News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™
Joy, Love, and Peace for 2018
Overcoming Your Special Addiction
Kind words about this newsletter...
So much good sense and helpful ideas, plus delightful cartoons and other odds and ends. Thank you!
Many thanks for sharing so many helpful ideas to encourage and confirm and suggest and...all those bits and pieces that give one a gentle push in a better direction when we need it.
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"This is my little brother. He's all messed up on Skittles and Mountain Dew."
"I've seen it a thousand times. Child star. Newfound fame. Drug addiction. Rock bottom."
"Hi. I'm Sue. It's been four months since my last tweet."
"You know it's O.K. to skip a news cycle."
Greetings dear ones,
It's August and so we've just had our annual Fiesta celebration complete with dancers, horses, food, and fun. Now we're in a hot stretch as we zoom towards Labor Day and the start of another school year. Does the time really fly faster the older you get? I overheard some folks swearing it does...
Last month I addressed the topic of stress / anxiety and the pull to avoid dealing with our underlying fear and other emotions. It doesn't matter where the fear comes from, it's just a physical sensation that manifests as antsiness. So what do we do when we need to escape that agitation that invades our minds and bodies? The answer is to partake in our addictions.
There are further details about how break addictions in the Action Chapter of my book
Attitude Reconstruction. And as an important note, I treat changing bad attitudes like overcoming addictions. Acting out our destructive attitudes, whether it's being sarcastic, worrying, or getting down on ourselves, all indicate unexpressed emotions are currently being triggered and begging to be transformed. So if you're so inclined you can apply the same strategy to change any destructive habit.
Read below about Attitude Reconstruction's take on how to break ourselves of our addictions, but first...
A Few Articles and Facts of Interest
Here's an article that details the
most germy places
you come in contact with, and it's not your kitchen or bathroom!
A new study shows that doctors listen on average 11 seconds before interrupting.
Videos Guaranteed to Bring a Smile!
You all remember "Alice's Restaurant?" Well Arlo brings down the house by doing a sing-along of the classic Elvis made popular:
RGB, aka, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on the Late Show. If you didn't see the movie, be on the lookout for it as it's a class act.
Speaking of feel good movies along the same vein, I'd suggest "Won't you be my neighbor?" It's a documentary about Mr. Rogers with Yo-Yo Ma's son!
"Hi. My name is Barry. I check my emails two to three hundred times a day."
All cartoons "borrowed" from the Cartoonbank.
What is an Addiction?
Picking our fingernails, eating a quart of ice cream at a single sitting, or mandatory daily vigorous exercise. Frequent prescription drug or alcohol use. Addictions are a reliance on any substance or activity that masks our emotions and provides an immediate but temporary dose of pleasure and/or distraction. Many of us have addictions to substances and activities that are under the radar. All are equally hard to give up. It's easy to point fingers at the poor souls struggling with shoplifting, facebook-ing, gambling, eating, or drinking. But check out the chart below. What do you do?
We seek pleasure and avoid pain. There's nothing wrong with that. But who's in charge? It or you? Can you stop at any time? Many potentially addictive behaviors and substances are benign and enjoyable as long as they remain recreational activities. But once we're excessively devoted to them, and they become our number-one priority (so that we cancel all social plans to stay in to play computer games) we've graduated into the addiction zone. We're addicted when we can't stop doing that 'something' for any length of time without becoming agitated. And it is our go-to avoidance response when upset or stressed.
|The 3 Steps to Getting the Upper Hand over Addictions
1. Get out the big guns and prepare for battle. You didn't get here overnight, and it's going to take some field combat to finally prevail and reclaim what is yours. You'll have to be strong and focused, otherwise your sneaky friend will come up behind and lure you into its grip.
The war against your addictions requires perseverance, because at those critical choice points, every fiber of our being will push us towards the familiar tool used to pacify us and distract us from our fear. These impulses can arise 30 - 50 times a day or more.
So we'll need to get comfortable with experiencing our emotions. If we think about them as pure energy running through our physical bodies, then it's easier to dispel them by doing what's natural. Think about what a baby does when he's hurt or sad. He cries. When she's feeling angry, she throws a temper tantrum. And when he's scared he shivers and shakes. We'll need to find constructive ways to drain our emotions without destroying anything of value.
2. Do your prep work. Because we certainly aren't thinking clearly when the urge hits, planning ahead and selecting different strategies (depending on our social situation) will help us make a different choice when the impulse arises. Know that change is made up of a series of defeats and victories. You will need a short-term plan - what you'll do today or the next time the impulse rises -- and a long-term plan to map out the near future. Then you'll be able to keep resisting the old until the enemy finally surrenders.
Whether it's to stop perpetually checking your iphone or eating chocolate, good preparation is key. That means take the time to print and then fill out the worksheet. Write your plan out because at those moments of choice fear will play mind games with you.
