Author: Ann Schiebert
Types of Reality Distortion Systems
I’m Not an Addict cont’d
How to Implement New Behavior
What to Resist: With recovery from addiction, one must resist any and all temptations to indulge in addict behavior. This can be very challenging, since we have practiced our addict thinking and behavior for many years, and it seems natural. We do it without thinking. Our practices, beliefs, and emotional connections form the foundation for this Reality Distortion System. Therefore, to be successful in moving toward a Reality Clarity System and leaving this RDS, one must replace old practices with new ones.
There are emotional connections with using: happy, glad, sad, mad, stressed, frustrated, disrespected, are a few emotions that trigger one to use. Therefore, one must have a recovery plan for every connection between emotions and using. For example lets devise a recovery plan for, "mad."
What to do when Angry
|Emotion – Anger||Old Addict Behavior||For Recovery|
|Feeling Insulted makes me angry||Drink/use, start a fight/argument||Call recovery friend to discuss|
|Feeling unheard triggers anger||Yelling at the person who I perceive as not listening||Telling the person I need a break. Take a walk. Write about it. Talk to a friend in recovery.|
|When my spouse charges on the credit card when we have agreed she wouldn’t use it, I feel furious.||Go to the bar and drink it away with my drinking pals.||Work with a friend in recovery to devise a way to protect myself from spouse’s financial irresponsibility – such as taking my name off the charge card, canceling it.|
|Feeling angry when your in-laws visit and lecture you about your career.||Storm out of the house with a pout and go use.||Set a boundary with them that this topic is not subject to discussion.
"I feel upset when you express your dissatisfaction with my chosen career or current job, and I want you to know I won’t be engaging in conversation about that any more."
|Feeling that someone is trying to make me wrong.||Escalate the debate by arguing for hours, getting more angry in the process, and using to relieve my angry feelings.||Detach – who cares if someone else thinks their opinion should be held by everyone. Excuse yourself and go for a walk.|
One emotion at a time, we have to discover the emotions that lead us to relapse and hold us firmly in the addict RDS.
Next post: More things to resist.