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Don't Stay Sober "One Day at a Time."

Folks with addictions can do much better.

Published on August 28, 2013 by Lance Dodes, M.D. in The Heart of Addiction
Source: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-heart-addiction/201308/dont-stay-sober-one-day-time

"We have all heard the “One day at a time” AA slogan. Its purpose is to keep people from feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of never drinking again. It may be useful when folks are teetering on the brink of having a drink: “Tough it out, you just have to get through today.” But aside from those moments, it is terrible advice."

"In fact, it is exactly backwards. If people hope to break an addiction, the best thing they can do is think ahead to the next time they’re likely to want to drink (or gamble or overeat). Compulsions, or addictions, aren’t isolated events that must be managed only when they arise. Like every other emotional symptom, they are just a way we repeatedly deal with the central concerns within each of us. So, when people understand how addictions work psychologically in themselves, addictive urges become highly predictable. Instead of having to live with addictions one day at a time, they can master them forever."

"Readers of this blog or my books know that addictions are neither more nor less than psychological compulsions that arise in circumstances when people feel overwhelmingly helpless. This feeling emerges because something in the situation touches on an area deeply important to them. Addictive actions are a way to reassert power against this helplessness; the addictive act is a “displacement,” or substitute, for taking a more direct action to reverse helplessness. Ways to break an addiction, therefore, range from working out the underlying issues that make people feel helpless, to just understanding how, why, and when these feelings arise, even without fully working out their causes. Fully resolving important emotional issues usually requires psychotherapy. But learning how to manage an addiction, and even turning addictive urges into useful tools for understanding one’s own emotional life, can be done on your own. I described how to do this in the book Breaking Addiction. One critical part of mastering addictive behavior is learning how to predict it far in advance. That means thinking ahead."

"By thinking, or even just imagining, future circumstances that are likely to produce addictive urges, folks often feel the early twinges of those urges. Now they are in position to think about and understand why the urges arise in that setting. Once they have gone this far, they can figure out just what actions to take to prevent these urges. This might mean changing future plans, or dealing with a problematic relationship ahead of time, or figuring out how to manage the same situation in a completely different way from usual, or even just developing a new perspective about what is coming up. The point is that all these things are fairly easy to do in advance of that teetering-on-the-edge moment."

"There should be nothing surprising about this. Looking ahead is how we all deal with most of our lives. But to make this actually work, you have to know what to look for. It’s not only the specific situations, but the reasons for feeling overwhelmingly helpless in those situations. As I’ve described elsewhere, people can get very good at this. Some have been able to know why and when they will feel like drinking or gambling months in advance. With this self-awareness, they have been not only able to arrange their lives differently, but also to work on the issues within themselves which make them vulnerable."

"It makes sense for people to know what is overwhelming for them, then to look ahead to when that feeling will return. The last thing people with addictions should do is think about them one day at a time."

Comment: This is common sense, what Dr. Dodes is advocating here. One day at a time pertains the acute stage of addiction but after the acute stage (detox-withdrawal), a person needs to think ahead anticipate, prepare, become Pro-active.  
This is where Celebrate Recovery excels. Celebrate Recovery isn't rocket science, it's good science, in the support of modern day principles and precepts of psychology and neurobiology. It is based on values, character, empowerment, motivation and the ability to change your thinking and change your life.

Celebrate Recover has the Proactive Psychotherapy Manual of Character and Values already written, it is called the Word of God- The Holy Bible, the ultimate book on behavior therapy. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” (TEV). The first reason why you need to know what you believe and why you believe it is because it shapes your life. The Bible tells us that our beliefs determine our behavior. If there are things in your life you want to change, you don’t change them from the outside in. You change them from the inside out. Perfection is not required, but progress is possible, when you allow Christ to change your thinking.


"I am a Surrendered Believer in Jesus Christ with Free Will and I CHOSE Surrender (Intelligent Delegation) in my victory over, “Recreational Chemical Abuse, my weekend, "False Idols."
"I chose DIRECT health assertive Christ Driven Behavior (CDB) instead of DISPLACED behavior in order to regain control over feeling helpless, powerless, trapped and lacking control. I changed my, "Thinking," and God changed my life."
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There is no reason why anyone with any hurt, habit, or hang up cannot be helped. The Person-God partnership simply needs to be more powerful than any hurt, habit or hangup.

Behind everything you do is a THOUGHT.

Every BEHAVIOR is motivated by a BELIEF.

Every ACTION is prompted by an ATTITUDE.


With respect to behavior, life is about, emotions, beliefs, thinking and control.

"A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back."Proverbs 29:11 (Displaced Behaviors)

"Do not be conformed by this world but instead by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2 (Direct Behavior)

When you think and empower yourself and surrender control to God, when you Intelligently Delegate Control to God (2 Corinthians 12:9-10),

God returns that control to you with a, “Helper," the Holy Spirit, (John 14:16) a form of Reciprocal Innervation.

You regain control: "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

No longer are you subject to corrupted displaced thinking but instead are transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).

This is where science and scripture intertwine, where Christ Driven Behavior brings, values, control, cause, character and purpose driven behavior, the fruits of the spirit Galatians 5:22-23 .

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.


Proverbs 29:11 "A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back."

Romans 12:2: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

2 Corinthians 12-9:“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

John 14:16: "He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—"

Philippians 2:13: "for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."

Galatians 5:22-23 "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Ephesians 4:22-23 "...put away the old person you used to be. Have nothing to do with your old sinful life. It was sinful because of being fooled into following bad desires. Let your minds and hearts be made new."

Life is about finding Purpose. When you have a, "Global Purpose," in life, healthy direct assertive thinking and behavior follow.

Change your thinking, change your life!

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