Facing your addiction is not easy. Even when we feel we are facing it...we may not be. Getting feedback from others and being mindful of how we impact those around us is a helpful step towards facing our addictions. Whatever the harmful behavior is that we are repeating whether it involves a substance, a thought or a behavior, we cannot begin to change it until we face it.
Look at the reasons you give as justification for the harmful behavior that you repeat. The reasons, justifications and or excuses that you use, keep you from facing your addictions. A great first step is to look at the reasons you give to explain your actions. If we can really look at our explanations, we can get closer to facing our addictions. The next step is to stop stating the justifications, excuses and explanations for our harmful behaviors, and instead just state the harmful behavior that you have. The third step is to list how this harmful behavior impacts those around you.
Here are two examples:
Step 1: Reasons/excuses/justification: "Yea, I drink after work. I don't have anywhere to go and I deserve a drink after a long days work, it's not hurting anyone".
Step 2. Harmful behavior statement: "I drink 6-9 beers every night after work"
Step 3. How this impacts others: When I drink 6-9 beers each night, I am not really engaging in my family responsibilities. I get a buzz or drunk and then go to bed. All of this alcohol is not good for my liver and it makes me cranky in the mornings because I don’t feel good and I find myself not working as hard and that makes it hard for my co-workers
Step 1. Reasons/excuses/justification: "I may scream at her and be a little harsh, but she doesn't listen and if she keeps on this path she will never learn responsibility"
Step 2. Harmful behavior statement: "I scream at her and I am harsh with her"
Step 3. How this impacts others: She has anxiety, and has a difficult time sharing how she feels without getting upset, it negatively impacts her self esteem and she cries
The next step is share your behavior with another and begin to face it
This week, let's try to identify a harmful behavior that we continue to repeat and try to make a harmful behavior statement without any excuses, justifications or explanations for the behavior. This will be a great start.
Take care everyone and have a great week!