over twenty-five years.
Her work seeks to help people create more loving, healthy relationships internally. To heal from the mistruths they've been taught, and to awaken a core of deeper reverence, self-love, awareness, empowerment, ease and integrity--with themselves and in their relationships with others. She is passionate about helping create a more peaceful world, and helping her clients become happier, healthier and more 'in love', as a state of being.
Contact information:
(503) 684-8481
(503) 473-7787