Day 18

Welcome to day 18 of my 30 days of sobriety – which focuses on affirmations.

Affirmations …. just the word makes me hurt a bit.

Affirmations are in the proven toolkit of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as well as a billion self-help books, podcasts and Pinterest posts.  I understood (although I have not looked at it myself) that affirmations where the one area of CBT that did not stack up so well from an evidence point of view.  However it seems rough to write it off too much and the logic of the thing makes sense, plus I am supposed to be working the steps after all.

So there is my resistance ‘owned’ now I shall try to jump in anyway, sort of.

First we have some rules for the perfect affirmation (oops not perfect there I am falling into Day 17 trap of perfectionism):

  1. Start with “I am..
  2. Use the present tense (didn’t we cover that in 1?)
  3. State it in the positive
  4. Be brief
  5. Be clear
  6. Include an -ing
  7. Include a dynamic emotion or feeling word
  8. Focus on yourself not others (too easy)

“I am happily burying my husband, peacefully in the back garden”

Right I think I have affirmations sorted.  Well nearly I also need to feel the sun on my face, the smell of the earth, the gentle thud of my gum booted foot on the spade, and picture people congratulating me for a good and challenging job well done.

Although I am not taking affirmations that seriously as you can see.  I have a strong avoidance to negative affirmations – a bit hypocritical – no?

The Authors are with me as they discuss something I have often thought; namely the AA approach of saying “I am an alcoholic”.  Maybe I am totally on board with affirmations as I have always thought that little beauty would drive me to drink for sure.  I much prefer “I am thriving in sobriety”.  The idea of the infamous AA phrase is to avoid denial, but surely showing regularly to AA meetings kinda has the denial bit sorted?

My name is Rachel, and I am thriving in Sobriety – even though I am looking down the barrel of Friday night at the end of a hard week and Saturday being the funeral of a great man.

See you tomorrow.


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