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Paul W. Anderson, Ph.D.
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Is Your Recovery Bulletproof?
Test Results
1. I focus on relapse prevention to stay sober. 

"Relapse Prevention" as an idea suggests that a person will stay sober if they watch out for relapse. That's bit like saying to avoid accidents while driving watch accidents happening and when none is around to see, fantasize one in your head. We go where we look. Watch and think about "Sustained Sobriety" to stay sober.

2. I have a sponsor or coach for my recovery with whom I meet regularly.

The one single best predictor that a person will maintain sobriety is a "yes" answer to this question. Not only does it build in accountability, but having company along this recovery road is essential!

3. To understand how to practice solid sobriety, I study the stories and lives of people who failed at recovery.

Yes, there is some wisdom in learning from other's trials and hard earned lessons, but this can become another version of studying poverty to become rich. You go where you look and repeat in action what is repeated in your head and thinking life. To be successful with sobriety, feed your head recovery success stories.

4. It doesn't matter what you call it. My addiction is what it is and how I think about it has nothing to do with staying sober.

What you call or name something determines how you relate to it. If you call money "Good" you will relate to it differently than if you call it "Bad". Likewise, is your addiction a disease, a genetic inheritance, a matter of will power or a sin? Each of these names has it's own different solution for recovery.

5. "Sustained Sobriety" and "Relapse Prevention" are one and the same. It's semantics and has no effect on recovery.

Same idea as question "1". We go where we look.

6. People with active addictions do not regularly take good care of themselves.

Addictive behaviors are sure fire signs that a person is very needy in one or more parts of their lives. They may take good care of themselves financially but neglect their spiritual and emotional needs, for example. Unmet needs breed anxiety  and chronic anxiety feeds addiction. Read "Bulletproof Recovery" to find the answers for sustained sobriety through good self care.

7. I have a clear idea about what I need to do to keep me sober. I think of it as a "program" and work it regularly.

A program is a specific set of acts and behaviors that when repeated regularly results in predictable outcomes. Emphasis here is on "specific" and "regular" things you do which you can count on to give you the recovery outcomes you want.

8. I dwell on my recovery successes and ignore my failures, except to see what they tell me about my triggers.

Focus on what you want, not what you do not want to happen. No one to my knowledge stays sober from repeated relapse. Bad food cannot sustain good health. Success breeds success and failure breeds failure.

9. No matter whatever else is going on in my life, I do first what  is necessary to sustain  solid sobriety.

To sustain sobriety and have a Bulletproof Recovery you have to be willing to put your recovery on a life and death level, right up there with breathing and eating.

10. All I need to do to stay sober is do what others before me did to maintain recovery.

Maybe to get sober in the first place, this kind of blind following can work... for a while. Eventually, to stay sober, you must design your own "stay sober" program, just like you have adapted all other life support measures you use to meet your needs best in your own unique way.

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