Daily Reflections May 1, 2016

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HEALING HEART AND MIND

Admitted to God. To ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS p.55

Since it is true that God comes to me through people, I can see that by keeping people at a distance I also keep God at a distance. God is nearer to me than I think and I can experience Him by loving people and allowing people to love me. But I can neither love not be loved if I allow my secrets to get in the way. 

It’s the side of myself that I refuse to look at that rules me. I must be willing to look at the dark side in order to heal my mind and heart because that is the road to freedom. I must walk into darkness to find the light and walk into fear to find peace. 

By revealing my secrets-and thereby ridding myself of guilt-I can actually change my thinking; by altering my thinking, I can change myself. My thoughts create my future. What I will be tomorrow is determined by what I think today. 

Mindfulness. Take two.

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(DBT lectures are meant to be followed in order, because they build off one another.)

Mindfulness consists of psychological and behavioral skills drawn from Eastern Mindfulness practices.

Mindfulness skills help you to:

  • Be grounded with a stronger sense of self.
  • More consciously observe and experience yourself and your environment.
  • Reduce your feelings of emptiness.
  • Reduce cognitive disturbances such as dissociation ( where one compartmentalizes certain thoughts, emotions, memories, or splits off from them because they are too overwhelming) and delusions (ideas/beliefs system that is maintained in spite of evidence to the contrary and where one feels detached from one’s body or mental processes).
  • Increases your awareness of the present moment, without judgment.

3 PRIMARY STATES OF MIND ARE PRESENTED IN DBT:

REASONABLE (RATIONAL) MIND

“You are in your Reasonable Mind when you are approaching knowledge intellectually, are thinking rationally and logically, attend to empirical facts, are planful in your behavior, you focus your attention, and you are “cool: in your approach to problems.”

It is your rational thinking, logical mind. It is that part that plans and evaluates things logically. It is your “cool” part.”

  • Thinks rationally and evaluates things logically
  • Attends to facts
  • Plans behavior
  • Focuses attention
  • Approach to problems is “cool”

Reasonable mind can be beneficial:

  • People can build roads, homes, cities.
  • Can follow instructions
  • Solve logical problems.
  • Do math or science.
  • Run Meetings.

It is easier to be in Reasonable Mind when you feel good.

It is harder to be in Reasonable Mind when you don’t feel good.

We would use the Reasonable Mind to balance a checkbook; figure out the fastest way to get from A to B; etc. Reasonable Mind gives you a way to solve your problems.

EMOTIONAL MIND

“You are in Emotional Mind when your emotions are in control – when they influence your thinking and your behavior.”

  • Thinking and behavior are controlled by the current emotional state.
  • Thoughts are “hot” (In CBT and DBT, “Hot Thoughts” are thoughts that cause a lot of emotional suffering and can cause distorted thinking – thought after thought- like a “snow ball effect” and we can end up spinning with them).
  • Reasonable and logical thinking is difficult.
  • Facts are amplified of distorted to be congruent with the current emotional state.
  • The energy of the behavior is also congruent with the current emotional state.

Emotional Mind can be beneficial:

  • Intense love motivates relationships.
  • Intense devotion or desire motivates staying with hard tasks.
  • Intense love or hate has fueled wars.
  • Feeling passionate about people, causes, beliefs.
  • Emotions are what motivates us into action.
  • Emotions are what keep us attached to others and building relationships.
  • Motivation or reason to want to solve your problems.

Problems with Emotional Mind occur when:

  • The results are positive in the short term but negative in the long term.
  • The experience itself is very painful or leads to other painful states and events (e.d. anxiety and depression).

Emotion Mind can be aggravated by:

  • Illness
  • Lack of sleep; tiredness
  • Drugs; alcohol
  • Hunger, bloating, overeating, poor nutrition
  • Environmental stress (too many demands)
  • Environmental threats
  • Lack of exercise

WISE MIND

  • The integration of Reasonable Mind and Emotional Mind
  • Adds intuitive knowing to emotional experiencing and logical analysis.
  • That part of each person that can know and experience truth.
  • It is the place where the person knows something to be valid or true.
  • It is the place where the person knows something in a centered (balanced) way.
  • It is almost always quiet and calm in this part of your mind.

