Recovery Retro: Change The Tape

Recovery Retro

Recovery Retro features posts from my archives 2016-2017, my chronicles of recovery from alcoholism, mental health issues, and substance abuse. After 35 years of chaos, my life in several VA Treatment Programs was anything but boring. Join me as I share with you my most intimate posts about spirituality, living in the now, acceptance, gratitude, mindfulness, and the lessons I learned that keep me sober to this day.

Published 01/09/2017 at 8:00 am – Day 84 of Treatment
My Ruminations Me A To Z

As I go through this morning I found myself starting to become negative about all the groups I have to attend here at the treatment facility.

And then I got real with myself.  I had to remind myself why I am here.  I had to have a little pep talk with myself about my recovery and its aims.

As a recovering alcoholic I am learning I must always be vigilant to what my tapes are playing in my head.  I am learning to recognize negative thinking patterns.  I never really paid much attention to my thoughts.

Now, however, I am in tune with my thoughts and how much they affect my emotions and behaviors throughout the day.  Some call this “mindfulness.”

When I am mindful that my thoughts may be negative, judgmental, or just plain ineffective, I am able to simply “change the tape.”  That is to say, reorient my thinking to go down positive pathways.

thoughtscharacter on justruminating men's blog

Becoming in tune with how you think from moment to moment can help you to begin to change some of the negative consequences in your life.  This happens when you say to yourself “This way of thinking is not healthy for me.”  Then you simply change the tape!

You will be amazed at how much quieter your world becomes.  How much more at peace your life becomes!  So today, rather than bitch and complain about all the groups I have to attend, while I might not embrace them and do cartwheels, I will remember they are essential to my recovery and well being!

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