Get The Balance Right

Feb 27, 2013 by

Black or white. All or nothing. Always or never. Love it or hate it. I’m right and you’re wrong. It’s a disaster. Terrible. A complete waste.

Do any of these sound familiar?

I am guilty of thinking and acting to the extremes, especially when I am feeling down or cornered. The tricky part for me is that I usually don’t realize what I’m doing until it has already happened and I’m reflecting on it. Most of the time I sincerely regret this personality trait. And then I remind myself that I want to learn forgiveness and that I’m doing the best I can with what I have.

As I was researching this blog post I ran across something that was profound for me. My last post was titled Once an Addict Always an Addict? I have realized that the post was written with all or nothing thinking. Either I’m an addict or I’m not. Ouch.

Balanced thinking would look more like this: I have been a compulsive gambler. Today I feel that my thinking is clear. I’m not obsessing about gambling. I remember the days when I would eat, breath and sleep gambling. Except that I wouldn’t eat, breath or sleep because I was gambling. Today the thoughts don’t cross my mind. Tomorrow might not be the same. If my life falls apart and I feel the need to escape, gambling may come back into my thinking. Realistically I need to be aware of the mind games.

But I don’t want to be on my toes all the time – yep, all or nothing. It tends to be a see saw where I do better some times than others.

The key is that I keep working on finding the middle ground. All or nothing thinking sets me up to fail. I am learning to question my thoughts and see the shades of gray.

What steps can I take?

When I notice that I’m getting worked up I will take a few minutes to breathe deeply. I have a nasty habit of chewing on my fingers so I will also put band-aids on them or find something else to hold or fidget with.

I will ask my husband, a family member or a supportive friend to help me work through it. Another person’s point of view is valuable when I’m in my crazy thoughts. Often times someone who is removed from the situation has a much clearer vision of what is really going on.

I have also been known to stop mid-thought and just go do something else (here’s a link to my little video on doing something else – I was terrified making it, kinda makes me chuckle!). Taking my mind off of the unhealthy thoughts and switching gears helps me get back to that middle ground I want.

Do you have any tips or suggestions that work well for you?

Feel free to leave a comment below (anonymous if you’d prefer). Through our sharing we will grow stronger each moment.

Blessings my friends,


P.S. Christine Kane wrote a great article on letting go of all or nothing thinking. She talks about her addiction and the power it had over her. Check it out here.



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