Saturday, August 1, 2009

Spot! Spot! Spot!

When I'm whipped up into an anxious state or angry temper, it is so easy to forget Recovery training. But of course this is the exact time I need it the most. As Dr. Low pointed out, we must spot symptoms at their very onset:

"Clearly, the trigger symptom must be spotted before it has an opportunity to generate the panic and the vicious cycle. This is possible only if the spot diagnosis is established in the split second when the trigger reaction is born. Stating it otherwise, it means that the spot diagnosis must acquire a trigger quality."(1)

This is easier said than done. Yet I have found that as I practice Recovery, I learn to spot more frequently. Spotting doesn't remove the uncomfortable sensations, as we must wait for those to fall on their own. But it does help to control my reaction to them, as my thoughts and impulses are within my control.

1. Low AA. Mental Health Through Will-Training. Glencoe, Ill.: Willett Publishing Co.; 1997;307.


pasunesainte said...

Hi, Doug. High average posting! What is it Dr. Low says, something like "Recovery is simple but not easy"? We must practice, practice, practice, and you can endorse for doing just that. Spotting physical symptoms (e.g. overall tension, racing heartbeat, sensation of heat, etc.) is an excellent way to start each example.

Cliff Brown said...

Hi Doug,

I think you have stated this most important Recovery idea very well. To me, it is all related to awareness and a big part of that is seeing things at an earlier point. Or, alternatively, using my will and willingness to start to "put the fire out" before it has a chance to gain momentum.

All my best,

Cliff Brown

Doug said...

Thanks, Cliff. I think it's in this key moment we must stress to ourselves that the situation is not dangerous. I almost wish I had the words "spot" tattooed on my hands LOL.

Doug said...

You're right, Pasunesainte. Sometimes people forget to mention their symptoms in their examples, but it's very important to remember to mention those. That's why we're here, after all :)

pasunesainte said...

Good morning, Doug--a fine morning to be endorsing!