Don’t let the same dog bite you twice.
~ Chuck Berry
Have you been bitten by the same “dog” more than twice? What about three times?
More times than you care to remember? Maybe one of your New Year resolutions is to have this “dog” stop biting you once and for all.
Do you agree this is a problem allowing this dog to “bite” you repeatedly when you know it brings harm to yourself and others? If you don’t, please bookmark this page and come back to it when you are able to answer honestly, “Yes.”
Denial or refusing to accept something’s wrong is a way we cope with emotional conflict, painful thoughts, threatening information and anxiety.
When we’re in denial we:
- Refuse to admit a stressful problem or situation,
- Avoid facing the facts of the situation, and
- Minimize the consequences of the situation.
Denial is the first thing we must deal with before we can start overcoming the “dog” in our lives. “Dogs” are varied in type and size:
- Drug and alcohol addiction,
- Shopping addiction,
- Sex addiction,
- Relationship addiction, and
FEAR (False Expectation Appearing Real)
Sadly, some of us have been bitten by our “dog” for so long we have come to accept it as part of our lives. We can’t imagine life without it – we’re scared to imagine life without our dog.
While some of us were able to deal with our dogs on our own for the majority of us, our best efforts by ourselves have gotten us where we are today – bitten, bitten and bitten again. We need to partner with someone who is safe and we can trust to help us overcome our dog.
This partner must be someone we can be open, transparent and accountable to. There are support and recovery groups available for every addiction there is.
Joining a group will allow you to get a sponsor, someone who has been where you are and can guide you on your road to freedom. In addition to joining a support group, consider seeing a therapist.
In many instances, our destructive behaviors are based from our family of origin. A skilled therapist can help you discover the root(s) of your behavior and provide you strategies and ways to bring healing into your life.
Keep daily journals identifying the events, your thoughts, feelings, etc. This will help you in reconstructing the circumstances leading to the next time when the “dog” in your life begins to bear its teeth at you.
The information you record will help you in building a plan to counter the dog the next time you are confronted with the same circumstances. Your goal here is identifying your triggers – what sets you up for the dog bite.
Replacing the Dog
Get a new pet to replace your “dog”, one that you can enjoy without getting bit. For example, replace overeating with prayer, reading or taking a walk.
Fill the emptiness with something other than food.
If and when you’re bit again, don’t consider it failure but use it as a point of growth where you review what happened, identify what caused the “dog” to stir, and come up with a plan to avoid its future re-occurrence. You are champion and champion’s always get up one more time than they fall down.
How you deal with your “dog” will serve as a model to your wife and family for when they face-off with their own dogs. Keep getting up and begin living above the influence.
Your family is counting on you.