I realised the other week that I seem to be addicted to anxiety. If there is nothing to worry about, I worry about there being nothing to worry about, or I invent things to worry about.
Being addicted to a behaviour is less easy to recognise than substance abuse… and yet, here I am being abused by a repeated pattern of thinking. A tiny amount of research reveals that there is a vast range of addictions on offer. You and I can even become addicted to exercise… allegedly!
I wondered if there was anything to learn from the 12 Steps of the Alcoholics Anonymous model. It was surprisingly spiritual, which may make it unsuitable for Moodscope. However, it is clear that acknowledging the problem and having peer support are really important elements – as is the regularity of the meetings.
These strike me as elements already existing in the Moodscope Model (if there is one we can formalise.) We all acknowledge an issue, we have peer support via the buddies, blogs, and comments, and we can get support on a daily basis.
What fascinates me is the ‘ecology’ of any addiction. There is a positive gain that needs to remain even if the path to it is changed. I worry because it keeps me safe and makes sense of an often confusing and uncertain world. If I ask myself, “What would I rather have?” the answer is, “Peace of mind, and confidence in the future.” The quest thus becomes finding a more delightful path to peace of mind and future confidence (or hope!)
I’ve called out the problem and decided to change. I have a new goal – to seek peace and hope. I’ve got you here to support – and I occasionally get professional help. Is there anything else that can be done? I think there is: don’t feed the wolf.
I remembered that wonderful story of the Indian brave who was struggling with behaviour too. He asked his grandfather how he coped. His grandfather confessed he still had trouble with the very same behaviours. He said there were two wolves fighting inside him – one seeking a better set of behaviours and the other hell-bent on self-destruction.
“Which one is winning?” the young Brave asked.
“The one I feed,” answered his grandfather.
I hope this is helping others too. For me, I need to cut down on any stimulus – including company - that feeds the anxiety. Then, with your support, maybe peace will prevail.
A Moodscope member.