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:
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.
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.
We are people who desperately want praise, recognition, affirmation and validation. Sadly, we are also uncomfortable receiving them and so we often reject (minimize, water down) kind words.
My friends in AA got me started in the right direction with the adage, “Religion is for people who are afraid to go to hell and spirituality is for those who have already been there.”
Serenity is a foreign feeling. We’re likely to distrust it and rail against it. Many of us create “drama” simply to get back to what we’re accustomed to. If we can tolerate the discomfort of things going well, we come to recognize the feeling as the gateway to further growth and healing.
Panic attacks cause a debilitating loss of perspective and folks struggle to even begin to cope. It’s important to know that attacks only last 15 minutes or less.
We have a longing to understand ourselves and a tendency to judge ourselves unfairly. Let’s hod off on labels and work on developing health and identity!
Anxiety can be overcome, as can health conditions that are caused or exacerbated by it. In recovery it’s important to check in with your body whenever you’re not sure how you’re feeling.
Childhood abuse and neglect, adolescent and young adult trauma, it all adds up in layers like sediment that can’t be permeated.