If you are anything like me (and I’m guessing you are, if you’ve come to the brilliant conclusion that drinking and/or using drugs is not the solution to your problems), you’ve tried to get sober countless times, but something finally worked (or you are currently trying to figure out what will work), and it would be in your best interest to KNOW exactly what that missing link is. I’m pretty analytical, so I’ve often found myself going in deep with a gazillion questions… “What is it that makes one person this way, and other people that way?” What I’ve determined in my surveillances of the world and everyone around me, is that the way people THINK, directly affects or alters the outcome of their experience. (I’ve also read a ton of books on the subject).
Perception is relevant, and everyone is having an entirely different experience of the world by the way they see things, or by how they feel and what they think while they are having the experience. Step outside of that limited box of perception, into the infinite world of awareness of your experiences as they occur, and discover a place where you are no longer persuaded by emotional responses, or triggered by your ravenous thoughts. We forget that WE are not our emotions or our thoughts – WE go beyond these temporary internal ebb and flows. And the most important thing I’m about to say, is that we have the power to completely modify the way we think, so that our emotional response will follow.
I’ve programmed my brain, you see, so that whenever I’m tempted by my addict mind, an immediate tape rolls out and plays along the margins of my psyche. If I see or feel something that triggers me to desire a drink, I quickly play the tape, which looks something like this..
What a beautiful glass of champagne. I could have one glass of champagne… no problem. It would taste so refreshing, and what a treat! OH, SHIT, what am I THINKING? Yeah, I’m going to have that glass of champagne, and then I’m going to want another one. That second one won’t be enough, so I’m going to make friends with the bartender over there, and we’re gonna party it down tonight. He has no idea that I’m an alcoholic, so it will be impressive to him with how much I can drink and still remain standing. I’ll continue drinking because I can’t stop, and then I’m gonna get shitty, and I’ll completely black out and throw myself at whatever man comes along. I’ll most likely wake up not knowing how I got home, or outside somewhere on someone’s lawn with my dress stained with my own urine. NOPE… I DO NOT need that one glass of champagne
STATEMENT #1: “PLAY THE TAPE.”
Change the way your brain thinks whenever you have a sudden desire to drink or use. This has been essential in my own recovery. That tape was obsolete the last few times I tried to remain sober. This time around, I’m BFFs with that damn roll of film.
STATEMENT #2: “NEVER FORGET!”
Simple enough – Just bring yourself right back to your final rock bottom when your addict mind temps you to use. GO THERE, and remind yourself what it was like, and what will happen if you decide to relapse.
STATEMENT #3: “NO MATTER WHAT…”
This is one I didn’t know about until I went to treatment and a dynamic counselor, who was a former junkie, went around the facility and had us make a pact to ourselves. “NO MATTER WHAT… I will not use drugs or drink.” No matter WHAT! This means if the world is about to end because of a polar shift followed by an impending ice age, and I’m sheltered in the only place left standing, which just happens to be an old dive bar somewhere in Australia, and I’m offered whisky by an attractive Aussie to keep myself warm, and to numb the impact of the trauma, I will absolutely, no matter what, DECLINE the offer to drink.
Yeah, that’s how far my imagination goes with things… otherwise I’m screwed in any situation.
So this is my formula, and it seems to be working for me. I deliberately programmed my own mind, changed the way I think so that I immediately go to these three statements, and I’m still sober today after nearly three years. My emotional response in turn, has shifted from longing to laughter. All of these statements bring me right back to where I was at the end of my rope, and I know that I no longer have to live that way. I am free now, and LOVING LIFE. Why would I ever go back to that space? You have the power to change your thinking, so I encourage you to do so…
Play the Tape. Never Forget. No Matter What.