The Importance Of Intentional Choices In Addiction Recovery

November 11th, 2011 | Posted by Sherry Gaba in Addiction

We make choices all day every day and, for the most part, the choices we make are relatively minor in our lives. Do we have pizza or salad? Does the blue shirt look better than the green or do I get this project done today or rush through it tomorrow? For those working on their journey in recovery the importance of choices is much more relevant.

Simple decisions can either create the opportunity to move forward or can result in a return to addictive types of behaviors. “The Law of Sobriety” focuses in on the way that choices impact recovery and how intentional decision making is a skill that is critical for change.
In order to make intentional decisions that promote recovery, get rid of the negative and bring in positive energy and opportunities there are three important steps to take. Using these steps as a model for big and small decisions and choices will ensure that you are not reverting to negative behaviors and thoughts.

Step 1: What options do I have?
Most decisions that we make are not yes or no options, there is a whole range of possibilities. It is just easier to break everything into its simplest possible form, which may be forcing you back into negative thought patterns and decision making models. Instead look outside the box to determine what options are out there.

Step 2: What are the pros and cons of the choice I am about to make?
This is the reality check part of the intentional decision. Most choices have potential positives and possible negatives. Understanding the risks and the benefits to the decision takes thought and careful consideration. Looking only at one side or the other may close doors or limit our decision making to things we have already done before.

Step 3: Will this decision move me forward in my recovery and positive lifestyle change?
If the decision has positives, but those positives aren’t moving you in the direction you want, they aren’t really positive for you. A promotion that requires you spend more time on the road, more time away from your support system or adds stress to your life may seem positive from a financial point but may not be positive overall.

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One Response

  • This is where the utilization of a sponsor really comes in handy. From personal experience, I can say that newly recovering person has to first accept the fact of powerlessness. To kick start the new life of paying attention to options and pure fact (as opposed to assumptions), a consultation with the sponsor is often the best option. I used this formula for at least the first year of sobriety for a large percentage of my decisions. My mantra was “I’m like a babe in the woods right now.” Like I said though, it does take acceptance and humility.