I’ve been thinking about some of the tools I learned about in early recovery. For me, my early years of recovery among the rooms of the 12 steps were foundational. I wouldn’t be where I am today without some of the guidance, tools and pearls of wisdom I received from others in the rooms – especially from my sponsors.
One of the habits I remember using was a daily checklist – kind of a mental intention for each day, that I would review at the end of each day.
The idea was on any given day, you strive to complete at least 3 items from the checklist. Not all of them. Just enough. This made the idea a lot more realistic on any given day.
I think I remember the five items – but feel free to substitute other things that work for you.
- Go to a meeting
- Talk to someone in recovery
- Read the (12-step) literature
- Do a spiritual practice (pray or meditate)
- Do a gratitude list
I could see journaling or self-care as useful for some. For others, it might be “Practice harm reduction.”
For spiritual practices, that could be praying, meditating, going to a church or other house of worship. Even as an agnostic Buddhist, I have access to prayer and meditation even though I may not choose to go to a worship service. And the Serenity Prayer is as much about living life as it is praying – it’s an addict’s friend.
I always knew at the end of the day, I could count on doing two things before bed – saying the serenity prayer and writing out my gratitude list. And if some days, I wanted to skip those I always could.
Anyway. You get the idea.
90 in 90 was another tool I used at several points in early recovery. I know I used it as I came out of my initial in-patient treatment. I know I used it years later after I relapsed. For me, it was a helpful tool.
For some, 90 in 90 may not be helpful. In those cases, I think this “3 of 5” approach using what works for YOU can be helpful.
I hope you find this helpful. Share your thoughts or suggestions in the comments. What 5 things would be on your list?