"When in Doubt, Don't…Really?"

Living life on life's terms is full of emotions and thoughts. One of the most difficult to address is doubt. How would we define doubt? How about, "to feel unconvinced or uncertain about a current or future behavior or thought". Many times the word doubt is prefaced with the word "self". We see doubt among all people, not just those of us in recovery. Doubt is more subtle than fear or anxiety. That may be why doubt actually gets in the way of a productive and healthy life even more than fear or anxiety. Those get up in your face. We know when we are feeling them. Doubt can be undetected or dismissed.

So, what are some symptoms of "self doubt"?

  1. Hesitation or reservation before doing something you have decided you want to do.
  2. A disbelief in our ability to achieve what we want to achieve.
  3. Over analyzing.
  4. Dwelling on how we don't want to screw things up. We think on it so much that we become paralyzed and make no decision or move at all. Or, the "bad" outcome just seems to happen. We call this a "self-fulfilling prophesy".
  5. A voice in our head that says we can't do something or that we stink.
  6. Trying too hard. This feeds into that shame message that we try to quiet with enough good behavior. It never works and just feeds the doubt.

Sometimes the cause is a thing called "self talk". For many of us, our "self talk" is pretty negative, much of the time. We call ourselves names, etc. We wouldn't allow another person to talk to us the way we talk to ourselves.

Doubt, many times, does not happen or we just don't recognize it in real time. So, what happens if we don't deal with doubt? Our confidence is weakened. We will tend to over think almost everything. We don't wonder if we got clean enough after taking a shower. We do wonder if other things or behaviors in our life are good enough.

Here's what we don't want to do to address the doubt: Try harder. This will usually create more doubt, more shame. Trying harder creates even more tension and stress in our lives.

Trust and believe in a new mantra: "There is nothing wrong with me. There never has been anything wrong with me, and there never will." Give yourself time to change your way of thinking and believing. Develop an awareness of exactly when you are doubting. Stop and address it. Let go of any negative self talk. Remind yourself of your new mantra. Immerse yourself in relationships with people who are good for you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Rick B.



Pain Reliever Abuse Trend

In the past 10 years, the number of treatment admissions into Medication Assisted Treatment programs has tripled. Nationally, nearly a fourth of all admissions into MAT are for those suffering from abuse or dependence on either prescribed or illicit pain pills. This is striking when you remember that the great majority of those needing to enter treatment, don't. For the AALCT, about of half of our admission are due to heroin dependence and the other due to pain pills, mostly hydrocodone. Twenty years ago, 98% of admissions to MAT were to treat those addicted to heroin, and most of those were injection drug users.

Adapted from SAMSHA report


Dr. Candace McDaniel
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Dallas, Texas 75228

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