I learn to look at events in a different way and in a new light. I can learn to use the following types of statements:
“Rather than” “Yes . . . but” “Without becoming” “If . . . then” “Before . . . I will” “Whenever” “In spite of” “On the one hand and on the other hand”
- Use rather than statements: “I will learn to (choose, accept, plan), rather than fight (flee, avoid).” “I would prefer to become a ‘better person’, rather than a ‘bitter person’.”
- Use yes . . . but statements: “Yes, it is true that I have hurt others, drank too much, but now I am working hard . . . , using my coping tool kit.”
- Use without becoming statements: “I am going to get help without becoming overwhelmed, upset, avoidant.”
- Use if . . . then statements: “If I run into my drinking buddies, (have flashbacks, nightmares), then I will find someone I trust to share this with or go for help.”
- Use before . . . I will statements: “Before I do something that will make my situation worse, (give into my cravings), I will ride them out like a wave (think through the consequences).”
- Use whenever statements: “Whenever I find myself feeling down, I will engage in the opposite action (work to tolerate, change, and control my emotions, exercise).”
- Use in spite of statements: “I can share what I accomplished (learned) with people who are close to me in spite of the bad things that have happened. (Tell the rest of the story of my survival skills).”
- Use and statements: “On the one hand I feel (negative emotions), but on the other hand I am still able to keep going, finding meaning and at the same time feel pride.” I am feeling down on myself/my situation and at the same time I can also see hope (remember how I handled this in the past).
Remember that small changes in language and story-telling can open new possibilities for future change.