Mindfulness Skills help balance Emotion Mind and Reasonable Mind to achieve Wise Mind. Mindfulness Skills facilitate the development of, and ability to, access Wise Mind.

  • You can not overcome or control Emotional Mind with Reasonable Mind.
  • You can not create Emotion Mind with Reason.
  • Everyone has a Wise Mind. Some people perhaps have not experienced it.
  • No-one is in Wise Mind all of the time.
  • It is easy to confuse the Emotional Mind and Wise Mind because both have the quality of “feeling” something to be true. Intense emotions can generate feelings of certainty that mimic the Wise Mind.
  • Wise mind is in your heart (emotions) and in your head (reason). Certainty comes from both.
  • You must go within and integrate the two.
  • Wisdom, wise mind, or wise knowing is knowing by observing, knowing by analyzing logically, knowing by what we experience in our bodies (kinetic and sensory experience), knowing by what we do, and knowing by intuition.

E.g., Patient makes a statement: “I feel un-loveable” as if the feeling state provides information about the empirical reality. Question the patient: I’m not interested in how you feel. I’m not interested in what you believe or think. I am interested in what you know to be true in your Wise Mind.” The dialectical tension here is between what the patient feels to be true (emotion Mind) and what she thinks to be true (Reasonable Mind). The synthesis is what she/he knows to be true (Wise Mind). Linehan Pg. 42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAILY REFLECTIO…

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DAILY REFLECTION-WHEN FAITH IS MISSING February 4 ,2014

“Sometimes AA comes harder to those who have lost or rejected faith than to those who never had any faith at all, for they think they have tried faith and found it wanting. They have tried the way of faith and the way of no faith.” TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 28

“I was so sure God had failed me that I became ultimately defiant, though I knew better, and plunged into a final drinking binge. My faith turned bitter and that was no coincidence. Those who once had great faith hit bottom harder. It took time to rekindle my faith, though I came to AA I was grateful intellectually to have survived such a great fall, but my heart felt callous. Still, I stuck with the AA program; the alternatives were too bleak! I kept coming back and gradually my faith was resurrected.” A book written by AA members for AA members.

RESCUED BY SURR…

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RESCUED BY SURRENDERING-DAILY REFLECTIONS February 2, 2014

Characteristic of the so-called typical alcoholic is a narcissistic egocentric core, dominated by feelings of omnipotence, intent on maintaining at all costs its inner integrity…Inwardly the alcoholic brooks no control from man or God. He, the alcoholic, is and must be the master of his destiny. He weill fight to the end to preserve that position.” A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 311

“The great mystery is: “Why do some of us die alcoholic deaths, fighting to preserve the ‘independence’ of our ego, while others seem to sober up effortlessly in A.A.?” Help from a Higher Power, the gift of sobriety, came to me when an otherwise unexplained desire to stop drinking coincided with my willingness to accept the suggestions of the men and women of A.A. I had to surrender, for only by reaching out to God and my fellows could I be rescued.”

DAILY REFLECTIONS is a book written by AA members for AA members.

THE JOY OF SHAR…

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THE JOY OF SHARING-DAILY REFLECTIONS-January 29, 2013

“Life will take a new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up around you, to have a host of friends-this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.” ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS p.89

“To know that each newcomer with whom I share has the opportunity to experience the relief that I have found in this Fellowship fills me with joy and gratitude. I feel that all the things described in AA will come to pass for them, as they have for me, if they seize the opportunity and embrace the program fully.”A book written by AA members for AA members.

We Lose A Lot In Our Addictions; What Do We Gain In Sobriety?

