We all have a variety of voices in our brains. Those of us who struggle with food or other substances have a special group of voices in our brains that encourage us to indulge in the wrong or harmful behavior. We can do that, and keep doing it for a really long time.
But if we want to create a peaceful, joyful, recovery, we need to take some different actions. We need to take control of the people who talk to us in our brains. Let me show you a way of doing that.
Imagine four concentric circles. The innermost part is the real you; the person you want to be. Your Inner core of wisdom. The part that KNOWS. Outside the circles, put the people that you are not really attached to. The person who cleans your teeth. The person who cuts your hair or does your nails. The next two circles are for closer people, family and friends, depending on how close they are.
And the last circle, the innermost circle, this is for the people important to you. Three to five people only that you love and trust and listen to carefully. I call them trusted advisers. People I can turn to when times are tough. People I can say the whole truth to, even when it hurts. People whose advice I will listen to and respect.
Now there may be others. My lawyer, my accountant; these I trust and respect, but only in their chosen fields. And I am likely to take their advice and run it by my trusted advisers, just to check. And my physicians. Some of them are highly trusted, others not so much.
Trusted advisers have EARNED their position by being there for me. By helping me, and maybe letting me help them. By having the same attitudes and values I do. By having my back when I am in a tough spot. By standing behind me and cheering me on when the going gets tough.
Trusted advisers are essential to our recoveries. With one mental glance, Gertrude is quiet. With one quote remembered, I know what to do. With a phone call or a text, these people are there for me. If you don’t have the trusted advisers you need, I recommend you define what skills you are looking for, and start interviewing and creating relationships that work for you.
And there are people who have passed out of this life; and people who have spoken and written books. Some parts of these memories we cherish and use and enjoy. Some of what they taught us is precious to us, we use it every day. But it is ok to set aside what is not useful. Especially the negative, hurtful memories; let them go to the people they belong to. Choose to follow and enjoy only what helps you.
Overall, the umbrella is your Higher Power. Your relationship with Him/Her/It has to cover all of this in the unique way it does for you. I think that the more deeply your relationship with your Higher Power grows, the more stable your recovery will become. Let this be a powerful joy in your life.
And last, you need the person I call CEO/Manager. And He/She floats among the levels. Listening to the goals and priorities of the REAL YOU, your CEO can set in motion the things that give you joy and make your life worthwhile. Call for a haircut or a massage. Set up a date with a number one friend. Find a new podiatrist. Do the grocery list and shopping. Schedule your recovery meetings. All these things get done and get fit in to your schedule by your CEO. Your CEO takes direction only from you and your inner core of wisdom, not from Gertrude or your mother-in-law or some stranger. The decisions are for you and your little band of trusted advisers to make, now let the CEO carry out the decisions.
I hope this short series has been helpful to your thought processes. Please be welcome to comment or call with questions, disagreements, or suggestions.
Blessings to you,