“Play It Through” “Choose Your Battles”

Here are two very good recovery tools taught in rehabs and 12 Step Programs alike. The first one is “Play it through” meaning that before we pick up that desired drink, drug, cake, scratch-off, addictive sexual encounter or harmful relationship we pretend that we get what we want.  

We play it out in our head we drink & drug.  But we don’t stop the movie there.  Since we know ourselves well enough to be in recovery we can play out the harmful consequences of our imaginary actions in our mind like a horrible b movie.

We watch as the phenomena of craving takes over our will. We stand still as we watch our hard earned money dwindle down the drain. We observe as our children cry and scream “I want my mommy!” or “I am hungry”.  We are sickened by the guilt feelings that we know will consume us followed by the sabotage of the self-esteem we worked so hard to build, we watch as it crashes. We stand in horror and shame while our new found friends look at us picking up yet another white key-tag or chip.

Ok now what do we do? That was a horrible gut wrenching movie and we are now grateful we did not drink. Next we move a muscle change a thought. We call someone, we go to a meeting, we work on our ninth step amends and write a letter to our children…not about how we will never hurt them again or never drink again, and we have not earned their trust, YET. But instead we acknowledge our wrongs, we tell them we are so, so, sorry with NO BUTS after it.

We journal the intense feelings that are coming up in us that are the reason we wanted to drink and drug to begin with. We are in recovery, we don’t let anybody tell us we should not feel pain or remorse we have survived Hell and there is no wrong feeling in our hearts because they are from our experience. Actions are the only things that can be labeled right or wrong. We have hurt people we love and we are sick about it. The solutions are in the steps, we need not only the people that will call us on our BS we also need those that will allow us to feel our pain, talk about it, express it well with feeling, then let it go. We need someone we can tell anything to who will listen without judgment.

We are on the road to a new life! We know what drugging will bring us, yes we know it well. However we have no idea what wonderful and exciting blessings sobriety has in store for us. We do not know the future but we do know that we are not going to drink today and we have learned another useful tool.
As for the lesson: “Choose your battles”, we can make a battle out of anything anybody says or does or we can choose to just let it go. We ask ourselves; HOW IMPORTANT IS IT? We then laugh at ourselves because we remember rule #62 which is; “Don’t take yourself so seriously.”

Our recovery life is a journey in which we have way more choices than we thought we did. We are learning that we can choose to not pick up a battle to fight because right now we don’t have time for that bullshit. Instead we are picking up a new life, we are chosen, we have survived hell, we are more important than we know, we have spiritual gifts, it is time to explore those gifts and step in to who we really are!

WE NO LONGER FEAR OUR FEELINGS TO THE POINT THAT WE LET THEM RULE US! WE ARE NOT ALONE.  When we share our fears they lose power over us.  We do not obsess on talking about our fears we merely let them out of the secret place that we have them locked away in.  It is our false pride and ego that fears other people will belittle us if they find out who we really are that puts us in denial about our fears.  We find out by sharing that we are not so different than our fellows.  (See “fear list” in Big Book step four)



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