Monday, July 12, 2010

Overheard in Recovery: Catching the Brain

Someone recently found the following quote which they shared with a group of us:

Don't believe everything you think.
It is a catchy way of expressing the truth that in addiction your brain is hijacked by the addiction itself. Wiring is short-circuited; old connections are remade in potentially unhealthy ways; pleasure or power become over-riding principles; the foremost relationship in life becomes the relationship with the substance.

And your brain keeps telling you it's all right. The "mature" thinking brain agrees with the instinctual brain and we discover we are doing things we don't "want" to do if we could only get real about it. But the brain won't allow us to. We "believe" what we are "thinking."

Which may be why cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and the behavioral re-framing of the 12 Steps work so well. They help us reconnect with the thinking process and more healthy instincts.So, in other words, if thinking the same things and acting the same ways keeps giving us the "wrong" results, don't believe your brain when it tells you that "next time" it won't happen.

Yes, it probably will.

Don't believe what you are thinking. Catch your brain. Challenge your thinking. Re-frame and begin the work of re-wiring.

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