Here is a link to an amazing short video explain in very basic terms how the disease model of addiction is changing. Just cut and paste the link, and then watch the video.
Your focus/attention is a skill and an easy way to start learning this skill is by counting your breaths. Simply breath in, and then out and as you breath out ... count "one"; then just repeat. See how far you can count before your mind goes some place else. This task is hard for your 'normal' person; it is especially hard (and therefore more beneficial) for those in recovery. As our lives literally depend on learning how to pay attention again!
Watch up to at least 6:40. Or enjoy the whole video as you have time.
Learn to use your mind to work for you, instead of against you! Learn to think higher than how you FEEL!
Every time we choose to think about something else, we give our brain the opportunity to 'rewire' itself. The reason you do what you do today, is because you have learned to do them that way. If you want to change, you simply need to 'work' at it!
I hope the activities help you to see new perceptions and new possibilities in your life. For this one, we are trying to figure out where you are going to be headed. The idea is, if you don't know where you really want to go in life, or what you really want to achieve ... how are you supposed to be working on that goal each day?
In the field of recovery, there is only so much you can do for someone. You can give them advice and redirection; you can give them different ways of thinking; you can give them coping tools; you can schedule apts for them; you can give them the addresses of other places that can help.
However, if they don't 'want to' then there is nothing "we can do for them." They have to want to stay away from people; they have to want to make the apts; they have to want to read the new ways of thinking; they have to ... do the work. None of this can be forced upon anyone else, it must be shouldered by the person actually going through the battle of recovery.
Now here is the rub, in order for those around you to be able to help you ... you have to tell them the truth about what is going on! The old adage of "you can't fix it if you don't know it's not broken" is just as true in helping people in recovery. Keeping the truth from those that are trying to care for you, is not helping you. And keeping the truth from yourself, is even worse! Telling yourself that everyone is out to get you, or no one cares, or everyone is judging you ... is just allowing you to stay in active addiction!
In recovery ... the truth will set you free!
I wanted to talk about something that is very important for recovery, that most people don't think about ... your focus! Just about all recovery incorporates some sort of mental retraining. Well how exactly are you supposed to make yourself think differently, if you can't 'focus' on something new for the time required (roughly 17 seconds for the feeling to take place) to make the changes?
Try it now. Try holding one thought in your mind for as long as you can. If you are like everyone else you are not going to get very far. Your attention normally breaks about every 6-8 sec on it's own and unless you are really focusing on something it's going to continue to jump around like a monkey on crack!
So, to improve your attention ... start counting your breaths. Count on the inhale or the exhale and try to just keep your attention on your breath; feel the rise and fall of your chest, how good it feels to actually take a lung full of air (most of us breath very shallow on a regular basis). See if you can count 20, 30, 50 without your mind wandering off like a child at the store.
You will find that the more you do it, the easier it gets ... as attention is a SKILL! Try doing it at work, while watching a commercial, while riding in the car; anytime you can. You will quickly learn how to think about, what YOU want to think about. And that will give you the ability to actually start making some real changes in your life!
Who am I?
I have been called "Sirthinkalot" and "The mender of souls." I am an addiction specialist and a full-time psychology student on the way to Dr. Davis in clinical psychology. I am currently crusading for the expedited paradigm shift in addiction recovery!