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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Alberta, Canada

    Default Extreme bad thoughts - Managing with SMART tools

    Hello SMARTians,

    I was just in chat discussing the methods I used this weekend in an emotional crisis. While SMART can not directly deal with extreme crisis, I use the tools as part of my crisis plan.

    On Saturday, due to severe conflict in my home with my wife and daughter I reached a point of hopelessness. This has not happened for many years but back years ago I prepared a plan if it happened again. Now, with a year sober and very active with SMART my plan is more robust. Here is how I managed it including the SMART tools.

    1) I hit the pause button. I left the painful conflict and went to my room.
    2) I meditated using breathing techniques I have learned and supplemented by the alternate nostril breathing I learned at conference.

    This was not sufficient and my thoughts continued to get more severe with possible self harm. So then I went to professional help.

    3) I called the crisis line and did assessment. They gave me a choice of 911 intervention or immediate trip to hospital with a check in by them. I chose hospital.

    At hospital, the doctor assessed me and offered me a choice. She did not admit me to psychiatric ward if I would promise to not go home that night and to go directly to the mental health crisis team Monday. I followed her requirements.

    Then I started using more SMART tools.

    4) I went back to my HOV to review why I am abstinent and why I want to continue my goals. It refreshed my motivation.
    5) I had very severe urges so I went to the 24/7 chat, shared my story and got great support. This is using the DEADS tool and the Distraction and Substitution. I also reached out to extended family and my very good local friends for more distraction. I also went to an online meeting.
    6) On monday I got a new counselor assigned and also finalized my legal support contract. So I beat procrastination by jumping on to small tasks within my ability.
    7) I reviewed my Friends and Family tools and have been using the PIUS communication and setting Boundaries tools with my immediate family since. That has led to the beginnings of understanding again.
    8) I also reviewed my Life Balance pie and backed off some of my commitments to a more manageable level while I deal with this crisis. I have not given up, but things that are not critical I set on the back burner.

    As of this morning, my mood has lifted from a 2 to about a 6. I am not back to the 9 that I was before it happened but it is picking up. I feel I have used my hula hoop tool focus to pull myself back into what I can control and accept what I can not. It is not perfect, but things are going much better. I am at home, working on my business and talking with my family about how to move forward.

    I would like to specifically thank my friends in Chat and Mabb, MTMassey, MomRox, and Grammie for their long term continuing support and mentoring for my facilitating with SMART. And a big thank you to my friends from Family and Friends meetings. It's too much to list you all.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014


    Wow,you used the tools to help you through the crisis!
    Although you are not a 9 yet you are moving forward and that's a good thing
    Thank you for sharing.I also find Smart helps in not just addiction but in every day life.
    All my best to you

  3. #3


    So good to hear that it works if "we" work at "it"!. A massive well done and to be honest this type of thread is a real inspiration to me. Keep at it and be safe.


  4. #4
    LMR555's Avatar
    LMR555 is offline Former SMART Super Moderator
    Former SMART MB Liaison
    Former SMART Online Facilitator
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Southwest Fl


    Congrats to you Maer! On managing your thoughts, feelings and behaviors! Also for seeking support. You are an inspiration!

    "Discover the Power of Choice!"

    “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

    Join the team as a SMART Message Board Volunteer!! It can encourage growth and joy. Or support with a donation

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004


    Maerlande, what a terrific plan you put into place. So good to hear, and especially that you are feeling much better. - Dee

  6. #6


    thank you, very motivating. I think you are on to something!

  7. #7


    hula hoop method hey, u got it goin on.hula hoop. sometimes jumping is all we can do. jump through hoops.

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