I learned many years ago that we are responsible for what we do and what we think about. Controlling what we do has always seemed like an easier concept to me. Yes, we are at risk for falling into old patterns (responding in the same old way we always have), especially when we are weak from pain and fatigue, physical or emotional. We can slip back into those old patterns of behaviors because they are familiar.
Did you know we need to plan to change? Like so many other things, it is a process. Let’s say there is someone in your life who doesn’t believe you’re in significant pain. Whenever you talk to them you end up crying or fighting. Plan for the next time you interact with them. In counseling they say when working toward change to “take off the old way of doing things and put on the new.” Learn a new way and toss out the old pattern of responding. The key is to prepare. Read, think, start a journal, write down talking points, and be prepared.
Also, when loving someone who wants to change and doesn’t know how, we must help them identify something to put in the place of the old habit/pattern and join them in renewing the mind. This will help support them, providing love and encouragement.