Pot Addiction : Part 2 - Fighting The Marijuana Habit
Updated: Nov 22, 2019
Liivis has decided to give up marijuana. She looks at the last time she smoked up - just yesterday. She looks at her positive and negative emotions; then she looks at her TEMPTING THOUGHTS that caused these emotions. Next, Liivis writes down her CONTROL THOUGHTS. These she will use to fight those temptations.
Liivis Fights her Demon Temptations
Robert Davies © 2019
“Okay, Liivis, let’s look at the Daily Habit Log. We need to talk about any time you last smoked marijuana. What time do you want to look at?”
“Just yesterday evening.” “What was happening?”
“My fiancé was away. I was alone and bored. So I smoked up.”
“Right. Let’s look at your emotions at that point.”
Liivis picked out several emotions she had at the time. She had felt, ‘tempted, elated, satisfied, great, empowered, happy, high and guilty.’ The strength of these emotions were anywhere from 100% to 70% to a low of 60%.
“Okay, Liivis, let’s look at what thoughts you might have had that caused these emotions. What would you have been saying to yourself, thinking to yourself when you were having these emotions?”
Liivis wrote down three of her tempting thoughts and how true these tempting thoughts seemed.
“Getting high is a good feeling” 100% True
“Smoking marijuana will give me a good sleep.” 100% True
“Marijuana gives me confidence.” 80% True
“Okay, Liivis, let’s check the cognitive distortions for the first thought: “Getting high is a good feeling”. (There is a list of the ten most common distortions at the end of this story.)
How about (3) Mental Filter where you look at the positives and ignore the negatives (or vice versa). Is there anything negative that you left out when you were thinking that it gives you a ‘good’ feeling?”
“Yes, well, I find marijuana increases my anxiety. Plus it increases my procrastination. Both of these are negative.”
“Okay, circle (3) Mental Filter." You didn't take these facts into consideration.
" How about (4) Discounting Reality? In Mental Filter, you looked ONLY at the negative. In Discounting Reality, you ONLY look at the positive. Is that right?”
“Yes, it is, Bob. I really wouldn’t even consider the truth that there were lots of negatives about getting high.”
“Okay, circle (4).
" How about number (6) Magnification and Minimization? Did you make anything bigger than it was or shrink it?”
“Well, I minimized the health concerns and magnified the good points of marijuana."
" Plus I used (7) Emotional Reasoning, where I felt good smoking up. So I would be using my feelings to think with and feelings do not have any brains. However, if I were to use my head, I’d realize that the addiction drives a wedge between me and my fiancé, isolates me, and very importantly causes me to perform poorly at work. I could lose my job if I keep smoking up!”
“Okay, Liivis, what would be more true than, “It’s a good feeling? What would we use as a control thought to fight back the ‘It’s a good feeling’ thought?”
“Well, Bob, how about, “The real truth is that marijuana increases my anxiety and procrastination. In short, I don’t get anything done, and I feel uncomfortably nervous, besides the problems at work and with my fiancé.”
Liivis continued looking at her thoughts and the positive cognitive distortions. She found the lie she was telling herself in the Tempting Thought, and she used the truth in the new Self-Control Thought to do just that - put the lie to what she had originally been telling herself.
This will give me a good sleep became …
It’s NOT good if you can’t control it.
Marijuana gives me confidence became …
Marijuana gives me paranoia and increases my self-conscious feelings on top of increasing my anxiety.
It is a good feeling became …
The real truth is that marijuana increases my anxiety and procrastination. In short, I don’t get anything done, and I feel uncomfortably nervous, besides the problems at work and with my fiancé.
“Okay, Liivis, use these Control Thoughts to stop your Tempting Thoughts. Write them down. Put them on your fridge. Memorize them. Use them to talk back to your tempting thoughts. Okay?”
“Thanks, Bob, I’ll be sure to fight my addiction using these new tools.”
“Great. Next week we’ll do The Negative Liivis and The Positive Liivis” or also called "Liivis versus Liivis".
“Another technique?” “Another technique.”
See Part 3
Cannabis Caveat: Part 3 - Fighting the Marijuana Habit
Checklist of POSITIVE Cognitive Distortions * or Mind Traps
1- All-or-nothing thinking. You think of everything wonderful or good about marijuana or everything not so wonderful without it. You refuse to look at anything in between that might not be so wonderful. You think in extremes often using words like always or never; no one or everyone.
2- Overgeneralization. You take one single event, getting high and you generalize it to your entire future life, making your life entirely wonderful. "Life is and will be just one-big high on marijuana."
3- Mental filter. You dwell on the positives about marijuana and you ignore the negatives.
4- Discounting reality. You ignore any negative facts.
5- Jumping to conclusions. You jump to conclusions not warranted by the facts. a) Mind-reading. You believe you know what people are thinking. b) Fortune-telling. You tell yourself that you can do this forever without negative consequences, that everything will be fine. You tell the future . You will not become addicted to marijuana.
6- Magnification or minimization. You minimize the negative consequences of marijuana or you blow the positives way out of proportion.
7- Emotional reasoning. You reason from your feelings. “I feel good smoking up; therefore, smoking up is good for me.
8- Should statements. You make rules about marijuana addiction. Self-Directed “shoulds” cause feelings of guilt, shame, depression, and worthlessness – I should never have started! Other-Directed “should” cause feelings of anger and trigger interpersonal conflict – "My friends should never have invited me to smoke that drug!" World-Directed “shoulds” cause feelings of frustration and entitlement. I should be able to control my consumption of marijuana. OR Canada should never have made it legal!.
9- Mis- Labelling. Instead of saying: "I have an addiction, or I have a bad habit", you say “I'm cool.”
10- Self-blame and Other-blame. Self-blame. You blame yourself entirely for your bad habit, forgetting others might have contributed to your addiction such as the government making it legal and selling it, making it readily accessible or your friends seducing you into the habit. Other-blame. You blame others for your bad drug habit and overlook ways that you contributed to the problem.