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"Four Questions About My Addiction" Worksheet

Old 04-08-2013, 02:50 PM
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"Four Questions About My Addiction" Worksheet

Hello,

I'm filling out a SMART worksheet and would like some advice. it is the "Four Questions About My Addiction; Using the Cost-Benefit Analysis Tool". I think it's more for self reflection than writing out, but I'm a bit stumped nonetheless.

Question one was to list what I enjoy about my addiction. It pains me to admit this, but my most recent addiction is now crack cocaine (four months, twice a week), and the enjoyment is a rush of pleasure. (I know it's not healthy to hate yourself something you've done, but I am quite ashamed that I let myself get involved with that crap.)

The second part of the question was to ind alternative ways of achieving the same goals. When the goal is to achieve what feels like physical pleasure, what alternative ways should I be suggesting to myself?

I came up with exercise, food, sex, love and personal achievement because they all have physical sensations associated with them. I really hope that pumping my brain full of dopamine hasn't introduced me to a high that is irreplaceable!

Any suggestions as to how I should approach this? I feel like I opened Pandora's Box and screwed myself over (even though my rational brain believes that there MUST be some way out of this mess).

Thanks folks. I'm very grateful for your thoughts.

G-
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:11 PM
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Well, that little work sheet must actually be helping because focusing on the negatives of drug use is making the positives seem that much less significant and appealing. The thought of all the anxiety that goes with it is a major turn off; no duh, right?

It's weird how much the mind can flip flop in such a short period of time. Now if I can only keep it flopped into this perspective when the next craving hits...
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:34 PM
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I'm not familiar enough with SMART to comment on completing the exercise, but I think you came up with great alternatives.

I really hope that pumping my brain full of dopamine hasn't introduced me to a high that is irreplaceable!
I'm gonna say no that you haven't messed up your brain for good. I have heard people say they struggled to match that high, sure, but it can be done.
It's weird how much the mind can flip flop in such a short period of time. Now if I can only keep it flopped into this perspective when the next craving hits...
It is weird, and for me, mastering the mind and managing the super intense cravings was an amazing feeling.

Keep it up GW, you're doing great!
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:15 PM
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don't know, GW.
i have not had the SAME feeling, but then there are differences between ALL "highs" for me.
one i get from riding my bike is not the same as the one i get from having an epiphany or a most serene moment.
the wording...achieving the same "goals" is not the same as getting the same "high", i'm thinking.
now, though, pleasure was long gone by the time i quit, except for maybe a few minutes when the amount was just right before i had more, but even that was entirely shot through with hating what i was doing and knowing i had priorly decided not to do anymore and was now going against myself.

and i can't say i've mastered my mind, either, because who'd be the "i" that would master it?
none of that is to suggest you can't have a good or better life without using.
entirely doable.

and it's great you're doing these "thinking exercises" and taking a closer look at things.

there are many ways to achieve pleasure, and you'll likely find you have to re-train your brain or train it from scratch, and you might need to accept that a particular way of being high cannot be duplicated.
if that turns out to be so for you, what are your thoughts on how that might be for you?
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:04 PM
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Hello Soberlicious and Fini, thanks for your insight. I've started to get a better perspective throughout the day here. Maybe I'm don't need to try to recreate the immediate high as much as balance out all that anxiety and be happy just feeling good. There are really are a lot of different types of pleasure out there. And while I'm using, I'm only tickling one fun button. (One that burns out VERY quickly at that). I find that I don't always get the pleasure out of it either, but I do always get that crippling anxiety. I need to find more sustainable and reliable sources of "feel good."

Thanks again!
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:35 AM
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I have a suggestion for you, and you're in a perfect location for it. Hiking and backpacking. The combination of extended exercise, and beautiful surroundings always leaves me at peace and not craving anything. Except food. And another trail.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:07 AM
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I need to find more sustainable and reliable sources of "feel good."
Exactly. It's easier than you think, once you start looking. "Feel good" is everywhere, actually, in a million forms.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:51 AM
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Yeah, the hiking around here is pretty fantabulous. I have a problem with my knee, so I'm hesitant to do more than day trips at this point. (meniscus is getting smooshed, I think)

About a month ago, my cousin and I went for a three hour hike up into Castlerock (Mt Diablo foothills). You're absolutely right, no cravings except food!

Thanks for the encouragement, Licious. It's the breadth of the bounty that makes "real" pleasure so satisfying.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:02 AM
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Have you got hiking poles? They've helped my bad knees a lot.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:09 AM
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OMG so breathtaking...bet the rock climbing is amazing!

It is that kind of real authentic pleasure...for me, that can't be experienced when getting high or drunk. I often say that even if I was guaranteed to be able to drink moderately, I would now choose not to. People think I'm out of my f*cking mind or lying. While the former is debatable, the latter most certainly is not.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:23 PM
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Y'know, I hadn't thought of that trachemys. That would be a good hold-me-over option until I get decent enough medical coverage to have it reassembled. However, I was surprised that there wasn't any pain following all the up and down we did while hiking Castlerock.

Funny you mention that, SL. Rock climbing is something I was into briefly, particularly bouldering (until the knee thing prevented me from jumping down when stuck). I keep wanting to go back to at least top roping. There is something VERY satisfying about figuring out how to reach the top and then putting everything you've got into doing it. Also, the thrill of almost falling is a good source of adrenaline!

That authentic pleasure has many more subtleties to appreciate than the sugar coated chemically induced dopamine overload. I just need to get my little amygdala to learn that and stop craving devil candy!

This thread has been a real pick-me-up, thanks so much!
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