Addiction and Recovery

Mud Moments in Earth School

I enjoy catchy phrases and sayings, especially when I hear one that I haven't stumbled across this far along the road (although I guess nothing is really "far" on a limitless journey).  Two phrases caught my ear recently, and I combined them in the title.  One is "mud moment" and the other is "Earth school".

Better Is Better Than Best

I've previously discussed the concept that "progress works backwards", meaning that growth toward a desired goal generally happens in incrementally improving stages. I find a lot of hope in the idea that what initially seems like "failure" is more productively viewed as useful feedback on the path to ultimate success. A related philosophy is the idea that "better is often better than best". This may initially seem to be a confusing and contradictory statement, but the idea is actually both simple and comforting.

Be Thankful for Painful Consequences

As much as they hurt, sometimes there is reason to be thankful for painful consequences.

Every action (and even inaction) has an effect. This seems pretty straight-forward, right? Yet all too often we want to avoid experiencing negative consequences for what we did or didn't do. The result of this avoidance is that we are much less likely to learn from our mistakes.

The Truth About Ultimatums

I recently worked with a client in my Atlanta counseling practice who reported that her partner "gave an ultimatum" for her to stop acting in a certain way. She asked for advice, which gave us an opportunity to discuss the nature of ultimatums. I decided to write it up in this brief post.  Eveb though it's a simple concept, these are sometimes the ones we tend to forget without a reminder from time to tome

Picking Up the 500 Pound Telephone

One of the most important tools available to someone breaking the bonds of addictive behavior is the telephone. The "cunning, baffling and powerful" nature of addiction thrives in secrecy and shame, and open communication brings much-needed air and light into an addict's walled-off lifestyle. It's been noted many times that the first word of the "12 Steps" of addiction recovery is "we." And yet picking up a telephone and talking to another person is one of the hardest possible behaviors for a habitually secretive addict. This is the origin of the saying about the difficulty of "picking up the 500 pound telephone".

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