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Showing posts from August, 2013

Let's Talk About Relapse - Day 15 - A Final Word About Masks - Living Congruently With Our Truths

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We have spent the last several weeks discussing the Masks of Relapse. We carefully examined the Masks of Denial, Disguise, and Detachment, learning about their critical roles as we enter into relapse and as we remain there. However, we also learned how to recognize their features and how to implement recovery strategies enabling us to remove them more readily and in a more timely way.  We learned that this is hard work; but that it can be done!  Relapse never rests; neither must we! As we conclude this section in our discussion of relapse, I want to leave you with a personal reflection.

For most of us, as we go through our days, we slightly alter our persona's (who we are and how we act) in order to accommodate others and the norms of our various environments.We want to get along with others, and we want to perform at the best of our abilities. This is natural and healthy. Even with these healthy compromises in our ways of being, we often feel tired, stressed, or worn out by the en…

Let's Talk About Relapse - Day 14 - The Mask of Detachment

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Today, we will address the final mask of relapse - The Mask of Detachment.  In the two previous blogs, we discussed The Mask of Denial (a mask of self-inflicted lies) and The Mask of Disguise (a mask of the false self). We learned about the roles they play in furthering our decline into relapse. However, by developing a new awareness of them, we embraced healing strategies that will aid us in our early recognition of them and in their timely removal. Let's move on to the third mask - Detachment.

As I have mentioned previously, the three masks typically appear in the order that I have discussed them- Denial, Disguise, and then Detachment.  However, they can present themselves almost simultaneously or perhaps move fluidly from one to the other, depending on the relapse episode or the kind of regression into unhealthy patterns of thinking, behaving or feeling. Let's take a look at a couple of examples.  (The names and people I am referencing are fictitious.)
Sophia has been in un…

Let's Talk About Relapse - Day 13 - The Mask of Disguise!

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We are into the third week of discussing the 3 Masks of Relapse.  Last time, we learned about the Mask of Denial and its powerful messages of self-deception!  In fact, I wrote, "The Mask of Denial is a Mask of Lies - Self-Inflicted Lies!" We learned how difficult it can be to arrest these toxic messages, but we learned that it is possible - with hard work. Utilizing the 5 step battle plan (described in the previous blog), we can discard the Mask of Denial and defeat the self-imposed lies before it leads us down the self-destructive path of relapse.  And as we do so, we can reclaim our truths. Let's now move on to The Mask of Disguise.



As soon as we are triggered by someone or something, the Mask of Denial typically is the first mask to present itself.  And immediately following, the Mask of Disguise shows up.  However, they may appear almost simultaneously. Think about this example. (The names and people I am referencing are fictitious,)

Marcus has been clean and sober f…