The approach I offer is to help you learn to acquire feelings of joy or satisfaction from the more typical activities of life. My goal is NOT necessarily to have you stop your drug or addictive behavior 100% as would be required from all 12-Step programs or those who treat addiction only as a ‘brain disease’.
But first you need to really understand what you are trying to accomplish when you create a goal. In the method I use, your goals are your choice.
Unlike AA and 12-Step recovery, I offer a wide range of ‘Goal Options’ specific to your addictive behavior. Each goal requires a different strategy and results in a different outcome regarding the substance or behavior of your concern.
• Complete abstinence forever to all mind altering chemicals or behaviors
• Abstinence to just your problem drug, but controlled use of other behaviors
• Moderation of your problem drug or destructive behavior
• Reduction of your problem behavior to a less harmful state
In reality, shouldn’t the goals around the addictive behavior really take a back seat to goals that can ‘Create a Better Quality of Your Life’?
My experience has taught me that as the Quality of Life Goes Up, the Severity of Addiction Goes Down.
So rather than being concerned exclusively about the number of drinks you had last night, wouldn’t you rather measure your success by the positive tangible activities and observable gains you have made towards the overall happiness in your life?
What attaining that Goal might look like for you includes:
- A stable financial situation
- More intimacy in your marriage
- The opportunity for leisure activities without guilt
- An improvement in your overall health
- Improved communication with your children
- Renewed spiritual satisfaction and a feeling of ‘purpose for your life’
Isn’t this what you really want? The ultimate goal for your recovery is to reach a point where your new behaviors and positive thinking become second nature and feel normal. Reverting back to your old addictive behaviors and self-defeating thoughts would feel abnormal, weird and even shocking.