The Problem: Internal Shit Storm
More than anyone else on the planet, people struggling with addiction in any form need hope for our future. Normal people may have the luxury of being bored to tears with their lives, but we do not!
Boredom kills us. Hopelessness kills us.
People without any addictions don’t need to turn to a needle or a bottle when they’re bored or unsatisfied with their lives, but we do, and it kills us.
When we are thinking and behaving in a way that doesn’t reflect our values, we have what I call the internal shit storm of discomfort, or the ISSOD, which is an acronym that I made up just now😊
This contrast between our values and our behavior needs to be reconciled, so either we start living up to our values, or we use drugs or drink to calm the storm.
For me, I feel the storm in my upper body right above my belly button. I get that feeling when I feel that I am falling short of where I know I could be, or that I’m not taking action when I should be taking action, or when I’m distracting myself with social media when I know I should be working on something more important.
Every time I’m behaving in a way that doesn’t align with my values, I activate the shit storm.
The good news is that I’ve been sober for a while now and the first thing on my mind when I feel that feeling is not to smoke crack, (it was for years) it’s to take action instead of not taking action.
For people new to recovery, or for people still using, it’s not so simple.
When they feel that storm brewing and they smoke crack or drink or take a shot of heroin, it’s like, the second they do that, it goes directly to that area of their body and totally calms the storm.
I’ve been there too.
They know it’s a temporary fix that is probably going to have disastrous results, but they do it anyway because they don’t know what else to do, and they MUST calm the storm.
The Solution/Calming the storm: Clarity about your future self + action = confidence and motivation
From my experience in recovery, and as an addiction recovery coach, and I have said this over and over in these blog posts, the answer is that we need to know exactly where we want to be in the future and we need to have a plan of action to get there in order to calm the storm without suppressing it with substances.
We need to be excited about our future.
If you’re feeling that storm as you read this, I want you to ask yourself this question:
“If I had a clear picture of the person that I really want to be in a year from now (Think financial, employment, relationships, health…) and in my heart and soul, I KNEW that I was going to become that person, would I still have this feeling of unrest in my gut right now?”
I am betting the answer is no, or at least it would diminish greatly.
See, we don’t even have to achieve our goals to get rid of that feeling. All we need to do is get started on making the change (get a plan, take action, believe it can happen) to become the person who will achieve our goals in the future.
This creates HOPE. Hope + action is the answer to our problems in many cases.
Hope and action create results, and CONFIDENCE comes from recent past performance.
When we start to see the results of our actions in the way we feel and the actual change in our lives, this creates motivation to act more.
*Remember – Action creates motivation, not the other way around*
Now, I’m not saying that every person struggling with addiction can skip detox, or rehab or meetings and go directly to goal setting, not at all.
You need to do what you need to do to get help, that’s the most important first step.
What I am saying is that once we get a little bit of sobriety and want to keep it going, making sure that we are acting in a way that aligns with our values, having a clear picture of our future as well as laser focusing on one big goal is the way to excitement, happiness, motivation and hope.
If you are struggling at any stage of your recovery, reach out to me and let’s have a talk about where you are and more importantly, where you want to go.
Kelly France - Nationally Certified Recovery Coach