Blogs


Notices

Focusing on a Negative??

Old 06-07-2011, 03:36 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 165
Originally Posted by jamdls View Post
I always felt a negative connotation to the term "alcoholic", saying that I'm an alcoholic made me feel bad and it was as if I had no control over it and I didn't want to feel bad nor powerless. By changing my words to "I don't drink" I changed my thought process and this empowered me that it is my choice to not drink.
The term "alcoholic" is basically an AA term. The DSM doesn't have a diagnosis of "alcoholic" and the medical diagnosis is alcohol dependent. I received no medical diagnosis of "alcoholic" and I choose not to give that label to myself. I had self-defeating behaviors and a destructive relationship with alcohol, but that is in the past. I am learning from my past mistakes, I have put my self-defeating behaviors behind me and I no longer have a relationship with alcohol, destructive or otherwise. I believe that the negative self labeling keeps many trapped in a cycle of self-defeating behaviors.
AnthonyV is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to AnthonyV For This Useful Post:
LaFemme (06-07-2011), Supercrew (06-07-2011)
Old 06-08-2011, 07:45 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
Member
 
lilac0721's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Utah
Posts: 920
Thanks for this awesome reminder. While there are some things about "traditional" recovery that I like, there are others that just make me cringe. Like the negative connotation of words such as "alcoholic" and "powerless."

I truly believe that my drinking patterns became far, far worse when I started regularly referring to myself as an "alcoholic" 3 years ago.

I have been really struggling to stay sober, and am glad to see this reminder of how my thinking can increase or decrease the likelihood of success.
lilac0721 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to lilac0721 For This Useful Post:
LaFemme (06-08-2011), newby1961 (06-09-2011), Supercrew (06-08-2011)
Old 06-08-2011, 10:24 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Supercrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SoCal CA
Posts: 1,319
The brain is so powerful that by telling yourself you are a powerless alcoholic over and over the subconscious eventually believes it. It is sort of funny/sad to see people who first come to this forum saying, "I think I have a drinking problem, but I don't need to drink everyday and I can control my binging sometimes", turn into, "I can't quit obsessing about alcohol, and I can't control it ever", after spending a couple of nights reading and getting feedback in this forum.

Yes they did have problem with alcohol to begin with, but when you start really believing you have no control.....you will have no control. You get what you focus on.
Supercrew is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Supercrew For This Useful Post:
DoubtfulDebs (07-10-2011), newby1961 (06-09-2011)
Old 06-08-2011, 10:35 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 197,512
Blog Entries: 1
It could also be that people come here in a state of denial at some level, then recognise themselves in other posts here, and they open up and become more honest in really detailing what they're feeling.

That was certainly my experience.

Not everything need be a conspiracy



D
Dee74 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Dee74 For This Useful Post:
LaFemme (06-09-2011), newby1961 (06-09-2011), Supercrew (06-08-2011)
Old 06-08-2011, 10:56 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Supercrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SoCal CA
Posts: 1,319
I'm not saying it is a conspiracy Dee. I came here with a real drinking problem. But the more I focused on the problem rather than the solution it got worse. Once I came to the self realization that "oh crap, I can't stop, I'm an alcoholic", it embedded itself in my brain and then the thoughts of "I think I have a problem I cant stop drinking for a month", became "I can't get by today without a drink", which then became, "I can't stop thinking about drinking and I need one now".

I think it lends itself to why there is a progressive nature to the mental aspect of the problem. I'm not saying that newcomers should be greeted with, "you don't have a problem", but at the same time the negative messages really have an impact.

I'm not a hypochondriac, but if I have an ache or a pain in my chest and I go to webmd, it is very easy to start to believe I am having a heart attack when it is really just a gas pain. But the more I think and believe it is a heart attack I will start breathing faster and panicing and my body will react to what my brain believes might be true.

Again SR has been fantastic for me, but the body will react to what the brain perceives as true.
Supercrew is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Supercrew For This Useful Post:
DoubtfulDebs (07-10-2011), LaFemme (06-09-2011)
Old 06-09-2011, 04:02 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 197,512
Blog Entries: 1
I still think there's a political subtext here I'm not going to get into

I agree that a positive attitude is vital.
But I also believe I have no control over my drinking alcohol, or taking drugs.

I've experienced it. I've proved that to myself many times over 20 years.

It's not a negative - not when by accepting my inability to control my alcohol intake, I've regained control of all the other areas of my life...and become a much more rounded, positive and happy person.

I had to accept that proposition, take that 'defeat' of accepting I was 'beaten', to go on and win the ultimate victory.

sounds like a good swap to me

D
Dee74 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Dee74 For This Useful Post:
Supercrew (06-09-2011)
Old 06-09-2011, 06:20 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 165
How exactly did accepting that you have no control over drinking lead to you to not drinking? In my opinion, if you are currently not drinking then you have control over your drinking. It is my experience and belief that it is only through the decision not to drink that one doesn't drink. It really is as simple as that.
AnthonyV is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to AnthonyV For This Useful Post:
newby1961 (06-09-2011), Supercrew (06-09-2011)
Old 06-09-2011, 09:30 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Supercrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SoCal CA
Posts: 1,319
I still think there's a political subtext

After really thinking about this comment there are no sides, its just about finding the fastest and best tools to get well.

YouTube - ‪Dave Mason-We Just Disagree‬‏

One of my 70's favorites.
Supercrew is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Supercrew For This Useful Post:
AnthonyV (06-09-2011), Dee74 (06-09-2011), DoubtfulDebs (07-10-2011), newby1961 (06-09-2011)
Old 06-09-2011, 10:23 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
Member
 
LaFemme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 5,285
Well, I was 6 days sober when I found SR...after 5 years of trying to quit and failing miserably to get past a couple of days. The first time I ever tried to stop was August 2006 (I think)...I didn't think I had a huge problem but I thought I was drinking too much. The only things I knew about alcoholism were the stereotypes.

