Episode 46: Beyond Freak Out: How to Win the Battle Against Your Inner Demons

image of Episode 46

Episode 46: Beyond Freak Out: How to Win the Battle Against Your Inner Demons

(Disclaimer: This transcript was made using AI technology. Please excuse any errors).
Music 0:00
Welcome to the Atheists in Recovery Podcast, where we talk about finding hope in recovery and now your host, Dr. Adina Silvestri

Adina Silvestri 0:12
Hello guys and welcome to Episode 46 of the atheists in recovery podcast and today is a solo episode. And this is also the final episode in our four part series recovery under quarantine. But before we start our episode today, I want to share an idea I've been having with you for some time now had this idea for some time and it's just never felt like the right time to introduce it to my listeners until now. So during COVID-19 we're all feeling a little bit angry. We're all feeling sad because of a loss of normalcy. Fear of financial impact, maybe even financial loss loss and a loss of connection. And so to that end, I decided to start a course and a digital course on anger management. And so the vision that I have is that I don't want anyone to suffer from anger and the destruction from anger alone. And as you know, it's the most destructive emotion that we have, it does the most damage. And I found that, especially for people in recovery, anger was one of the emotions that we spent a lot of time on. Of course, all of the emotions came up when you're in recovery, because you're, you're not self medicating anymore. And so you have to learn how to sit with those emotions. And so anger was something that was a theme that kept coming up and the theme was very apparent in the 750 individuals that walked through my private practice door and the problem always was You know, how do I control this anger? You know, how do I not let it get the best of me? How do I not ruin these relationships. And so today's episode is going to be a slice of one of the lessons that I'm that I'm working on. And if you're interested in learning more, I want you to reach out. It's not open to the public yet, it's just going to be for my listeners and the people that that I work with. And so you would be a founding member if you joined before June 1, and you would lock in the absolute best price. And when I launch it to the general public, you will stay forever locked in at the founding member price and you get to direct and help with the content, which I think is kind of cool. All right, on to today's show. So today, I want to talk about how to win the battle against your inner demons. And what do I mean by that? So right now we're all in fight or flight Fight during COVID-19, which is when I when this show is airing, how do you know you're a fighter? Well just sort of look at it. Look at all your past conflicts, you know conflicts with your partner, conflicts with your family. You know, you aggressive, are you passive aggressive? Do you exhibit cold anger. And so for me, cold anger means that you walk away to avoid a fight, especially if you know you're not going to win. And so let's talk about a tool that I utilize to help with the freakout. This tool is called S.T.O.P. the s in stop Of course, it's an acronym and so the S in stop is to stop and to stop and take a breath. And so this is incredibly important because you're focusing your attention on whatever thoughts, feelings and emotions are happening right at that moment. And so you're taking this perspective of this non judging, sort of witness on what's happening, and that is incredibly helpful, because you won't be in reactive mode. And that's another thing that I see a lot is people will just stay in reactive mode, make really bad decisions based on reactive mode, you know, like hitting your son or walking out on your partner, or maybe even quitting a job. I mean, these these are extreme things, but I've seen it, I've seen a lot of it. And so stopping and taking a deep breath like a diaphragmatic breath is so incredibly important. All right, number two would be think and think is to allow whatever is whatever you're feeling to just happen. Just be with the emotions, be with the feelings. even ask yourself, you know, can I be with this? Is this okay? And so it's really allowing you to know Fight, not sort of be in battle with that physical and emotional pain. And so you're really in a sense what psychologists call your engaging in affect tolerance, emotional tolerance. And so you're basically you're saying yes to the reality of this moment. All right. And I'm going to go through an example of this too, so don't worry. And so the next step is O, objectify, you're essentially investigating what's going on. It's like you're taking a camera lens, and you are recording everything that's happening. So you'd hold the camera lens out in front of you, and scan from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. You know, what is going on right now? What am I saying no to what's happening inside of me, you know, you would figure out what's happening in your body. What's triggering you, you would investigate. Is this a thought belief or is this This false, you know, is is something that is it's just a story that I'm telling myself at this moment.

