What is the “It”?

Dr. Darrel Ray recently gave a strangely titled talk on his podcast called “What is the It”? This is deceptively simple question is actually an often overlooked tool that we can use to identify the root problems that lead to substance abuse. (And don’t worry, this has nothing to do with Stephen King’s scary clown.)

It‘s So Frustrating…”

You hear it all the time. You might even say it. But how often do you think about it? Do you even know what it is?

It‘s so hard…” “It‘s so frustrating.” “It scares me.” “I hate it.”

For just being two letters, the word “it” is used a whole lot and can cause a whole lot of confusion. “It” is a noun, which means it is a placeholder standing in for a person, place, thing, event, or feeling. So when we say “it’s unfair” before taking opening up a beer could mean, “the way I am treated disrespectfully by my boss is unfair.” But by using the word “it” instead, you can see how much actual meaning we lose in the process.


Why It is a Problem

Alcohol and other substance abuse problems often gain their power by allowing us to temporarily avoid thinking about serious problems in our lives. If we do not address those problems, many of us tend to self medicate, to create new problems through addiction and compulsive behaviors.

So the next time you find yourself saying something like “it makes me angry…” take a moment to pause and ask yourself what it is that makes you angry. You might find that you were hiding from important feelings and buried the lede in the word it.

If you are in Florida, psychiatric services are available to help you learn more about how your mind might be avoiding important issues. We can help you find healthier ways to deal with these issues rather than replacing them with drugs, alcohol, gambling, or other compulsive behaviors. Learn more by calling us today at (844) 299-0618.


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