I have been attending a great support group called SMART Recovery that “uses techniques from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), and Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET, a nonconfrontational approach to helping people change behaviors)”.
It’s not fucking based on guilt.
Their techniques really help people with little brain tricks to help themselves in the moment to deal with substance cravings or addictive behavior patterns that they want to change.
If for example you’re addicted to cocaine and are trying to kick that habit, this group won’t automatically make you feel bad about your extreme dick-sucking patterns. Your objective is what you set for yourself.
I was suffering from a terrible Facebook addiction (ie, normal smartphone-use compulsion), and adjusting to my very weird mix of new psychiatric drugs and dealing with benzodiazopene withdrawls because my prescription ran out (and the American health-care system is bullshit when I couldn’t get psychiatrist appointments), so I wasn’t beating myself up about smoking weed at that time.
You set your own goals. By the following week I quit smoking weed anyways because it mixed horribly with my two (2) mood stabilizers (Lamictal and Geodon). As much as my favorite hip hop songs talk about smoking weed every day to deal and calm down, it did the opposite for me.
And not-feeling guilty about something is the most effective way for people to change their behaviors. Being scared into submission is what two (2) of my past therapists tried to do, so I dumped them both.
Your brain creates new thought patterns by building neuron pathways. This is most effective when doing something that you like. Which is why learning and memories don’t occur in school classrooms when students are stressed or scared or endangered in their home-life or living in poverty. Teachers need to make school and learning fun and enjoyable.
SMART Recovery is an international organization. So if you jive with this kind of peer-led support, check it out to see if there are meetings near you; or else you can join the chat room and online message board where they even have time schedules to do a webinar kinda thing.
I’m proud of using a semi-colon in that last sentence.
They promote tools like cost-benefit analysis, hierarchy of values, ABCs for coping with urges, and the lifestyle balance pie. And who doesn’t love pie?
That being said, I have a problem with their technique “The Problem of Instant Gratification” (PIG). Not because of its inefficiency, but because of my radical poltical beliefs and dreams of a future fully automated gay space communist society.
I don’t think people should have to cook food if they don’t want to. I think there should be communal kitchens everywhere throughout their neighborhoods for everyone to go and eat for free. I believe in a division of labor and that we can evolve past the impossibility of cooking fresh produce meals 3x a day.
Having our needs provided for through division of labor can be instant in a planned socialist economy.
Obviously in the case of SMART Recovery, they are talking about drug addiction and changing your thought patterns to cope with urges. I fucking love eating donuts and cookies and dark chocolate and chips and hummus and beer, but I am not going to blame myself for trying to live on a shitty work/home life shopping schedule and not being able to go to the grocery store so often.
Capitalism divides us and individualizes our human needs because it’s profitable. Ever-increasing profits is necessary for capitalism to continue, and when it doesn’t it crashes.
If every single human on earth had their own individual house and car and had to drive to the store and buy their bullshit that they offer us based solely on profits, they would. This is why I don’t “blame the victim” for people eating Doritos and Mountain Dew because food deserts are a real thing.
This shit is not complicated, we sent people to the fucking moon, we can figure out how to serve people these inevitable human needs in a healthy and convenient way.
So yea, that’s my problem with the Problem of Instant Gratification (PIG), which has nothing to do with drug use like SMART Recovery was talking about.