Staying home, whether self-imposed or by government ordered, offers us the opportunity to invest in family relations and enjoy more “quality time.” Even in the healthiest of families, cabin fever eventually sets in. For those of us in families that are struggling, quarantine may feel especially hard.
In the midst of this crisis, folks are losing access to countless services. For people like me, the absence of in person addiction services and 12 step meetings puts us at heightened levels of risk and anxiety.
All of us whose brains go 100mph engage in addictive thinking – the black and white, all or nothing, now or never mindset. Our minds get hijacked by urges, cravings and shiny distractions that distance us from ourselves. We strive to attain – whether it’s for the next fix, the next conquest, or even in achieving our recovery goals, our approach is largely the same:
Nearly everyone I’ve ever served as a therapist or as a coach has said to me, “You’ll have to be patient. I have trust issues.” My response to that statement depends on how good I think their sense of humor is. What I’m most likely to say is, “Relax. We all do.”
I often hear that “relapse is part of recovery.” While I know that many of us do; I remind folks all the time that it doesn’t have to be part of our story. Following a relapse, the most important thing we can do is to return to everything that was previously working.
My clients can only be as honest with me as they are with themselves. My job is to challenge what they’ve convinced themselves of.
Our fears are often irrational, but given our experience, it makes sense that we fear becoming something we are not. Thus, we who were raised to believe that we weren’t good enough, now come to fear that we’re “too much.”
It’s ok to be scared of change and transition. I urge my clients to be patient, especially because we tend to associate change and transition with loss.
We know that the age at which a person starts using drugs and alcohol to cope is the point at which their development is arrested. What we often fail to consider is that abuse, neglect, and any traumatic experience also arrest development.
I often talk with folks who see themselves and their lives as complicated. In all my years of counseling people, I have never found that to be true. What I find is that the leading causes of depression and anxiety are very simple and correctable.