So far I have been adding pieces of the recovery puzzle that will make your journey easier to understand and achieve. Let’s put all the pieces together. Once you master or fully understand the concept illustrated by the CBT Map at the beginning of this blog and how it relates to the 14 Recovery Themes you will notice that you have discovered how your operating system works.
It all starts with your beliefs/values system. You think about these things. You get what you think about. If you think about using you will eventually use – your addict behavior. Your reticular activating system will get it for you because that is how you are programming it. Garbage in – garbage out, GIGO as the original computer programmers called it.
You’ve been creating disempowering or limiting neural pathways. If you want different results you should do something different. Changing your thinking s not enough. You must explore and resolve your permission-granting, limiting core beliefs before you can expect long lasting change of behavior.
This is a good time to address a basic truth. You will have a very difficult time of it if you keep hanging with the same slippery people in slippery places thinking about or doing slippery things. Yes. This could be your friends, significant other partner (boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, lover, etc.) and family.
Now, away from all the harmful elements in your life you will get a chance to reprogram your brain and reticular activating system creating new empowering neural pathways. Think about sobriety, recovery and Transcendence.
A few other things that you will need to know and understand is how you navigate or make sense out of your world. Are you visual, auditory or kinesthetic (a see, hear or feel person?)? These are three major senses that we use exploring our realities. Use your primary preferred learning style first to create new images, sounds or feelings.
It’s important too to realize that all behavior has a positive intent and we do things to move away from pain and toward pleasure. The Pain-Pleasure Cycle is the result of how we create our mental or emotional states. We are all capable of changing our emotional state in a flash – in the blink of an eye. Some say instantly.
Try this. Think of a situation that is mildly upsetting. Maybe a 4-5 on a 1-10 scale where 1 is mild and 10 is extreme. Make an image of that situation. See what you see, hear what you hear and feel what you feel. Be in it fully.
Now – with your eyes closed if you can, jump up and down and around turning in a circle and with a smile on your face (you need the smile) say out loud – I’VE GOT A WIENER NOSE AND STINKY FEET! Repeat it. WIENER NOSE AND STINKY FEET! Lol, can you believe it? You changed how you felt in an instant.
What did you learn in this post? Beliefs and values lead to thinking, feelings, emotions and behavior. You know about the 14 Recovery Themes and you know that you have a preferred learning system (VAK) in addition to smell and taste. You learned that you are in control of your thoughts, feelings and emotions. You can change how you feel in an instant.
Now – some people looked at the wiener nose idea and just blew it off without trying it. Why? Because of their beliefs. They believed it was silly or not possible. But that’s the whole point. It starts with your beliefs. If what you are doing isn’t working you must do something different: ANYTHING! More on this in the next post.