Discovering Passion: The Role of VACI in Healing and Recovery
Overcoming addictive behaviors is a journey that involves more than just abstaining from substances or detrimental habits. It's about rediscovering yourself, finding joy, and engaging in activities that provide a deep sense of fulfillment and purpose. This is where SMART Recovery's VACI tool comes into play. VACI, or Vitally Absorbing Creative Interest, isn't just a fancy term; it's a beacon of hope, a way to rediscover passion and joy in life beyond addiction's confines.
VACI is all about finding activities that you love — things that captivate your attention so fully that everything else seems to fade into the background. These can be hobbies, work, volunteer activities, or even new skills you're learning. The key is that these activities are meaningful to you and absorb your attention in a positive way, providing a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
- The Power of Engaging Activities
When you're struggling with addictive behaviors, it's common to lose interest in things you once enjoyed. VACI encourages you to reconnect with old passions or discover new ones. Engaging in these activities isn't just a way to pass time; it's a way to enhance your self-esteem, reduce stress, and provide a sense of purpose. They act as a positive and healthy focus, reducing the time and mental energy you might have spent dwelling on negative behaviors or substances.
- Finding Your VACI
Your VACI could be anything that you find deeply engaging and rewarding. For some, it might be creative pursuits like painting, writing, or making music. For others, it could be physical activities like hiking, gardening, or practicing yoga. Even continuous learning, like taking courses, learning a new language, or picking up a new instrument, can be incredibly fulfilling
To find your VACI, consider what you're passionate about or what you've always wanted to try. It's about exploration and allowing yourself the freedom to make choices based on what makes you feel alive and connected.
- The Healing Power of VACI
Engaging in a VACI isn't just a distraction from cravings or negative thoughts; it's a form of healing. It helps rebuild your identity beyond your addiction and provides a sense of achievement and self-worth. Moreover, it often creates opportunities for social engagement, connecting you with others who share your interests and contributing to a sense of community and support.
- Making VACI a Priority
Integrating your VACI into your daily life is essential. It's not something you just do to fill spare time; it's a vital part of your recovery journey. Schedule time for your VACI just like you would for any important appointment. Remember, it's an investment in your well-being and recovery.
Conclusion: Your Journey to Rediscovery
Recovery is more than moving away from harmful behaviors; it's a journey to rediscover who you are and what brings you joy. It's about creating a life that you don't want to escape from, filled with activities that provide purpose and deep happiness. The VACI tool is your companion in this journey, guiding you toward experiences that enrich your life and nourish your spirit. Through VACI, you're not just recovering; you're thriving.
The ABC Model is a good way of understanding how we can help change our feelings and behaviour by challenging our thinking.
When to Use This Tool
The ABC Model is a good way of understanding how we can help change our feelings and behaviour by challenging our thinking. It helps us uncover beliefs that are not helping us /contributing to the behaviour we are trying to change.
This exercise may be done in the group setting but can also be very useful for participants to look at between meetings.
How To Use This Tool
When working with urges: To analyze a lapse/relapse or to develop coping statements for an anticipated lapse/relapse.
In the event of a lapse, the question to ask is not “What made me do that”, but rather, “How did I talk myself into it?” It is not the urge (A) that causes the lapse (C). It is our beliefs (B); our irrational self-talk.
With emotional upset:
The ABC Model can also be used to work with emotional upset or frustrations that may occur at any point in the recovery journey. The ABCs allow us to discover our unhelpful beliefs which contribute to emotional upsets. Disputing helps us eliminate our irrational thinking so we can both feel better and do better. In SMART Recovery we teach that we feel the way we think; it’s not unpleasant events that disturb us, it’s the way we think of them. By changing our thinking, we change how we feel.
Identifying and Disputing Unhelpful Thinking.
Disputing is a process of challenging the way we think about situations. It’s about trying to look at thoughts more accurately. Disputing unhelpful thinking can help us make more informed decisions about thoughts instead of just acting on them. Balanced thinking leads to effective new beliefs.