Yay Marsha! 🙂 She has a section on using DBT for addiction, so I’m going to use it for my SLAA.
Re-inforcing non addictive behaviours.
- Searched for people to spend time with who aren’t addicted. Describe what you did and who you found. – I am going to ask a colleague to go out for lunch at work sometime. I am going to lunch with a colleague on friday.
- Increased number of enjoyable non-addictive activities. Describe activities. – Going to go to Hyperjapan. Going out for a meal on friday with my friend and saturday.
- Sampled different groups and activities. Describe what you did and who you found. Found a mental health creativity group, asked about next event.
- Took one or more action steps to build positive events to replace addiction. Describe. – going to pray as it’s positive for me.
- 30 days abstinence. I did it. Describe abstinence plan and how you implemented it. – SLAA HOW and top lines. I did it by hitting my top lines everyday (behaviours I want for myself) this included spending time with my higher power (God). Outreach calls. Talking to sponsor. Meetings (I am attending one right now). Therapy sessions. I am also going to use worksheet 14 – in DT (below) to help me.
Pros and cons of stopping acting out addictive behaviours: (crisis behaviour)
What is the crisis behaviour? Jumping into a relationship/dating, falling in love without knowing who they are or whether we are compatible. Or jumping into sexual activity without knowing them.
Pros: (Yes) Consequences of acting on the crisis behaviour:
I don’t have to deal with my emotions, I have an outlet. reduces stress, I get a release for a while.
I don’t have to try to fight my urge, I can just act and not struggle to change.
Minimal effort required as it’s habitual behaviour.
I can get some attention or some level of love, back.
I can get some emotional support to some degree.
Cons: (of acting on crisis behaviour):
Goes against morals leaving me with feelings of shame.
Feelings of guilt.
Feel worse during if the person is unsympathetic/unkind (increased feelings of grief, anger, shame or fear if they are unsafe).
Can trigger feelings of self-hatred, self judgement and self invalidation as I want to shun what I’ve done and feelings associated with that.
Does not allow me to practice using my skills to help me handle my own emotions.
Leaves me feeling dependent, and lacking self respect, that I need to kneel on someone I barely know for support who may not have my interests at heart. Makes me needy.
Feel internal conflict and detached from higher power.
Feelings of sadness and more loneliness as I feel distant from my higher power.
Feeling of fear after feeling detached from higher power. Would I be able to stay close to Him? Is he near me? Did I detach myself for a long time?
Feeling even emptier than before if they are emotionally disconnected and/or abusive.
Can trigger me into even more impulsive behaviours as I am tempted to act on the same impulse again as I’ve opened the doors once.Or lead me to other impulsive behaviours to cope with the ineffective feelings like self harm, or impulsive sexual activity, or infidelity or smoking etc. All behaviours I want to avoid. Increased risk of relapse of BPD behaviours.
Even more shame and guilt for acting impulsively and then acting out to help with that (e..g speaking to ex impulsively then cutting and then feeling upset that I cut) – (last year).
Feeling isolated from others as I try to hide my behaviours.
Consequences of avoiding the crisis behaviour:
Pros – (of avoiding):
I get to feel safe.
Increased feelings of self-respect.
Do not engage in behaviours I may later feel guilt or shame over.
Can feel self validating, can feel happy as I take my time in the right way of getting to know someone. I will have no regrets and can enjoy the process.
I can make a healthy decision using wise mind which will benefit me in the long run.
Will give me increased positive events in the long-run (e.g. not acting impulsively but taking my time to get to know someone would lead me to a much better chance of being happy in the long run than running into something blindly).
Can continue to focus on myself as I’m not disrupting my life plans and recovery by preoccupying myself with impulsive sexual/romantic behaviours.
My mental energy is directed at recovery instead of problem causing or solving in a relationship, being preoccupied with an unhealthy relationship. Or stressing or worrying about what I’ve done. There is no stress or less stress as I haven’t included a destructive or impulsive relationship into the mix.
I can enjoy life in the long run as I am not feeling bad or guilty about an addictive relationship or behaviour, or wasting time engaged in it. I can do things that don’t make me feel bad, like going out with friends or going for a walk. I am not investing mental energy and feeling drained by something that doesn’t even benefit me.
I can feel closer to my higher power as I’m not engaging in things I find are morally wrong and I can speak to Him much freer and ask for help as opposed to feeling cut off because of my actions.
I don’t have to deal with lies or the guilt of lying to family and friends as I lie to hide my addictive behaviours and sometimes even live a double life. Hiding what I’m doing from them. I will enjoy transparency and the truth will be there for all to see. I won’t have any ‘dirty secrets’ or behaviours to be ashamed of.
Can live life how I want without arguments or pain of an abusive relationship.
More likely to find someone who respects me and is kind as they will respect me if I don’t act out and take my time. (aka respect myself).
Cons (of avoiding the behviour):
Can feel difficult or be difficult in the moment to resist urges.
Takes time to think about and utilise new skills or avoid old behaviours.
Can feel scary or uncomfortable to try something new.
Can mean I am single for longer.
Can mean rejecting attention that is available.
Takes effort to find new avenues of communication or support.
Do not get instant gratification.
Do not get the high that comes with addictive behaviour.
Cannot enjoy the company of anyone I want or come across (as there isnt a filter with addictive behaviour).
The pros of avoiding the behaviours really hit home to me. It’s about respecting myself and in turn finding someone who would respect me. Gives me a chance to focus on myself in a positive way, of giving myself a good life that I’ve built slowly instead of adding stress to the mix. I can feel good about myself for living in line with my values and it means I am protecting myself from harming myself and potentially harming myself even further by acting out. I can only see good things by not acting out! I really feel like writing it all out this way helped and helps to see it clearly. I will have a better life in the long-run by not acting out than the few moments of possible joy acting out can give me, and even then it goes and the pain comes because the foundations are rocky.