The Trick is to RememberPosted: January 13, 2011
Addiction is a relapsing disease. If you ever tried to quit anything in your life you’ll know this. Once addicted, you’re always addicted. Even if you quit. You will have flashbacks of your object of addiction, memories, sensations, triggers, cravings. Even after years of being “clean and sober” you will miss it. That THING, substance, action or fill in the blank…
Why? A typical therapist will try to figure out what’s going on in your life to “make” you all of a sudden, more prone to relapse. Good. But usually this is not enough and can end up frustrating you more. Because, many times, nothing is missing. Your life is great (finally) after so much work and you wonder what’s wrong with you for wanting to fuck it all up. Here’s the truth. There is nothing wrong with you. The secret lies in brain processes. Our senses are loaded with memories and emotions. That’s why there is no such thing as “objective” point of view or experience. The reason people relapse on old behavior patterns is because they fail to recognize their mind processes. And rightfully so since they happen almost automatically and without warning. Almost. Triggers do not come out of the blue. Places are loaded with emotions. Emotions themselves are loaded with memories. Physical processes, arousal, cold, heat, etc they are also associated with a memory, action or lack there of. The trick to conquering relapse is to become aware and in tune with your internal processes and trace back a trigger to its original source. Once you do this, the next step is to…well do nothing. But accept it. Love it. It will love you back. The worst thing you can do is react to act. Whatever you do, you can chose not to do what it’s asking you to do. Don’t fight it. Just love and accept it and then move on with your day.
See, the trick is not to forget. It is to remember.