Treat this like a menu, not a to-do list. Pick one thing to try at a time, focus on it for 3 to 4 weeks, then try something else. We know that for either addiction or trauma, this tool is a rather blunt instrument. A more specific and surgical instrument may be more helpful. Our goal is to offer a tool that anyone can try to use with or without a therapist. Healing from addiction or trauma often includes therapy, but this tool may help you get started.
Morning Meditation or Prayer
Pray for the day ahead, asking for what you need to stay sober or to respond wisely to triggers. Try the serenity prayer. Also try one of these apps (all of them have special categories for addiction or trauma): Headspace, Calm, or Abide (Judeo-Christian meditation).
Read recovery literature and do what it says. Start with the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, a relevant 12-step book for your addiction, or a book related to trauma (The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk is excellent!). There are also many faith-based books on recovery and trauma. Check out this page for some of our favorites.
Check-in or Sponsor Calls
At least once a day you need to have a phone call with a peer in recovery, or your sponsor / mentor / accountability partner. Address what you are both working on in your recovery or healing, what you need to work on, and whether you have stayed sober since your last call. If possible, upgrade from a phone call to a face-to-face meeting. In trauma support groups there may not be a sponsor, but there will be at least one person you connect with more than others.
Recovery from addiction or trauma does not happen alone. You need to experience the acceptance, support, and accountability that only other people on the road to recovery can offer you. Check out this page for a list of recovery meeting resources in Clark County, Washington.
Evening Meditation or Prayer
Pray with gratitude for the day you had, even if you had a slip or responded poorly to a trigger. Ask for the humility and support to learn from your slip and for the serenity and strength to not slip to the same triggers in the future. If you stayed sober, celebrate that in your evening prayer. You can also re-use some of your prayers from the morning if you need to.
Inspired by Douglas Weiss, PhD, Heart to Heart Counseling in Colorado Springs.
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