Family Addiction Recovery: A Blog
WHAT IS A TOOL AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Basically, a tool is anything that we use as a coping mechanism or use to shift/relieve our current state. Tools can be unhealthy (e.g., alcohol, drugs, sugar) or tools can be healthy (e.g., breathing, meditation, herbal tea).
Most of us are not raised learning how to manage our bodies, emotions, states, discomforts, and feelings, and we end up turning to what is available to us - what we have learned will achieve the desired effect or release or relief. In 2012, my tools were food (overeating/purging), American Spirits, pot, alcohol, coffee, sugar, explosive rage, codependent relationships, work, yoga, Netflix binging, online shopping, gossiping/talking shit, Us Magazine, any Bravo show, hysterical crying, and long runs. These tools were what I turned to if I needed balance out/couldn't deal/needed to feel/etc., and however destructive some of them were, they got the job done.
Obviously, I was long on the unhealthy coping mechanisms and tools, and short on the healthy ones. What I started to do back in late 2012 (around the time of this chat with Doctor Vegan) was switch out the mix. I didn't eliminate all the unhealthy coping mechanisms right away, but I began to binge on the good ones. I went nuts finding them and collecting them.
When the alcohol was finally removed from the toolbox (read here for tips on how to break addiction), there was plenty to fill the void - including some unhealthy tools I wasn't ready to leave behind (like pot, you can read here on how I broke the pot addiction). The idea was I added more healthy tools as I removed the unhealthy ones, and over time, came to rely on the healthy tools entirely (or mostly entirely). Please note, I quit one thing at a time because that worked for me.
Today, my toolbox consists of breath techniques, hot lemon water, herbal tea, hot baths, coffee, glutamine and other amino acids, essential oils, yoga, meditation, Kundalini music, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), massage, French pastry, Emotional Freedom Technique(EFT), and many other things.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM A TOOLBOX?
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Timothy Harrington is passionate about helping family members of the addicted loved one awaken to their own power and purpose.