“Change your behavior and your thinking changes”

I’m reading a book about addiction, and I keep thinking “i should put this quote or that quote on the blog and see what you-all think…”

I will share more ideas later, and i think i’ll even have a contest to give away a copy of this mystery book … but for now, what do you think about these statements?  here you go…

A Few Inconvenient Truths About Dependency
• Addiction is a brain illness, not simply a failure of willpower or morals … Addiction is about the reward center of the brain. It’s a maladaptive response to trauma and stress.
• Change your behavior and your thinking changes.
• A new “brain model” of addiction is emerging that shows a close link between the symptoms of attention deficit disorder and those of an addicted brain.
• Express self-compassion and you begin to shed feelings of shame, which is at the root of depression and substance abuse.

Are you like me, jumping up and down, saying “YES YES, that’s exactly what I think!” or maybe you’re more relaxed than I am tonight 🙂  Or maybe you disagree entirely … In which case, Cool! More debate!


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Definitely agree with 1# and 2#…
    No idea about 3#…
    Possibly 4# might be right but not so sure it’s
    a) that straightforward to do (show self compassion) or
    b) that depression is caused by shame and is the root of addiction. In my case depression is probably more a biochemical problem….however I do think shame is linked to addiction/ self harming behaviours.
    I was watching some “cpd” on this topic this week and there was a lot of info about how our brains work….basically how the part of our brain that gets “addicted “ is below the higher level thinking part…which explains why we can’t just “think” our way out of addiction. It requires a “rewiring” of the reward centre….which is linked to the emotions and survival instincts of our brains….it’s not easy stuff to understand…..but
    Very interesting! 😊

  • I never realized how much my attention jumps all over the place until I stopped drinking. Definitely feel a disconnect in my brain’s reward center since giving up its #1 pleasure for many years…it’s healing, though, I think. Very interesting points all around…looking forward to hearing more .

  • Woah… I am fascinated and intrigued by the ADHD link, as one with a touch of that. I would answer more at length were I not on the iPad so more later but, meanwhile, can ou email me the name of this Mystery Book? Xx

  • Wow – good question. I am sure there will be some varied responses. One and two speak to me, three is something I don’t have experience with and can’t imagine every drug addict and alcoholic has ADD. I never had it growing up, don’t have it now in sobriety. Just me of course. I am not sure if shame is at the root of all depression and all addiction.

    I am in AA, so my concept of the illness of alcoholism is based on Dr. Silkworth’s “The Doctor’s Opinion” which is found in the big book (Alcoholics Anonymous). I won’t get into here, really, but it does state that alcoholics have an obsession of the mind and an allergy of the body (which means we alcoholics have an adverse reaction when alcohol is put into our system – and that reaction is “MORE”!) Shame is certainly something that I have had and was one of many things that affected me. Resentment, fears, self-will, ego, selfishness, self-centeredness…these are the things that for many of us that drove our alcoholism…I know it did for me.

    Shame is also cyclical – we feel shame, guilt and remorse perhaps after a bender or a drunken episode. Then we drink to cover up those emotions and we’re back out to the races. Deep down my addiction to alcohol came by me not feeling comfortable in my own skin. And shame was in there.

    So yes to #4 in your list. Self compassion, self forgiveness and helping others in any way possible really eliminate shame. guilt is feeling bad for what we have done, shame is feeling bad for who we are. Or think we are.

    Oy vey. I guess in the end it’s really about stopping and staying stopped, regardless if people consider addiction an illness, a disease, a disorder, a mental condition, a behavioral problem, etc. Being sober is wonderful in so many ways.

    My wish for another sober day for everyone here 🙂

  • “Change your behavior and your thinking changes.” Early in recovery, it was put to me like this: “You can’t think your way to sober living but you can live your way to sober thinking. ” (Obviously, since my BEST thinking got me to the jumping-off place.) Great post!

  • I completely agree that if you change your behavior that your thinking changes! This whole post is perfect timing for me…today is my big 6 months…180 days of no wine! I believe that I started ‘thinking clearly’ for the first time in a long time, 6 months ago! I feel ADD now! lol Thank you for the support Belle! Again you’ve made my day! 🙂

  • I wholeheartedley believe in points 1, 2 & 4.

    3 not so much. They try to loop in ADD with everything else. I’m not sure they know what ADD is.

    Pretty cool blog today . Thanks Belle.