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Staying in Recovery

Recovery from addiction is never ‘done and dusted.’ You cannot turn off the illness that makes you susceptible to addiction. If you do not manage the challenges and lifestyle that first drew you to addiction you will relapse. All the Steps you have taken so far have dealt with the past. But you now need a viable, secure, workable and reliable plan for your future.

For ever, all being well, you will be a recovering addict.

In Step 6 you identified and examined the defects in your character and in Step 7 you set about dealing with your shortcomings. Now you need a means to monitor your progress. There must be a discipline and structure to your self-assessment otherwise your growth will stagnate, erode and collapse.

Continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Disciplined Growth

Together with whoever is guiding you, you need to draw up a programme for review and growth. This needs to be a daily exercise. Develop a list of questions to ask yourself every evening to test whether you have lived up to your hopes and reached your targets and to help you set new and realistic goals for tomorrow.

You also need a structured programme for revising that list.

You know that when you tried to go it alone your life became unmanageable. Make sure that you have on-going support and a plan for sharing your self-assessment with your guide and mentor, together reviewing the highs and lows, the achievements and failures and your need to keep moving forward and extend your horizons.

There are many means to this end. All religious groups have a structured tradition of self-examination, reassessment and renewal and it may be appropriate for you to learn more about and apply one of these techniques. And there are many “secular” systems that use similar methods to achieve similar aims.

The ubiquity of the experience and the variety of methods, all with the same objective, suggests that this is a basic human need and one which cannot be ignored or brushed aside if you are to continue to remain in recovery and, more, to grow and to flourish.