by Joshua Hoe
Why did/do you act out?
I used to just assume it was because I was a terrible, broken, and hopelessly addicted person.
That I acted out because I was wrong in ways everyone else was right.
But this was a dangerous double edged sword:
On the one hand, yes, I was different than many people because I had compulsive urges to act out (although there are literally millions of addicts just like me and you).
Thinking like this had the benefit of making me understand that I had to HIDE some things about myself socially (which obviously later turned into resentments, self-loathing, and isolation).
But on the other hand. it started to justify my acting-out cycle. Believing I was hopeless told me I had no other choice but to act out.
It was a built in excuse for continuing my behaviors.
So, I guess, really, the sword cut two bad ways (not good/bad).
Anyway, the point is that looking “generally” at why we act out might send us down some dark paths.
So, what’s the answer?
Crime Scene Investigation – Triggers Division
Usually, when I was doing my own post-mortems post-acting out, I would think of it as a broad moral failure.
Now, I try to be as specific as possible, almost CSI-like precision.
The reasons I act out are specific and identifiable, they require me to think about all the things surrounding me that might have triggered me at the time.
I make lists.
Lists help me know what to:
* Concentrate on in therapy
* Use to know when to do something different and better
* Know to talk to my sponsor about
* To know what to 4th step about (resentments)
* Recovery, for me, is about the details. The nitty gritty.
Recovery is about NOT accepting general narratives of moral failure and inevitability.
It is about rolling up your sleeves, asking for help. and doing the hard work.
It took me a long time to be that specific with myself.
But, Thank goodness, I did.
Do you use generalities to stay in your acting-out cycle? Share your story, I would love to hear your perspective, leave a comment!