By Mark C.

People.  I have found that if I am alone or with people who are still using then it’s usually just a matter of time before I start to find excuses to use. Being around people who are not using, and specifically people in recovery I find excuses not to use.

Establish Phone Buddies: Because it can be awkward to ask for help when I really need it I have found it useful to call one or two phone buddies on a regular basis (every day for me) just to say hi and check in.
When I really need them for support I have already established a relationship and it comes natural to mention any current dilemma and get the support I need. I can also be there to support them, which helps me feel useful.

Minimize Drama: Too much drama takes me out every time. For myself I find my personal drama has three etiologies:

1) I divert my attention from what is happening in my life.
2) I feed my narcissistic desire to be the center of attention.
3) I have poor decision making capabilities when it comes to how much I should become involved in other people’s drama.

The key for me is to find out where my drama is coming from and choose to address it in a healthier way.

Debriefing at the end of the day: I get together with a friend on the phone or in person and we talk about how our day went. I try to answer the following questions:
1) How did my feelings change throughout the day?
2) What I did for my sobriety?
3) In what ways did I jeopardize it?
4) What do I need to do tomorrow?
5) Tell something good about myself.
I usually feel better about how the day went when I do this.

12/5/01