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 I can not 
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:55 am
Posts: 112
State/Province/Country: The Netherlands
My addict always tries to tell me I cannot achieve anything. However, little did I realize that I am a computer game addict. The "I can not" only served as fuel for the addiction, rationalizing the gaming even more as an only means to achieve something meaningful in my life. Everything else just faded from my life and was replaced by gaming and the "I can not". When I would try to achieve something my addict had a couple of examples of "I can not" and surely this was proof that the next thing I attempted would fail. And, sure enough, my addict was proven right. Another "I can not" was proven right.
However, I did not notice that I always ended up at the screen, gaming, before finishing whatever I had started. Gaming surely wasn't the reason my life was falling apart and for all the failures, everything else was though.
Since I'm free of games I have noticed that there's this pattern of "I can not", however it's just another excuse to not work on what my higher power wants for me. If I notice an "I can not" than that's a challenge to me to prove my addict wrong. My addict always shows me anxiety and fear of failure or rejection, all in order to make the self-fulfilling prophecy of "I can not" come true. That's an ideal moment to ask my higher power to take away my anxiety and/or fear.

There is a variation to "I can not," and that is "you can not." It is notoriously said by others, but when they say that they are actually saying "I challenge you!" Which is really encouraging, because these others would be amazed by me proving them wrong. They aren't pulling me down, they are actually encouraging me forward. The more elaborate the "you can not," the louder they are screaming "I challenge you!"

So, I draw inspiration from those that try to discourage me. That's my higher power telling me that I should really do exactly that what they were trying to discourage me from doing.

Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:21 pm

Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:45 pm
Posts: 98
Lovely and so motivating to read this. Thanks for sharing!

Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:37 am

Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 3:06 pm
Posts: 940
Location: Charlottesville
State/Province/Country: Virginia
Good awarenesses! Thanks for sharing.

My life has been completely transformed by purposely doing the things I thought I could not do or had been too scared to try. I read in a self-help book somewhere, "Whether you think you can do something or you think you can't, you're right." In other words, most of what limits me lies in my own mind.

When I first got into recovery about age 23, I was terrified of public speaking. A year later I took a weekly commitment in AA with a few other people from my home group to travel to many other speaker meetings and share our stories. I signed up for a public speaking course and completed it. I still had a fear from childhood of playing sports. So I started playing racquetball and ultimate frisbee. I was scared of flying and traveling alone to other countries, but volunteered for overseas projects at work and spent many months in Asia, Europe and Africa. Higher powers kept leading me toward crazy scary new adventures, like attending an anarchists gathering, living for a month on an old commune, and taking primitive skills courses. I kept putting one foot in front of the other and experienced all three. I was led toward quitting a great job and selling my home, so that I spend a year in primitive shelters in the wilderness of Wisconsin. All the while, Addict Brain kept screaming at me, No! This is madness! Turn back! You'll wreck your life! Stay where it's safe! Thankfully my step work and recovery program gave me the tools I needed to hear and heed the guidance of my higher powers. I completed the year, learning to live off the land and deal with summer's mosquito swarms and winter's sub-zero temperatures.

I have not one regret about any of these life experiences. I hope you're able to keep putting one foot in front of the other and do things that Addict Brain tells you that you cannot. While I doubt it's best to do everything that other people tell you that you can't do, it's great to hear that you are inspired to accept challenges and are not limited by their opinions. You're an inspiration to me.

Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:09 am

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:00 pm
Posts: 11
State/Province/Country: Arizona
This was helpful thanks, I deal with that voice constantly

Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:10 pm
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