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First and foremost, here is a thought I would like to share with you. All of us that are in recovery and sobriety can still get drunk. Your probably thinking; “What the hell is she talking about! I can’t drink! I can’t get drunk? How dare her say she is sober and then say this!”. Well, let me elaborate. The picture below hit home for me in a very deep place in my heart and so I would like to share it with you as well. Please remember that with an open mind we can learn, and adopt new joys and experiences. Enjoy!

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(Note: Not with wine, but with those things in life that gives you, personally, a feeling of absolute joy. Get drunk on those things! I love this concept, I hope this does not offend. If it does offend or bring up something negative for anyone I sincerely apologize!)

Now, down to business!

I was in Treatment yesterday and one of the classes I was in went over the things that we lose while we are actively in our addiction, and what we gain when we enter the world of sobriety. There were 9-10 people in the class including me and as you would assume there were a lot of different things that came up while thinking of this subject. I tried my very best to write each one down so that I could share them all with you. I hope it inspires and empowers you to know how much positive comes after we let go of the negative. Your always in my thoughts!

Cycle Of Addiction

Tangible Losses In Active Addiction

  • Losing a Job
  • Losing a Car
  • Relationships
  • Losing a Home
  • Losing freedom; Jail or prison time; DUI
  • Losing kids to CPS
  • Health deterioration
  • Death
  • Losing Family
  • Losing the privilege to drive
  • Money
  • Crashing a car
  • Loss of the sense of responsibility
  • Loss of a safe environment
  • Hospitalizations

Intangible Losses Of Active Addiction

  • Self-esteem
  • Morals
  • Loss of time
  • Self-respect
  • Confidance
  • Motivation
  • Ambition
  • Acountability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Dignity
  • Integrity
  • Apathy
  • Desire to live
  • Ability to forgive
  • Denial
  • Taking safety and trust away from our kids and causing trauma
  • Boundaries

What We Obtain  In Recovery Through Honest Change

  • Self-worth
  • Peace of mind
  • Sanity
  • Health
  • Quality of life
  • Relationships
  • Credibility
  • Honesty
  • Faith
  • Hope
  • AA Promises
  • A future
  • Strength
  • Empathy
  • Passion
  • Compassion
  • Humility
  • Ability to forgive
  • Ability to face resentments
  • Taking accountability for our part in things
  • Higher power
  • Spirituality
  • Connection to life

Change in recovery is an inside job and takes a lot of foot work. I have a tattoo on my foot inspired by this concept that says, “Be the change ye wish to see in thou world”. To be a change or to obtain change we have to do a lot of foot work and always take the next indicated step. The more foot steps we take to get out of the wrecked realities of our addictions, the closer we get to all the positive aspects of life-some that we have never even experienced before-if that’s not inspiring I don’t know what is.

I believe that everything I endured in my addiction and in my childhood happened for a reason. My addiction was a result of the pain, suffering, and trauma I endured throughout the first 16 years of my life. After that I began causing more trauma, heart ache, and suffering for myself. Now that I am clean and sober I have a lot within me to offer to others as a hand to pick them up, as a kind work to lift their spirit, a wisdom to offer when times are hard and a solution is hard to find, and most importantly, I have a connection to God that is stronger than it has ever been before. God is the reason why I can offer myself to others in such a beautiful way. Your story is the same, you have God as well in your story, and with God and his will for us we can accomplish miracles!

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THE TREASURE OF…

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THE TREASURE OF THE PAST-DAILY REFLECTION-January 28, 2014

“Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life seem so worth while to us now. Cling to the thought that, in God’s hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have-the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them.” – ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS BIG BOOK p. 124

“What a gift it is for me to realize that all those seemingly useless years were not wasted. The most degrading and humiliating experiences turn out to be the most powerful tools in helping others to recover. In knowing the depths of shame and despair, I can reach out with a loving and compassionate hand, and know that the grace of God is available to me.” – DAILY REFLECTIONS-Written by AA members for AA members.

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