Sunday, August 16, 2009

It’s So Easy To Slip

Simple reasons to kick addictions.

In a recent article for Scripps Howard News Service, Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a family therapist in California, listed "10 Reasons to Kick Addictions."

Nothing in the doctor’s list is shocking, or especially revelatory, or novel. But what caught my eye about his list was the simplicity with which Goldsmith states certain common facts about abstinence--facts that struggling alcoholics and other drug addicts often tend to deny or “forget.”

Here is a brief synopsis of some of Goldsmith’s observations:

--“Your friends and family will be happy to see and count on you again.”

In part, that’s because you will no longer being blaming them for your own problem.

--“You will like yourself better.”

Say goodbye to a whole lot of guilt and misdirected anger.

--“Your body and mind will feel awake and alive once again. One reason people continue to drink and use is because they physically experience the withdrawals of the substance and need to continue the addiction just to "feel normal.’”

The idea of a certain subset of people using drugs to “feel normal” is one of the crucial insights into modern research on addictive disorders.

--“You will make the world a tiny bit better. Just by being a little nicer, as well as extending a helping hand to others, (which will help you stay sober), you will make this world a better place.”

This may sound a bit twee, but it is a guiding principle in Alcoholics Anonymous and other non-profit self-help groups. Committing charitable acts for others is a classic way of seeking to go beyond the boundaries of the commanding self.

--“Others can once again trust you. An added benefit is that you can also trust yourself again, because you have gotten through one of the most frightening things in life.”

If you can do this one thing, you can do practically anything.

--“You will have more joy in experiencing a day rather than sleeping through it.”

You will also find that you have considerably more time available to you. In the early going, that can be a challenge, but it eventually becomes a wonderful thing.

-- “You will have more money.”

Indisputably true.

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