You Can Resist Your Urges. #BelieveInYourself #MOMF

A lot of folks who struggle with chronic pain, a desire to stop smoking or drinking, and/or a desire to lose weight (among other things). None of these concerns is easy to manage, but I have found that the issues have a lot in common. In my opinion, they all involve the brain sending inappropriate signals.

For example, chronic pain is the brain suggesting pain when there is no acute injury. The pain is REAL, but it is a brain malfunction. Pain is meant to tell a person to stop something (like stop touching a hot stove). However, chronic pain has no function. A person with chronic pain (and no new acute injuries) should keep active despite feeling pain. Resist the urge to become inactive.

In folks who overeat, it is kind of the same thing. The brain is sending a hunger signal when there is no need to eat. The hunger is REAL, but it is a malfunction of the brain. The person who feels hungry when it is not time to eat should not eat despite feeling hungry. Resist the urge to overeat.

Although it is not quite the same thing, folks who crave cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs have a real craving coming from the brain. However, they should not give into the cravings despite feeling that they need it. Folks who are drawn to unhealthy relationships should not give into those attractions despite feeling like they can’t let go. Resist the urge to make unhealthy choices.

Here is my point. We all have unhealthy tendencies, desires, attractions, feelings. One of the things that separates us from animals, though, is that we possess the ability to pause, reason with ourselves, and stop from engaging in unhealthy behaviors. We possess the ability to resist. We can step outside of our feelings and rationalize that acting on our feelings is not healthy. I am not saying that we can make the feeling go away (at least not immediately), but we don’t have to act on it. We possess the ability of self-control despite how out of control we might feel. I submit to you that it is a process that starts with one step at a time.

The first step is, “I have a problem.”

The second step is, “I own this problem.”

The third step is, “Starting today, I will do _____ to fix this problem.”

The fourth step is, “I am observing myself, what works, what doesn’t work, and what else I need to do to fix this problem.”

You do this one day at a time and sometimes one hour at a time. You fuck up. You reflect. But you don’t give up trying. Many times you have to work on it your whole life, but so what? We are all works in progress. Life is about self-improvement. You are always learning. The point is that you can. You have the ability. You have the reasoning. The question is, “Do you believe in yourself?” That is something no one else can give you — belief in yourself. If you believe in your ability to do the specific things you need to do to overcome your problem, you will be successful, which is why you need a specific plan.

I know that sometimes you feel like a servant to your cravings and attractions, but I just want to remind you that you have the ability to stop….. to say:

“No way mother fucker. Today, I am done with that. Just because I feel the need to do something unhealthy, doesn’t mean I should/will do/have to do something unhealthy. I am not an animal. Even though it doesn’t always feel like it, I can control myself. I will remind myself what I have lived through, what I have accomplished, and what I have learned. I will break down change into small steps and will focus on this moment only. When the next moment comes, I will deal with it, but for now, I will breathe. I will breathe strength. I will breathe positivity. I will cuss aloud. Then, I will continue to breathe” MOMF

Author of Move on Motherf*cker: Live, Laugh, and Let Sh*t Go. Using CBT, mindfulness, humor, and profanity to feel better.