You'll find further explanation on some of the steps below.
Worksheet for Combating Addictions
1. Identify the addiction.
2. Define your goal.
3. Translate your goal into small, doable steps.
* Pinpoint exactly what triggers your addiction and when.
* Decide specifically what you will do instead at those moments. It's good to have several options. They must be constructive, doable and easy.
4. Prep work.
* Select helpful Truths. Pick what will remind you of the higher reality and repeat it throughout your day.
* Anticipate possible scenarios. What will you do at the party? What will you do late at night?
* Pick suitable rewards for accomplishments.
* Track your progress. Make your own chart to record your behavior.
* Line up support and accountability. Find a buddy and check in with them daily at first, or several times a day.
5. "Gulp and leap." Don't forget to deal with any emotions that arise.
* Praise yourself plenty for each little victory. Don't dwell on the relapses. Get up, re-evaluate your plan, and begin again.
Additional explanations of some of the Worksheet Steps
2. If you get clear on your goal it will be your beacon to guide you through turbulent times. Some options could be:
I want to see my grandchildren grow up.
I want to live a long healthy life.
I want to stop feeling so guilty and down on myself.
I want to feel calm and relaxed.
3. List possible constructive, easy-to-do alternative behaviors you can do instead. When the urge to indulge presents itself. Here's a mini list. Pick what resonates and create your own.
* Emote. Shiver and shake when feeling anxious or stressed. Cry if you really honor your sadness. Pound. Stomp. Yell. Push against a wall, but don't hurt yourself or anything of value. The key is to continue emoting constructively until your energy dissipates.
* Vigorously combating the voice of the impulses that justify why this time is the exception. Repeat a Truth or group of Truths until it wins out.
This isn't good for me.
I'm just feeling an emotion. If I deal with it, the urge will stop.
I can handle this situation.
I'm doing this because I want to feel better.
The goal is more important than the moment.
I'm breaking this habit now.
I don't like what this is doing to my life.
Feeling these emotions won't kill me.
I can do this.
This action has consequences.
Remember your goal.
* Do a physical activity that takes you out of the situation and redirects your focus until the emotion and impulse dissipate. Go for a five or ten minute walk and repeat your Truths. Do a set of jumping jacks. Climb a flight or two of stairs. Put on some music and dance. Play with your pet. Take 10 full deep breathes. Get a drink of water. Dispassionately observe the physical urge until it goes away. Call a supportive friend. While doing your alternative activity don't dwell on how good it would feel to have it, or pissed you are that you can't have it. Vigorously repeat your goal or your truths as you do something different.
To battle an addiction, your new action must be simple, doable, calming, and powerful enough to absorb your attention when the energy and impulse is heading for demolition. Selecting another excessive behavior, such as biking at full speed for several hours, renting and watching half a dozen movies, or shopping "until you drop" isn't constructive in the long run either. It's not helping you to honor yourself nor deal with your emotions honestly.
If you have an addiction to sugar, using sugar-free gum, diet soda, and cigarettes to replace the habit isn't going to cut it because they also compromise your health and well-being. It's no secret that many people succeed in getting off drugs or alcohol only to grab onto another addictive substance or activity, such as coffee or exercise. That's because they haven't adequately dealt with what led to the addiction in the first place. Unexpressed emotions!
You've got to find some effective replacements that will battle your craving. Shivering, stomping, or crying is the best substitute. An effective constructive substitute shifts the agitated fear physiology of your emotional state and brings you back into being fully in the present situation.
Step 3 and
A Couple More Things
3. Activate your plan. Just do it!
Figure out if you are going to enlist the support of a friend and check in about your progress. Or fill out your tracking system. As I say, Gulp and leap!" "Just do it!" Pick out a start time and get ready to make a stand. And if you fail one time, just review your plan, making any necessary adjustments and begin again and again and again. And please, praise yourself for every little victory.
Remember your addictions are diverting you from the uncomfortable physical sensations associated with emotions ... fear, sadness, and anger. Most important to success is that you get good at crying, shivering and quivering, and releasing anger constructively. It's important that nothing of value is damaged. Throughout your day and at moments when the urge to indulge is strong, it's helpful to remember your goal and remember that unexpressed emotions are lurking, begging to be dealt with constructively.
SUMMARY ABOUT HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR ADDICTIONS
IDENTIFY WHAT CONSTRUCTIVE SUBSTITUTE YOU WILL ADOPT WHEN THE IMPULSE ARISES.
THEN GULP AND LEAP, VIGOROUSLY COMBATING THE OLD WITH THE NEW, EMBRACING YOUR EMOTIONS, AND PRAISING YOURSELF FOR EVERY LITTLE VICTORY.
I'm sending you best wishes for a cool coming month.
Thanks for reading this newsletter. If you have any feedback, suggestions about a newsletter theme, or general comments, I enjoy hearing from you, so feel free to write me at: