How many times have you said to yourself that this would be the last time that you would engage in a specific act – only to find yourself making the very same promise again, and again, and again…?
Here’s the thing: addiction is cyclical. It is common for an addict to tell himself time and time again that he just needs “one more time” to indulge in the addictive behavior, and that after this last time he will simply walk away from the addiction.
So, he indulges “one more time,” but the behavior never comes to an end with this type of thinking.
Individuals have been known to try to alter their behavior through sheer willpower, alone. But that usually is not enough to sustain any real long-term behavioral changes.
In fact, what oftentimes happens is that an addict will use every bit of will-power that he has in his body to suppress certain desires, only to find himself eventually acting out, again. This, too, becomes a part of the cycle.
He grits his teeth and uses every fiber in his being to not indulge in addictive behavior. But suppressing always leads to frustration. And when frustration grows, and it is unchecked, it is almost a certainty that an addict will eventually binge at some point.
So, I remind clients to be in their moment.
Don’t make promises to yourself about the long-term. Set short-term goals for yourself. Embrace the present and all that it has to offer. Be true to this time right now – not the past, and not the future. If you are hurting, lonely, or depressed – own it. If you are excited, happy, or proud of yourself, own it.
Acknowledge and appreciate the moment. Work through it. Find a way to encourage yourself. Reach out to others who you know will support you. But whatever you do, don’t stop. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
And when you have those moments that you are not very proud of, work through those moment, too. For, they are also a part of your glorious journey.