In this follow-up to her post on incentives, bribes and reinforcing, Laurie MacDougall shares her “One and Done” approach. Read on for a practical and strategic approach to use with your loved one, and look out for her “Buyer Beware” caveat!
A family member writes in wondering about rewarding her loved one for attending a few recovery group meetings. Guest author and recovery enthusiast Laurie MacDougall sheds light on the key differences between bribes, incentives and rewards for positive behavior.
Setting healthy boundaries and confidently following through with them is not easy and requires reflection, work and practice. But it is a strategy that provides support during the difficult times, especially when addiction is present.
Why is it that setting and maintaining boundaries is so difficult to do? Nowhere does this breakdown become more apparent than when we are confronted with life’s difficulties, feeling lost in chaos and despair. This is a time when we are most in need of these self-preserving strategies and yet, our limit-setting abilities are likely at their weakest.
When a loved one enters treatment, there is often a feeling of emptiness which comes suddenly after a prolonged period of anxiety and stress. The source of constant focus and worry has gone off into treatment but the strong emotions associated with their presence may linger. Laurie MacDougall shares how she coped in this situation, learning how to let go and take care of herself.
My healing did not come easily and did not come overnight. It has been an extremely difficult journey and I am still not great at it. It took really small baby steps and there are still many times when I just lose it and cry. What is different now is I have a bunch of tools in my toolbox to utilize. I have strategies and a plan in place.
If I’m out at a party at a friend’s house, staying present in the party, in the moment, and enjoying every single moment with them, because that’s where I’m at right now … [this] helped me to have some joy and love right then, in that moment …