We’ve written about the importance of really sitting down and taking the time to have an actual dialog with your addict. We really want to make sure you’re dialoguing with your addict, because it’s such a powerful and important step in getting you into the right mindset.
The mind is an incredibly powerful thing, and if you let it tell you the same story over and over again, you’ll believe it. In fact, it’s that exact power that’s been keeping you in the same addiction cycle over and over again.
Changing your mind takes time and determination. Not only that, it takes even more time for the people around you to see that your mind has changed. Change has to begin inwardly before it will show outwardly. If you ask any of the guys in the course when he was finally able to break out of his cyclical thinking, and then ask his wife the same question, chances are he’ll give you a much earlier date than his wife will. This is natural.
What we mean to say with all this is that changing your mind is a process. It doesn’t flip like a light switch, even though your determination might be strong and clear. Your habits need to change fundamentally, and that can sometimes be a real sticking point. It’s the same force that causes people to stay in jobs they hate, or in living situations that are stressful. Complacency feels comfortable, and change feels hard. We are here to do help you do the hard things.
When you watch a movie or read an engrossing book, your thoughts and emotions might get caught up in the story. Yet even the most compelling story lines don’t grip you forever. Once the movie is over, or once you’ve finished your book, you slowly get back to your own life. You’re able to distinguish fantasy from reality, because you are able to walk away.
When the story you are hearing is coming from within your own mind, you can’t walk away. That is why these narratives you tell yourself seem so believable, and so concrete. They’re with you all the time, continually reinforcing themselves, and making you believe them.
A difficult concept to understand is that you and your mind are two different things. That seems like a nonsensical statement, but it fits in with the same principle that tells you that you are not your addict. Consider your phone or computer: there is the machine, and then there is the information stored on that machine. These are different things. Likewise the memories, thoughts, projections and internal monologue you carry with you in your mind are not you.
When you begin to grasp the difference between your inner self and your whole self, you can begin to rewrite what your mind is telling you. You can begin to move past the things keeping you pinned down, and into a more forgiving and more receptive mindset. In other words, you can begin to recover.