Racing Thoughts: The Battle in your Head

On a good day, the “racing thoughts” come and go. On a bad day, they marinate a narrative in my mind that tell me I’m not good enough, smart enough, or I should be doing more. For me, that leads to some general anxiety and depression. When I’m in that spot in my head, there is nothing that can change the feeling. It’s just bad place for me to be in, and I know this today.

“It’s like my dopamine is firing blanks.”

The “clicks” on social media or purchases on Amazon don’t work anymore or bring little shots of joy. It’s like my dopamine is firing blanks. The only choice I have is to sit with the emotions. Or, take action.

Here are few things I do when I’m stuck in my head. I would like to add that alcohol and drugs are no longer an option for me to solve my emotional issues. That’s amazing. But I’m still left with myself, minus my number one coping skill. I once read, “You can make the leaves fall off the tree by shaking it, but the leaves will grow back, unless you get to the root.”

  1. Gratitude List. So I am five years sober, and just started practicing writing down a list of what I am grateful for. I always advise my clients and sober peers to write a gratitude list, but never have practiced myself. However when I wrote one last week, I felt better. I started with everything that I felt was wrong with my life. Then I wrote what I’m grateful for, then I wrote how I felt at that very moment and how silly my thoughts had seemed now that I was grateful.
  2. Thoughts are just thoughts. I heard in a meeting, “the voices in your head is not your higher power, it’s your Schizophrenia.” That made so much sense to me! This disease of addiction is truly originated in the mind. My best decisions listening to myself got me into treatment and other unhealthy situations and places. So, on a good day, the thoughts come, and let them ride right through.
  3. Take Action. There is nothing like taking physical action and doing something to get myself out of my head. It can be taking out the trash or blogging. If I get out of my own way, and do something productive no matter how small or big, it makes me feel better and calm my mind.
  4. Sit with your emotions. This one is tricky but I love practicing. I could have never done this is early sobriety or the first few years at that matter. But when I am able to sit with the feeling and emotions that my thoughts are causing, I can let them pass or I can dig deep and search for the root of why the thoughts are making me feel a certain way. It’s more like mediation, but when you are in the middle of a meeting or in front of large crowds, it’s a little hard to meditate.

I would love to hear your some things you do to quite the noise in your head.

 Walk Towards the Cheers…

What’s your purpose after addiction?

We all get derailed, but the challenge is getting back in the right direction!
We all get derailed, but the challenge is getting back in the right direction!

What’s up everyone! So an interesting week to say the least! Everything from South Texas floods to helping someone out and not even doing a thing!

So, we’ll start with the floods. For those of you that are not aware, a huge storm in Wimberley, Texas has prompted floods all over the Texas hill country. And for those who are not aware, I work in Wimberley, Texas! First my prayers go out to the families that are still missing, truly devastating.

So let me set the premise. I truly believe we are all born innocent. I truly believe we are here on this earth to help people. And I truly believe that we all have a purpose and path, and my journey as of right now after addiction, is to find that path that I was destined to follow before I got derailed in addiction. And for me, that detour was over twenty years ago. I do not believe I was meant to be an addict, but for this second, “it is what it is.” (I hate that cliche by the way!)

So this past Sunday morning, as I am walking down the mud filled windy road to find out why I can not drive any further on my way from work, I actually felt a sense of “suppose to be here,” kind of deal.

We all had a path, before addiction!
We all had a path, before addiction!

I know it’s weird. And I could not pin point the feeling as I was slipping and sliding on the wet loose mud until this morning. I remember staring at the sides of the hill country road and feeling like I was suppose to be here. When I got to the bottom of the road, the site was absolutely horrific. A cement bridge was completely taken out by the flood and the house to the right on the bank wiped out. People were taking pictures and asking the owner if there was anything they could do. While going through the debris that once filled his home he replied, “thanks.” I felt bad not helping, coming off my 12 hour shift and trying to find a safe way back to the house I stay at during my work week, however today I realized I am getting closer to my original path my higher power set for me 23 years ago. I can feel it.

So fast forward to today. I’m back at home in San Antonio, Texas getting ready to shower when my phone rings. Now early this morning I prayed to my higher power to “put in front of me, who he wants me to help today.” The caller ID said a friend’s name that I had not talk to in months. So I decided to answer. We exchange hello’s and the usual words when catching up with someone you have not talk to in awhile. Then he went out to tell me about a girl he is dating, however he found out she was on drugs and was almost tempted to try it with her but he didn’t. He recently stop talking to her, however was feeling down because he really liked her. He told me he thought of me, and what I went through two years ago, (really for two decades), and he just wanted to say thanks for sharing my story with him long ago. It helped him this week. I felt great. I felt like my morning prayer had been answered with little effort on my part. It was an amazing feeling that I wish upon everyone.

So to close I am excited. I feel my sobriety is headed in the right direction and I can’t wait to what the future holds. It took a long while to get to this point in my life from day 1 in recovery. It took a lot of hard work and dedication. At the end of the day I am still an addict and my only goal is to stay sober. I hope you have an incredible week, and thanks for reading my blog!

Keeping it sober,