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