Because the addicted mind is probably one of the most complex mazes we know of, getting a drug counselor to help us navigate through what sometimes is a minefield of predicaments may be just what you need to facilitate your recovery. Drug counseling provides guidance, insight, and support.
The addicted mind is a wondrous work environment, and it’s a privilege to listen to addicted people and help them work through their most private quandaries.
An Analogy for Educational Purposes
To appreciate just how amazing the addicted mind is, let’s imagine that it’s structured like the US Department of Defense, with its main purpose being to preserve freedom and the pursuit of happiness.
Think of the “upper,” executive part of the brain as the Pentagon, which issues orders down the chain of command to the “lower brain,” or the millions of employees, colonels and and those reporting to them, who comply.
From the executive brain’s perspective, the lower brain, though vital to its operation, works pretty much behind the scenes and out of sight.
For us, this means that while we’re actively pondering executive-type decisions, like whether to use or not, there’s a vast amount of intelligence, experience and awareness that the upper brain isn’t conscious of, but is there, nevertheless, ready to be used. Like soldiers or platoons who’re called into action when needed, these concepts experiences, images and intelligence can be summoned in the flash of neurotransmitters from humongous memory data bases. Without actually thinking about it, the lower brain conducts extensive research about the pros and cons of using or not, such as the last time drug use and drug abstinence occurred, and the general amount of pleasure or pain associated with each. Before we can turn the car key, relevant data is sent up to the upper brain, and a choice of drug to be used is made without consciously being aware of the reasoning behind the decisions.
Granted, the choice can change within minutes or later, while traffic towards the drug dealer’s corner is dense, but you get the picture.
Your drug counselor helps you navigate and reprogram the association between subconscious upper and lower brain communications. Drug counseling will help you navigate your thoughts and feelings, identify triggers, talk through your obstacles, etc. Your counselor teaches you how to command your thoughts in a more longevity friendly fashion by using one of many therapy types.
Many types of therapy come under a broader heading of cognitive (related to thinking) and behavioral therapy involves learning ways to change the way you think and act, so that with ongoing practice, you can accept life on its own terms and maintain a predominantly positive emotional outlook, thereby, being less like to use and more likely to continue the abstinence run. Everyone can benefit from counseling. It can be especially beneficial when negative emotions control your existence.
If you’ve ever gotten into a fender bender with an angry, boisterous Neanderthal, it’s easy to recall how people’s negative feelings can permeate your mind and being. Without therapeutic armor, negative emotions can be contagious. Fear and anger arising from other people’s actions can flood your mind. Once inside, ill feelings and emotions muddle your ability to reason and make choices. Your body may react with raised blood pressure, headache, facial flushing, chest discomfort, muscle stiffness, intestinal discomfort or any of the above, and more.
If you are frequently around stressful situations and abrasive people and have underdeveloped stress management skills, you can start to feel perpetually victimized, hostile and that you’re always treated unfairly. Under these circumstances, negative emotions dominate, even during peaceful stretches.
It’s easy to take on a defensive “I’m going to victimize before I’m victimized” stance. Such pessimists swear by Murphy’s Law that what can go wrong, will. They may wear a smile in public, while feeling critical, negative, grumpy, and worried on the inside, except around people with whom they’re very close.
Why not stay in a negative frame of mind?
Your counselor will teach you it’s like holding live burning charcoal, people harboring negative emotions do more harm to themselves, and run a higher risk of having anxiety disorders, attention deficit disorder, impulse control problems, insomnia, obsessive compulsive behavior, temper outbursts, feel unhappy and assaulting others. This is just a brief sample of what drug counseling can do to help you achieve vintage recovery.
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