Our Stages Of Change
As most of us know, behaviors that we have had, or hung onto, for a long time, are the hardest of all behaviors to change, or to quit. I have included above, and throughout this writing charts that are similar types of Stages Of Change.
Although similar, there are some subtle differences among them. In this piece I wanted to talk about and give my input on some of the beginnings parts of how this usually works. The Precontemplation Stage, Contemplation Stage, & The Preparation Stage.
The Precontemplation Stage. This is a stage where we most likely, do not see ourselves taking any action. The coast looks clear for the immediate future. We normally do not have intentions or reservations. Problems may actually be very close to coming, however for whatever of many reasons, we just aren’t aware of them. Actually, our current behavior(s) may be “pre problematic,” or it may have the ability to become so, but again, we just do not see it. Yet.
Smart Recovery says “precontemplators may show up in Therapy, or Mutual-Help Groups under duress, pressures from spouses, employers, parents, or courts. They resist change & usually place responsibility for their problems on external factors like genetics, family, society, the legal system etc. They don’t feel they can do much about the situation, & really don’t want to.”
That is a place in life where I was definitely at, at a major part of my life. My active addiction part(s). It is usually, a very chaotic time of life. Like the quote says, “under duress.” They most likely have no desire to be there yet. It is just such an incredibly difficult and life altering choice. Just as big a change as the addiction causes, getting out of the addiction is just as much, if not more change.
Next, we move onto the “Contemplation Stage.” It is when we start to think about things on a more conscious level. Smart Recovery states “People start weighing the benefits and costs of change and may experience mixed feelings, ambivalence; that people normally feel about change. Many find that writing down the benefits and costs of change help them decide.”
it really is a definitive time where a lot of decision making needs to be done. SOBER decisions. It was a time where I have made true life changing decisions. Being Sober during this time, was most likely the reason I am on such an incredibly healthy life now when it comes to My Liver Function, and Hep C. I am on the 8 week regiment of a medication, and am already testing undetectable at the 4 week part. I would had never been at that stage of life related to my Liver, if I didn’t sober up for real.
My Liver health would had most likely went back several more steps, and things could have someday turned to phrases like Cirrhosis, Liver Cancer, Liver Failure, Liver transplant etc etc. Just imagine that shit. Sometimes it pays to grow up.
The Preparation Stage, is when we start making final decisions, and begin moving forward.
For Preparation Stage, Smart Recovery states, “at this stage a person has decided their life needs to change, and are open to seriously considering options. They gather information, evaluate alternatives, & take small steps toward changing their behavior. They start looking toward the future, and less at the past.
This Prep category, just really describes all the kind of details that were present, and happening once I got Sober from Drug Addiction. The type of power we can have in our own minds is so unbelievable & powerful, that the success you can gather up with your mind, and will is really endless, and the type of power can literally be as strong as you want it to be. It is all part of the sole reasons I got sober. Once I really understood, and could comprehend how much pain I was causing myself, and my loved ones, then it quickly turned into something that I just knew I had to do. If not, then my only other choice would had been to DIE.
The Stages Of Recovery and the Stages of Change absolutely go hand in hand in our lives. There are other steps along the way that also can be talked about in the future; as you can see on the charts, they’re Action, Maintenance, Lapse, Relapse, and Exit.
Without a total understanding these stages, I think that less knowledge may slow down, or hinders Recovery all together. The biggest stage is Action which I recently wrote about in a crossover piece. That one gives us an excellent understanding of us. Til Next Time…..
Thank you for reading, MICHAEL PATANELLA