Naming your addict is important in helping you firmly establish that your addict self and your adult self are two different people. For more info on that check out our previous blog: Name Your Addict. Beginning to differentiate your true self from your addict voice leads directly into the second step towards your recovery. You have to begin a conversation with that addict voice. Otherwise it will keep running you around in ways that are difficult to get ahold of.
“Wait,” you might be thinking, “I’m supposed to talk to myself? Isn’t that something crazy people do?” While it may be true that we don’t consider this typical behavior, it is not “crazy” at all. In fact, the act of engaging your addict self in conversation is a bold step towards sanity.
Look at it this way: your addict talks to you all the time, doesn’t he? He’s that voice inside your head urging you to look at porn, no matter when or where you are. He’s the one bargaining with you, promising you that it will only be a few minutes, or that it will just be this one time. He’s the one reassuring you that you can quit any time — and more to the point, he’s the one telling you to feel worthless, embarrassed or depressed.
This voice is already talking. This conversation has been there for a long time, waiting for you to jump in. So why not talk back?
Here are two examples to help you understand what these conversations might feel like at first:
- The first example is that of the amphitheater. Imagine you are up on a stage, and in the spotlight. Anywhere you go, the spotlight goes too; but that means you can’t see anything else around you. The audience, the rest of the stage, the room itself — it’s all dark. Perhaps this is what it feels like when your addict begins talking to you. You can’t pinpoint where the voice is coming from, and being up on stage like that, you might even feel a little exposed or embarrassed about answering it. You may even try to ignore it, and get on with your show.
- The second example is that of the business. At one time or another, we’ve all had that nightmare of a boss. It may help to imagine that your addict is a bit like him. He calls the shots, he pushes you around, his actions are all self-centered, and nothing he does is for the good of the company. In this case, “the company” means you. Talking back to the nightmare boss is always a daunting prospect, so much so that the worst bosses often go unchallenged. You may feel intimidated about talking to your addict, because he seems to be so thoroughly in control right now.
Using the powerful tool of your imagination, visualize yourself in whatever situation feels right to you; and begin talking back to your addict. The most important thing to remember is that no matter how intimidating this voice seems, no matter how mean it had gotten in the past, you are the one who gets to call the shots. He is on your turf, and not the other way around.