Now I finally understand what this slogan was all about when I was in AA. It never clicked for me in the years I was there.
But now I'm practicing this regarding CSA recovery, and I now understand it.
I have a couple of stinking thinking beliefs that are completely and totally irrational, that I"m aware of, but am unable to change. 1. I assume that anyone who is being nice to me wants something from me (usually sex). 2. I am only comfortable with pursuing friendships with people I'm physically attracted to (so I can eventually have sex with them). Everything is totally sexualized.
I can't THINK my way out of this mess. I can't resolve my irrational beliefs by THINKING about the abuse and making intellectual connections between the abuse and my behaviors.
Last week I decided to let go of one of my coping mechanisms - attempting to find love/intimacy through sex.
Since then, I've become aware of a certain something that I can't quite put my finger on. My first inclination is to use the word "boundary", but I'm not sure that's the best fit of the word.
In any case, as I'm being aware of my desire/compulsion to act out, and guiding my way against acting out that way, and noticing the craving for love, I direct my behavior towards healthier things: I started calling people in my 12 step program (Al-Anon), and spent a lot of time with a few of them over the last weekend. I let them know exactly what was going on with me, emotionally, intellectually, and regarding my csa recovery work.
And I have to say, in just one week, I am more aware of how dysfunctional that behavior was, and how behaving that way may have reinforced those incorrect beliefs that I'm unable to change. Aware of the beliefs, but unable to change them. Stupifying.
Wow. One of the first things my therapist taught me many years ago was "We have thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We have the ability to change at LEAST one of them. If you can't change your thoughts, maybe you can change your behaviors."
I get it. There's scientific documentation about new behaviors creating new neuro pathways in the brain, and while ceasing old dysfunctional behaviors, those pathways become dormant - and that's where the change occurs. "What the #*(&# Do We Know?" has an interesting segment about this in the film.
So, after just one week of tackling this first coping mechanism, I'm chomping at the bit to begin letting go of another coping mechanism. A harder one. But now I find myself almost looking forward to the day when I finally decide to let that one go too.
I hope someone finds this helpful. It was helpful for me to write this out as I ponder and reflect what is happening as I choose to take a new direction with my behaviors.
Edited by tdillon (01/20/11 09:11 PM)