Like most of the planet, the biggest battle I 've had - is the one with my head. It has as much activity as an airport with thoughts taking off and landing non-stop!
From the time we are in the womb until we are approximately nine years old, our brains are recording the data we use as our way of living. Most of my life I was on autopilot, reacting off of a variety of triggers and not even conscious of it.
Participating in a support group has given me the ability to see how I am programmed. By staying alcohol and drug free, I get to clearly hear my thoughts. If I am willing to admit that something is off in areas of my thinking and then give myself permission to not be 'perfect,' then I can identify my reaction to circumstances. If I look at my responses like a computer program, (an outdated one at that!) I give myself some objectivity. The objectivity makes it easier to identify my glitches in order to make choices rather than be at the effect of my triggers. One of the ways I look at my programming is by identifying an ongoing problem and putting it down on paper. I make a list of events from the past that caused the same feelings. Everything from the present is a trigger for an event from the past – especially if we overreact.
Free time for me can be dangerous. Most of the people I come across are very analytical and will dissect a situation more than a forensic pathologist (especially us females). I try to lead my mind rather than allow it to direct me. If I look at events from my childhood, I usually see where they run things or make my decisions in the present.
Support systems/Twelve-Step meetings have helped me. When I share honestly and with a solution in mind, I can get a reality check. I can hear where my perception of something may be off or learn a new way of dealing with a situation by listening to the experiences of others in the groups. People can walk me through events in my life. I have to be willing to be honest and allow the support.