Yeah. So that's also a crucial step. All of these are pretty crucial. And so after the O, you will get to the P, in stop, which is plan. Plan is what do we now do with all this new information? What do we do? Do we stay in the moment and try some deep breathing techniques? Try some grounding techniques, or do we need a moment? Do we need to walk outside go for a mindful walk? So what do we do? How do we sit with everything that we've just learned based on this tool that we're utilizing? And, you know, it's it's important to to say that you're going to feel these emotions even more by doing this tool, but that's what you want. You want to know that this is tolerable. You want to know that you have resilience in the face of pain. You Want to know that this emotion is free to pass through you, and that you'll be strengthened by it. And of course, you could always look for support in this tool as well. And so let's go through an example real quick and how stop has helped the many people that I've seen. Let's take Russell as an example. Russell is an individual who was aggressive. He, if anybody ever sort of challenged him, employee, family and he would come to the battlefield, swinging, you know, he was he was there. There was no way that anyone was going to question him and his decisions, you know, he always needed to be sort of in control. He would get angry when things he tried to control were uncontrollable, of course, and so this was ruining his relationships. This was ruining his promotions. At work, it was ruining his marriage with his wife. And so when he came to me, we did stop. You know, we took a recent example. And we went through stopping and thinking about what's happening, recognizing what's going on investigating, why am I feeling anger? what's beneath the anger? That's making me feel this way? And then planning, what should we do next? And so although Roger was initially thinking that this was insane, like, wow, like, this isn't gonna work Adina. This is this is, you know, this is woowoo. Once I got him to slow down, and stop and take a breath and walk through these steps with me, you could tell that there was a transformation happening. You know, it was so it was so apparent. And, you know, after our talks at the very end when things were about to wrap up, he said to me that he had an experience and the experience was that after doing this, practicing this tool for weeks on end, because you have to practice these things in order for them to start laying down tracks in your brain. He had a conversation with one of his workers. And previously, this worker and him did not get along very well. And the worker came to him and said, Listen, I'm not gonna be able to deliver what I promised I was gonna deliver to you. It's not going to happen. And so Roger felt the anger sort of boiling up inside of him, right? Like he has a deadline. He has bosses too, that he has to, that he has to answer to, and he felt his anger sort of starting to rise and the physical symptoms were starting to manifest. He could he could feel the fight coming up inside of him. And he just took a deep breath diaphragmatic or a belly breaths, and he said, I understand that you do a lot In this agency, and you're a good worker, and so having that conversation with his subordinate, helped his subordinate to start to open up a little bit more. And he said, You know, my wife was just diagnosed with stage four cancer having a really hard time right now. And so what I say all that to say what would have normally for Roger been a yelling, screaming match, you get this done, or else turned out to be the two of them embracing in a hug. And the subordinate felt more respected and listened to and heard. And probably I'm guessing, but probably wants to now, show Roger that. He's going to get this done. And Roger didn't have a freakout. He didn't have this, this anger episode that probably would have lasted all day today into the next day that does have wreaks havoc on your body and really wasn't going to solve anything. Right. And so that's just one example. I could probably give 100 more I'll give you a personal example now about just the fight the battle. You know, I think that coming from a very culturally Italian cultural heritage, we like, we like to be loud and we like, at least my family and we like to yell. But that's not even what I what I want to talk about. What I really want to talk about is my college sports days and my kickboxing days. You know, I know that individuals that are in pain are always looking for a way out. The guys that listen to this show, a lot of you are in recovery and have been for a while. And you know that there's no easy pill to take. Yeah, you know that the drugs and the alcohol and whatever else we use to numb the pain only works temporarily, you know, only works until it doesn't and so, I learned this early on, especially with my college track. days where I would be working out two and a half to three hours a day physically exhausted, throwing up. This is kind of gross, but throwing up after a run so much pain, and I just kept going back. Which is insane to me. The point though is you have to feel the pain, you have to be able to allow it in and know that it's temporary. You know that even more now than ever, we have to find a practice that allows you to open up to whatever it is you're feeling. And when it becomes unmanageable, you use your support system. When it becomes unmanageable. You ask for help and that's probably another episode that I need to do. You know, because it's really hard for individuals who live under a sort of an A patriarchy system which we all do, to ask for help. But I'm here to tell you that once you do, you will be it'll be like a weight has been lifted off your shoulder because You can't do this alone. You can't recover alone. Okay, guys, I think we're good for today.

Again, if you're interested in learning more about this tool and other tools, please do reach out and join me as a founding member, you have until June 1 to get the founding member price before I raise it and introduce it to the public. And you would just reach out to me, and I'll also leave a link in the show notes. Okay, guys, have a great one.

Music 13:30
Bye. Thank you for listening to the Atheists in Recovery podcast. For more great info and to stay up to date, head over to

Welcome to today’s show!



  • How to know if you’re a “fighter” in relationships
  • A tool that Adina loves in dealing with the “freakout” during Covid-19 or at anytime
  • How it’s important to recognize and allow the difficult feelings instead of running from them
  • We visit with Russell and learn how he uses S.T.O.P. to address his inner demons
  • How Adina’s college sport and kickboxing days prepared her for dealing with pain





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