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Rein In Your Brain - From Impulsivity to Thoughtful Living in Recovery

Following is an excerpt from Rein In Your Brain, by Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, BSW, NCAC II.

Why Did I Choose My Partner?
There are positive and healthy reasons to be attracted to and develop a relationship with someone, and there are less healthy reasons for doing so.

Rein In Your Brain - From Impulsivity to Thoughtful Living in RecoverySome people bond over a cause they're both fighting against, like war or poverty. Other people fight for something, such as clean air or water, or a particular political candidate. Issues such as these can unite two people to such a degree that personal differences can be glossed over. However, when the cause ends for one or both, so do many relationships founded on that cause. This is also seen in relationships that spring out of Twelve Step groups, when people get together out of their shared cause of staying sober. Often if one person relapses, the other is influenced to do the same. This does not mean you shouldn't be with a person if you both believe in the same things. The challenge is reframing the relationship beyond your shared cause.

What Does an Unhealthy Relationship Look Like?
Frequently, the dynamics from our family of origin prevent us from knowing the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships in adulthood. Most people strive for healthy relationships but grow up without a gauge with which to recognize one when they see it--or are already in it. Often, overarching unhealthy
behaviors learned in families are passed down from one generation to another. Here are some examples of unhealthy behaviors:

What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like?
Regardless of what role you may have adopted previously in relationship conflicts, at this point, I ask you to consider holding a new, healthy worldview. What would that be like? It would mean having a view of relationships that looks something like this:

Rein In Your Brain - From Impulsivity to Thoughtful Living in RecoveryExcerpted from Rein In Your Brain: From Impulsivity to Thoughtful Living in Recovery by Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, BSW, NCAC II, the executive director of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals.

Rein In Your Brain: From Impulsivity to Thoughtful Living in Recovery
Softcover, 208 pages

Addiction--whether to mood-altering substances, gambling, sex, or food--stems in part from an over-reliance on the reward system of the primitive part of the brain, pushing us to make poor choices based on an expectation of immediate gratification. Those of us in recovery often struggle with compulsive thoughts and behaviors that are still programmed in our addictive brains well after the drinking and drugging has stopped. These often play out thoughtlessly in our interactions with others, damaging our relationships and growth as balanced human beings.

Rein in Your Brain, by addiction expert Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, offers ten techniques for breaking the cycle of impulsivity. These time-tested self-interventions include standing still in the moment, giving up control, not assuming another's intent, tolerating differences, accepting emotions without giving them free reign, and differentiating between immediate fear-driven reactions and measured thoughts. By incorporating these tools into your daily interactions, your relationships can move from those of conflict to mutual respect and understanding.

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