– Reposted from the Center for Motivation & Change blog
Changing your relationship with substances or any compulsive behavior pattern takes time and practice.
When you first start to reduce or abstain from the behavior you are trying the change, you will likely have lots of “craving” to return to it. These moments of craving will happen when you are triggered by external (places, people, situations) and internal (certain mood or feeling states) cues that are associated with the behavior you are trying to change.
Lessons from Geese -Bill Abbott, SMART Recovery® Facilitator
SMART Recovery is a wonderful program that emphasizes self-management and self-empowerment. For this it offers tools based on sound and often evidence-based science—mostly clinical psychology but some neuroscience as well.
With all the emphasis on “self”—almost a do-it-yourself program—we often lose sight of another powerful feature of SMART—the mutual support groups in which all this is developed and promoted.
We like company, lots of the time—especially with like-minded people, hence the shelter and safety and power of a mutual support group complex. Like-minded people all in a room together discussing a common issue. A place were the afflicted can relax, become honest and open with their issues, without worry of judgment. This is present in both 12-steps groups and in SMART Recovery groups.
In my opinion SMART groups have the added feature of interactive discussion, promoting the feelings of like-mindedness and that “we are all in this together”. We are all united in spirit and intent to find relief for ourselves, and in so doing share that with others. All this falls under the concept of Compassion.
Many state that they go to 12-step meetings for “spirituality“ and attend SMART meetings for the tools and solutions. The implication is that there is no spirituality at SMART. Continue reading →
Holidays are a time for family, for celebration, and for increased stress and anxiety! The increase in family togetherness can bring a lot of joy, and it can also be a very difficult time, especially if you have been struggling with issues and have been identified as the “patient” in the family. All of the extra pairs of eyes, the questions of how you’re doing, and the increase in support, while well-intentioned, can actually increase stress and anxiety in the moment.
We all have triggers. It might be a situation or an emotion; a sight, sound or smell; a holiday or a time of day. Something that our brain learned over time to associate with our addictive behavior, and that it needs to unlearn as we start to break that connection. For me, it was cocktail receptions. They weren’t the only situation I associated with drinking – far from it – but they were one of the toughest. At the end of a long day at a conference, having watched what felt like 11,000 nearly-identical presentations in a row (and gulping down way too much coffee in order to stay alert) those clinking glasses and twinkling lights exerted a powerful pull. And the few times I ‘slipped’ after I quit (fortunately, one-drink slips) were at cocktail receptions. After the second time it happened, I knew I had to confront the situation…by avoiding it. Continue reading →
We live in a world full of instant self-gratification and we have little patience to wait or delay access to our “treats”. Almost everything nowadays is at a click of a button – literally! It is so difficult to say no to those appealing coupons and “must-have-it” deals. Everything around us attempts to help us get what we want faster – instantly, if possible. We want faster cars, faster computers, readily available food, easy access to the movie we want to see, appliances that work without problems, etc. While this may appear as a very appealing benefit of the modern society, it also undermines our ability to manage our frustration, when we do NOT get what we want immediately. Continue reading →
Every wonder what it means to be a balanced person? Does it mean being in control all the time? Being calm all the time? Able to handle anything? Moderate in all things? Able to stay composed when everyone else is falling apart? Being someone who manages to always eat right, work out, spend time with friends and family and manage a work life?