I made it 6 days, drank 1 day then made it another 5 days. After that my drinking problem accelerated like you wouldn't believe. The obsession wasn't fueled by things I was reading because I wasn't reading anything.

Someone mentioned a phenomenon called "kindling" somewhere once I think...it's when we try to stop that we realize how bad it is which makes it worse.

Not sure I'm explaining it clearly.

Coming to SR only confused me about the definition of what an alcoholic is or not...so it's not part of my personal equation...all I do is focus on how much better my life is without alcohol and it's all good.

I honestly think that if God himself were to appear before me and tell me I could "safely" drink again I wouldn't want to. Alcohol has no positive's in my current mindset...not a single one.
LaFemme is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to LaFemme For This Useful Post:
AnthonyV (06-09-2011), Supercrew (06-09-2011)
Old 06-09-2011, 10:23 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
Trudging that road.
 
newby1961's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Seattle Wa
Posts: 6,840
Blog Entries: 1
I was told most of my life that I was pessimistic instead of optimistic I saw the glass as 1/2 empty instead of 1/2 full.

I believe I have to train my brain to look at the positive and so I agree with some of what has been said.

Some of it I just feel is like a play on samantics like calling myself an alky or I am just not drinking. The bottom line is as long as I know it is poison to me that is all that counts.

I understand we are all different so I am speaking only for myself and I respect all other points of views even if I don't happen to agree sometimes.

Peace & Blessings all and great topic SC
newby1961 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to newby1961 For This Useful Post:
LaFemme (06-10-2011), Supercrew (06-09-2011)
Old 06-09-2011, 11:22 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 165
My only point, which is inline with the beliefs of SMART Recovery, is that destructive behaviors/use/abuse of alcohol is a result of making poor decisions and having irrational beliefs. We as the ones with the alcohol/drug problem are responsible for making the decision not to use. Negative labeling/stereotyping of self only leads to irrational thoughts and beliefs that lead to poor decision making and destructive behaviors. Secular recovery is about recognizing irrational thoughts and behaviors and making better choices for a better life. Nothing political about it.
AnthonyV is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to AnthonyV For This Useful Post:
LaFemme (06-10-2011), Supercrew (06-09-2011)
Old 06-09-2011, 03:49 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 197,512
Blog Entries: 1
Originally Posted by AnthonyV View Post
How exactly did accepting that you have no control over drinking lead to you to not drinking?
I can only speak for myself Anthony. I'm not a member of any group.

Once I fully accepted that I could not now or ever control my drinking, it (eventually) ceased to be a viable option for me.

The energy I'd put into that struggle for years were freed to focus on other things.....

In my opinion, if you are currently not drinking then you have control over your drinking. It is my experience and belief that it is only through the decision not to drink that one doesn't drink. It really is as simple as that.
I'm not sure how I can have control over something I don't do, but I suspect that's just semantics.

I certainly feel empowered in my life these days - I didn't for 20 years

D
Dee74 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Dee74 For This Useful Post:
LaFemme (06-10-2011), Supercrew (06-09-2011)
Old 06-10-2011, 02:35 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
Member
 
BackToSquareOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bethlehem, PA.
Posts: 1,782
One point on the whole negative/positive thing is that you can use a negative in a positive way. For example if you visualize the living hell of alcohol withdrawal whenever the slightest thought of drinking pops up it will put a buffer on the drinking thoughts.

I also wonder if some people just don't get caught up in a negative feedback loop when it comes to rehab. Think about it this way, a person goes to a rehab through family or work related pressure, (a negative), the rehab tells them they have to give up their only source of relief, (another negative), upon release the addict is informed that they must attend meetings forever and a day, (a very big negative, unless your the type of person that wants to go to meetings).

So now the addict is faced with the option of jumping into the circle of negatives or returning to his addiction (which he views as a positive). Could this be why so many fail?

Also there is a very big difference once someone has reached the end of their rope with addiction. I had reached the point where if someone told me that I had to paint myself hot flamingo pink and go for a naked 10 mile jog everyday I probably would have given it a shot. Age, maturity and how far you are in the progression are very big factors. In my 20's I don't know if there was anything that would have made me stop.
BackToSquareOne is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to BackToSquareOne For This Useful Post:
DoubtfulDebs (07-10-2011), Supercrew (06-10-2011)
Old 06-10-2011, 04:11 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
Member
 
LaFemme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 5,285
I once read somewhere about a man who meets a farmer in Ireland. The farmer is always happy...in amazement the man asks how he does it...the farmer replies "I make a habit of being happy."

I believe this is something we are all capable of.

Always look on the bright side of life! (I might make this my new sign line...either that or I will get it tattooed on my wrist
LaFemme is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to LaFemme For This Useful Post:
BackToSquareOne (06-10-2011), Supercrew (06-10-2011)
Old 06-10-2011, 10:57 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
Member
 
BackToSquareOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bethlehem, PA.
Posts: 1,782
Originally Posted by LaFemme View Post
I once read somewhere about a man who meets a farmer in Ireland. The farmer is always happy...in amazement the man asks how he does it...the farmer replies "I make a habit of being happy."

I believe this is something we are all capable of.

Always look on the bright side of life! (I might make this my new sign line...either that or I will get it tattooed on my wrist

You could always change your name to Happy. Then whenever someone asked if you were Happy you would have all the bases covered!
BackToSquareOne is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to BackToSquareOne For This Useful Post:
Supercrew (06-10-2011)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:08 AM.