Mind over Mind
There’s an old story, you may have heard it before. A boy asks his grandfather why he feels so conflicted and how to become a good man when there is so much bad in him too. The grandfather tells him that inside his heart, there are two wolves fighting a vicious battle with one another, each bent on destroying the other. Whichever wolf wins, will be the man you become.
The boy asked “But Grandfather, which wolf will win?”
The grandfather wisely replied, “The one you feed.”
We’re all the central arena for an epic cage match inside us when we’re dealing with addiction. There is the good wolf, the aspect of your highest self that wants you to be healthy, clean, and successful. But there is also the dark wolf that wants only the drug and will never stop driving you back toward the places you know you’ve already been and don’t want to go.
Both wolves urge you but the one that will be most successful, the one that will win, is the one that you nourish and sustain. Starve the addiction wolf of anything that fuels your cravings. If you give in to periods of reverie about your old drinking days, you’re feeding the dark wolf. However, if you nourish the stronger part of you by exercising and pursuing a better career, you’re giving that part of yourself additional strength for the fight.
Read inspiring stories and increase your skills rather than sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, which only feeds the dark wolf. Don’t feed it any depression or frustration or helplessness. Only feed its twin the nourishment of strength, hope, and determination.
And remember, sometimes that addiction wolf can get a good bite in on you when you let your guard down. Don’t let him think he’s won, come right back swinging.