Beyond Addiction book: Ambivalence is normal (I want to stop; No, I don't want to stop)

Today's reading for me in the book "Beyond Addiction" talks about ambivalence. The "I want to stop" and the "I don't want to stop" that addicts say... But not just addicts...

Haven't you ever wanted to say, get in shape? And one day you're like, "I want to get in shape, exercise, eat healthier, etc." and the next day you're like, "I don't want to do all this... I'm in good enough shape". That's ambivalence. That's the emotional roller coaster ride, and addicts go through this too.

They want to stop drinking/drugging sometimes, and other times they don't. Remember, they are getting something out of their using, even if that something is not what you understand (feel good, numbing pain, social acceptance, less anxiety, etc.)

What i liked about this short reading today in the guide was a reminder not to get into an argument when you hear your loved one say something like, "I don't want to stop!" If you start lecturing or warning or yelling... that's likely to make him/her react in a defensive way.

"Not getting into an argument gives him room to reflect on his own reasons to change. Instead of fighting with ambivalence, you can gently guide his behavior with your responses. You can choose to respond with communication and behavioral strategies that help tip the scale toward change. Patience can come in very handy!"

Allowing him/her to reflect... process... that's good advice.

Here's the link to this short reading in the guide:

https://the20minuteguide.com/parents/helping-with-understanding/ambivalence-is-normal/
  • 1 Commentby Likes|Date
  • Ambivalence is such a HUGE part of addiction. And not arguing is such a HUGE part of being the loved one of someone struggling with addiction. Patience isn't always easy, but it is a wonderful tool to have in your tool box!
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