The boss wants this when? My partner wants this, wants that and all right now. I’ve got to have that promotion right now. I’ve got to have that money right now.
We overload ourselves. Sometime it is with our language or self-talk. Sometime it is simply the wrong perspective, belief or value. The works of Albert Ellis, (ABC Theory, REBT) and Aaron T. Beck, (CBT) point this out clearly. The CBT Thoory Map which I’ve included shows how this works.
Do you mean I have to stay clean and sober for the rest of my life? Some people, say someone 30 years old, who may have been having a drinking problem as an example, is considering stopping drinking. But they are haunted by the idea that they cannot drink for the next 70 years. Wow! That’s a pretty big order. And he feels overwhelmed.
Well good news again. Calm down. You are blowing this way out of proportion. Your answer, much to your relief is, No! Just for today – drink something else. Water, juice, soda, coffee or whatever are fine.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) calls this “one day at a time.” Or, a baby step. A small chunk.
If you ‘chunk it’ you break down the task into smaller more manageable pieces. Just for this next hour. Just for this morning. Just for today. You get it, don’t you?
Sales people can benefit from this idea. Maybe you have 500 calls to make this week. Wow! It’s a big number. But, the truth is that you are overwhelming yourself with all these gottas and you gotta do it all now. Your only real concern is the call you make right this moment. You really have only one call to make.
You get paid for the noes too. So embrace them. How many noes do you need to get the response that you want? It might be an appointment. It might be a sale. But it’s the big pay day that the small chunk individual calls add up to.
In AA it’s a day at a time. That’s AA’s small chunk method. And it works if you work it. Hey! Isn’t life that way too?
One more thing as long as I mentioned healthier drink substitutes. Coffee seems to be the huge go to beverage in recovery. You know too much caffeine could upset you, make you anxious or disturb your sleep. Watch out for the sugar creep. People who are used to consuming large amounts of alcohol take in huge amounts of sugar. When you stop using alcohol you could find yourself putting more sugar in your coffee, buying a lot of candy for some reason or hanging around the bakery or ice cream shop. Guess how I know. Yep! Because that’s what happened with me. I hit the bakery on the way into town and the ice cream stand on the way out of town. I still love Milky Way and Snickers but I know they are not good for my A1C, sugar count.
I learned there was a ‘Positive Intent’ behind my new behavior. It was to replace the sugar that my body was not getting from the alcohol. So you see, there could be a positive intent behind behavior that is not good for you or might even be illegal.
Let’s stop beating up ourselves with the negative self-talk or blaming ourselves for eating too much of this or drinking too much that. There has been a positive intent. Usually it has something to do with moving toward pleasure or feeling better about ourselves or X. We tend to move away from pain and toward pleasure.
We self-medicate with the drugs of choice to feel better or different. Yes – alcohol is a drug. And, a drug, is a drug, is a drug.
What did you learn from this post? You learned about Recovery Themes 12 and 13 in this post. Chunking will make your life easier no matter what you are dealing with. Understanding Positive Intent and self-medicating is huge. But, it’s not an excuse for continuing harmful or illegal behavior.
Now it’s time to decide what you are going to do about your problem – and how.