What Is “Addictionial?”
Addictionial! Yes, this is a misspelled word. At least, it is not a word that can necessarily be found in a dictionary. It is a word that I formed from the two words — addiction and denial. Why “addictionial?” I created the word to point out the connection between a person who has an addiction and who usually is in denial regarding the addiction.
We all want to feel we are fine just the way we are. But wanting to feel fine and being fine can often conflict with the reality of how we really are. We must look at current reality, accept it as factual and then, while thinking in a calm and truthful manner, devise a plan that moves us away from not being fine. When we are in denial we often (mentally) distort reality so we won’t have to think about changing it.
Why do we distort reality so we won’t have to think about changing it?
There are many reasons, but two that are usually in the forefront are:
(1) We don’t feel strong enough and/or capable enough to change.
(2) We close down our thinking by getting stuck in self-blame and condemnation.
In both cases, denial helps avoid these most unpleasant feelings. Therefore, we “answer” our addiction with the response of denial. We point out cases where our addiction is really not one because there is another person who is a lot worse. We point out cases where someone like us stopped later in life and “is fine,” therefore what we have is not an addiction — just a passing phase.
Self-blame and negative self-talk are learned behaviors. Remember, what is learned can be unlearned. It all has to do with our self-concept. We must work constantly on having a positive self-concept. In this case, that means getting rid of the word “addictionial” and replacing it with “true-reality.”
Being truthful about our reality enables us to eliminate denial by facing the unpleasant reality and saying to ourselves, “That’s not the person I want to be. In the future, I intend to …” Once that has been realized, the next step is to use affirmations and visualizations daily to reinforce the positive image we want. Daily is an important word here because we must face addiction as something we must fight every day. We win the fight against addiction by “taking one day at a time” where we use affirmations and visualizations to help us fight and know when we have won that day’s battle.
To quote an old japanese proverb, “You can’t make a plant grow by pulling on it.” We must create an environment that promotes growth. To grow a positive self-concept, we should take our daily wins against addiction as a big positive outcome in our life. This acts as a catalyst for keeping our environment in a state that promotes our growth away from addiction. We cannot force our “plant of positive self-concept” to grow by “pulling on it,” but must accept that it can and will grow, when we keep it in the environment of daily wins against the addiction.
Perhaps after reading this, you think the suggestion that an addiction can be overcome by just “thinking it away” is not possible. This thought is understandable considering our society and the importance placed on pharmaceuticals and therapy. These can be important aids in overcoming an addiction, but they should not be considered all inclusive. During the last thirty years, scientists have developed a scientific way to describe how our beliefs about our abilities affect those same abilities. It is called self-efficacy theory and has shown that our beliefs about what we can and cannot do, affect our entire life. Some researchers have found that our beliefs about our ability to change health habits, and about the degree of control we have over our lives, have a profound effect on our health. These beliefs determine whether we will actually do what we need to do in order to stay healthy.
Now, based on research, both mental and physical, we know that we can affect the outcome of a fight against addiction, which is affecting our health, by combatting denial and addiction with a well thought out plan. One plan is to unlearn “addictionial” with truthfulness using affirmations and visualizations to reinforce what we really want — a life without addiction — a positive self-concept everyday of our life. If you have an addiction that is having a negative effect on your life then make your plan to unlearn it now – not tomorrow- and “grow” that self-esteem one day at a time.
Addictionial – NO! Making our thinking fit reality – YES!
I’m looking forward to your real comment? :-)