Anyone who has ever worked on addiction recovery will know how difficult it can be. Once you think you have your addiction under some control, it shows up with super strength powers that can leave you in turmoil and fear. The addict side will start having dialogues with you. The addict in you may send messages that states that you are a loser, shameful,” less than” and tells you that you will never make it in recovery. The addict bait may drag you into victim mode.
The addict bait is the nonstop negative messages that you send yourself. Addict bait is the very powerful negative thoughts that you allow to linger in your mind. These thoughts are designed to get you off your recovery plan and back into the addiction. The addict part of you will start churning the addictive cravings.
If you take the addict bait, you have left yourself very vulnerable. Most likely, you will be so focused on all the negatives that you will no longer be able to see the great changes that you have made in your recovery. You will be unable to see that you have many accomplishments and made strides in your recovery. The addict bait is so powerful that it constantly repeats the messages of unworthiness and shame. It becomes like a broken record in your brain.
The first step in combating the addict bait is to start doing affirmations, identifying the negative cognitions that you utilize and not to succumb to the repeating messages that your addict is telling you. This is a
choice. You can allow the addict bait and stay with the thoughts of how horrible things are and keep playing that message, or you can choose to change the thought patterns by switching the message the addict is sending you and contradicting that by the use of a positive cognition.
Instead of feeding into the message of “I am a loser and good things will never happen to me,” you may contradict that by saying: “I have made mistakes and am choosing to take steps to improve my
life.” These tips may sound elementary, but they work. They work when you work it- working it daily,
sometimes hourly if need to be. There is no “magic wand quick fix”, but not taking the addict bait, is an important hurdle to overcome. It starts with you. It starts with your thoughts and learning not to accept the bait as an invitation to roll straight back into behaviors that brought you to despair in the first place.
Ingela Edwards, MS, LPC-Intern, NCC, SRT, therapist at McKinney Counseling and Recovery, specializes in helping individuals and couples heal from sex addiction, infidelity, intimacy anorexia, and intimacy
deprivation. McKinney Counseling & Recovery serves the McKinney, Plano, Allen, Frisco, Carrollton, Lewisville, Dallas and Sherman area.
Ingela Edwards, LPC, NCC, SRT, CCPS is an individual and marriage therapist