Lifestyle Repair Work Exercises (Phase 1)
Addictive activities, as you know, damage and eventually destroy a user’s lifestyle. Once you have overcome all of the issues you have read about, you will be positioned to begin to work on the task of repairing your lifestyle. A list of areas of possible damage follows in this article, accompanied by a few suggestions on how to get the repair work started. In your Recovery Journal, write down the areas you need to mend and the specific actions you would like to take to do some. This section supplements the Equality skills referenced in an earlier article titled, “The Importance of Self-Worth.”
- Addictive activities are part of the way psychotraumatized people cope with life in the Borderline Zone. The specific addictive activity choice is largely irrelevant. What is relevant is your readiness to do something about your own addictive choices.
- The decision to quit an addictive activity may be pushed upon you by others, but no matter how much other people pressure you, the only way you’ll stop is if the decision is your own.
- You will pass through many stages in the Recovery Zone on your way to the Free Zone. Sometimes you may have to take a step back in order to move forward.
- Above all else, when it comes to addiction, it is truly all in your head. It is your pain, your triggers, your choices. The keys to success are to choose with awareness, to choose wisely, and to choose decisively. Most importantly, never, never, never, give up!
Begin each exercise with a positive affirmation. For example; My recovery is a spiraling, step-by-step journey of choices that lead to freedom.
Recovery Exercise 8.1: Freedom Bound
The objective of this exercise is to foster thoughts and new insights related to addiction, self-control, and personal freedom.
Addiction involves a loss of control. Paradoxically, most people, in the course of a discussion about the subject, verbalize powerful sentiments against allowing anyone or anything control to them.
Expanded Awareness & Reflection
One way in which you can expand your awareness is to write an essay entitled, “Addiction, Self-Control, and Personal Freedom.” In your essay, reflect upon your personal feelings around being controlled by anyone or anything. Try to distinguish between things you have done (regarding your addiction) that have been outside of your control versus things that were a matter of personal choice.
Conclude your essay with thoughts on how self-control, especially concerning your addictive activities, will ultimately lead to greater personal freedom.
Recovery Exercise 8.2: This Message Will Self-Destruct
The objective of this exercise is to reflect on the meaning of suicide and other varieties of self-injurious activities.
Most people want to live their lives to the fullest. They seek out other people with whom they can relate in a meaningful and uniquely human way. They seek out activities that entertain, enrich, or otherwise take care of themselves, even if they do not always do so. Most people hope to keep themselves healthy and active for as long as possible.
There are people who exhibit behaviors that stand in marked contrast to such life-affirming actions. They seem not to care very much to live a healthy and active life. In fact, at times they seem intent on self-destruction. Individuals may gravitate to people capable of the infliction of harm on them. They may involve themselves in activities and situations at which life and limb are placed at greater risk. They may neglect themselves on their own or provoke others to do so.
Often what underlies such behavior is the hidden assumption that the worst that can happen is death. However, death is not seen as such a horrible outcome, because it is associated with freedom. In reality, no one can say with certainty that death does bring freedom. Perhaps, the only thing we can say about death with certainty is that death brings an end to life. As a result, does an end of life seem like freedom?
Expanded Awareness & Reflection
What kinds of self-destructive behaviors have you engaged with in the past? What is the “message” that comes to mind when you take part in such behaviors?
What kind of ideas do you think about in order to give yourself permission to engage in self-destructive behavior? What do your actions communicate to others and about who you are?
In what less destructive ways might you be able to send the same or similar message to other individuals? What kind of constructive messages would you like others to be shared with you? What type of statements will help you to reverse your course toward a healthier life?
If you found either of these two lifestyle exercises helpful, and you want to learn more about how BlueSky Behavioral Health can repair your current lifestyle, give us a call today at 888-822-7348. Why waste another second in a life that does not fulfill you? Dial our direct line, or click the hyphenated number today to discover more ways you can end your self-destructive patterns.