NEVER GET TOO H.A.L.T.!!!!!!!!!!!! – Addiction in the Family

Halt addiction

From the book “ADDICTION: Am I Powerless”

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Limbic Change Takes Time

Once the powerless individual or addict knows and comprehends the truth, once the false beliefs are uncovered and the survival lies exposed there is a time delay between how the limbic system functions (how it responds to stress) and what the rational centers of the brain can control and override.

The delay in a “change of reaction” can take anywhere from a couple of months to several years.  It is a matter of reconditioning yourself to react to stress differently; to respond in healthier ways when confronted by uncomfortable moods and emotions.  It takes time and effort to retrain your brain into a positive and productive mode of reaction and response but it will happen if you make a commitment to practice different behaviors.

Right thinking will return if you have the opportunity to challenge the false beliefs and traumatic experiences in a safe environment.  This risk must be taken none the less; there are no alternatives to working through the problems that have been avoided for so long.  You may experience fear and feelings of uneasiness, but once you are able to go through these feelings, even once, without resorting to the old behavior (using) you will begin changing the limbic system response.  During this process you will begin to see more clearly just how the old behavior of using, truly has interfered with your quality of life.  You will transition from falsehood and illusion to truth and reality; from avoidance to productivity and resolution.

Remember; the limbic system is the same area of the brain that experiences Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  The resolution to PTSD is very similar to overcoming addiction.  There is a reason why people who suffer from PTSD are put into support groups and why survivors of work place or school violence are treated together.  Support and safety in numbers reduces the threat thus the fight or flight response.  (You might consider it a herding mentality in the face of danger.)

Once this “changing of the mind” occurs the negative reactions will be lessened by each experience related to a survival threat.  The first birth day clean will be odd but the second one will have the prior as evidence of still being able to have a great time.   It will become less and less of a reflex/desire to resort to the old behavior of using.  Not gone, but lessened.  With support you will be able to make a good choice rather than overreacting with an unproductive and even fake “fight or flight” response as a false sense of resolution.

Old (automatic) habits aren’t changed quickly or easily, and they are stronger when we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (HALT.)  All these conditions are related to survival.  The acronym HALT, is a very popular memory device used to caution members of AA/NA against allowing their conditions to get to dangerous levels.  It is a reminder that resilience is weakened when these conditions are heightened.  These conditions are correlated to an increase in relapse potential.  As mentioned before; hunger, anger, lack of a mate (loneliness) and sleep, are all human survival needs; all limbic system based.

Many recovering addicts and even some trauma survivors have,,,,,,, (Get the book and get what you need to sustain recovery)

By Emmanuel S. John

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