Self-Destructive Patterns

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Self-Destructive Patterns

by Dee Cohen

Beyond Addiction

Beyond Addiction

How do you get the energy to combat an old pattern in your addiction recovery? It is helpful to write out or sit meditatively and ask yourself where the former pattern takes you and how you feel afterward. How do you feel after having a few chocolate bars or calling someone back to scream at them? Compare that to how you feel after taking a run, doing some journal writing or something that increases your energy and awareness.

A very important factor for addiction recovery is being able to have tools for dealing with difficult situations, rather than going into an escape route such as taking drugs. Initially it is hard to use new tools rather than old habits but as time goes on, the old habits appear to offer no solution and the new tools give one a sense of accomplishment and enrichment.

It is similar to the feeling one might have where someone might have chosen to jog for 20 minutes for relief instead of running out to buy chocolate and ice cream to deal with an argument they just had with someone.

Drug or alcohol abuse is something that will appear in one’s mind in challenging moments to offer a relief, but is this relief more like scratching a mosquito bite? You get a momentary relief but you aggravate the initial problem. Motivation is very important to keep going and trying to put the two routes you can take in front of you is helpful for making healthy choices for recovering from an addiction.

Thinking about the unhelpfulness of scratching a mosquito bite can help to outline what solutions appear to the mind during stress that really are not long term solutions. Our bodies want to heal and our emotions and spiritual sides want wholeness.

Thinking about what solutions are truly helpful versus only provide momentary relief can help you take the right fork in the road in trying moments while in the addiction recovery process. Reading the journeys of others who have overcome their own addictive patterns is also very helpful for inspiration and motivation.

Though we know that people relapse, there are many true accounts of those who have crossed the bridge to the other side. Their courage and stories are a wonderful support and useful for a true turning point.

Dee Cohen, LCSW, is a licensed social worker and certified yoga teacher. She recently finished writing an e-book which includes interviews with five ex-addicts who have gotten beyond their addiction . You can read their accounts at

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