The spiral of change

I’m reading this great book called ‘Almost Alcoholic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Drinking a Problem?’ by Robert Doyle, a Psychiatrist from Harvard Medical School and expert on alcoholism and Joseph Nowinski, a Clinical Psychologist.  It is really worth a read.

In it they talk about using dialectics to promote an inner dialogue to allow insight and maybe even the catalyst for an ‘aha’ moment!  Dialectics is a way to understand the way things are and the way things change.  The 3 simple rules of dialectics are:

  1. Every thing is made of opposing forces/sides (be it object or process)
  2. Gradual changes leads to turning points, where one opposite overcomes the other
  3. Changes move in spirals, not circles

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This makes me think of the expression ‘being trapped in a downward spiral’ which is often how my drinking felt.  But we can also have upward spirals which is where I consider myself now as my health, wealth and happiness improve on an almost daily basis.

They give some great examples of dialetic thoughts and questions to ponder such as:

Who am I vs Who do I think I should I be?

What do I want vs Why am I here?

Where have I been vs Where am I going?

I find these questions useful both from a still drinking perspective or a post stopping perspective.  When I was drinking these questions were helpful in aiding my resolve to change my drinking behaviour initially temporarily and then permanently.

Now I’ve stopped I’m thinking about what I want to do with all the time, energy and resources that are now available to me and how I can best use them to make my life feel like it is moving forward and I am growing, learning and reaching my full potential.

6 thoughts on “The spiral of change

  1. so true. thank you. change IS a spiral. moving around and around a central point – sometimes in an extremely elliptical path so we seem to have moved a long way away from our core selves and aims – but if we can just keep going we will see periodically as we see our path lower down that we are indeed moving upwards! P xx

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