Tools of Recovery

Whenever I think about my recovery I’m so grateful for the tools of recovery that have helped me stay sober. Whether I’m watching television, at a movie, working out or
something as simple as picking up some groceries at the market, my tools have
helped me through. One tool in particular that I rely on is just turning it over
to my Higher Power. God knows if I was left to my own devices I’d be dead right
now, so I have found that turning it over to God makes everything better. Then
there is the five hundred pound phone which I have found out only weighs an
ounce when I’m in a real panic. Keeping in communication with my fellows helps
me to hear what I might be missing in the moment. I love my fellows, they have
helped me through thick and thin. The last special tool that I keep close to my
heart is a quote from Proverbs 19:20, “Listen to advice and accept
instructions and in the end you will be wise.” God bless you all.

30 thoughts on “Tools of Recovery

  1. It never ceases to amaze me topics come around at the right time for me. This topic is something that I was just discussing last night. Tools of recovery are critical. without tools, I would be nowhere. Tools allow me to build my recovery so that I don’t collapse into the despair of my addiction. My number one tool today is prayer. I say the 3rd step prayer everyday. I pray to turn my will over. I need to be reminded to not be selfish. I thank God for getting me one more day and I ask for one more day of serenity and peace. Then I throw in a little more of what I might need that day. My other tools are making calls, going to meetings, therapy, sharing, and working the steps. I need to keep adding tools and I need to do better with my current tools. I need to do more step work and I need to call more people. However, I am grateful for the tools that I have thus far as they have gotten me this far and as long as I continue to build on them I will continue to grow in my recovery. This blog is now a tool in my tool box – Thank you oh blog meister for this new tool.

    • I guess I will leave a reply on my old reply. But I love this topic. I just wish I took advantage of the tools that I have been given more. But thankfully our webmeister in his service to all of us is bringing these old posts back to allow us to remember where we came from. This is a great tool for me and I am going to use it more now that it is here again. Thank you webmeister…….

  2. Tools, I hate when I have head knowledge but not heart knowledge. I have heard in the rooms the 12 inches between the heart and head might as well be a million miles at times. I have such a hard time turning things over, like my way is working out so wonderfully. Usually I have to be in the greatest amount of pain possible to turn anything over. It is at those moments, my most powerless moments that I “break” and finally turn something over and ask for help. One thing that I am doing is reaching for that 500lb phone quicker. It used to be that I only asked for help or reached out after I acted out. Now, I finally do have a sponsor and I am in touch with her daily. Just the fact that there is someone else out there “my fellows” that gets and understands where I am coming from is a huge gift to me. I am at the place where I listen to advice but I am yet so far away from excepting instruction. Seeing others in recovery at that place of gratitude keeps me coming back, it is the one tool that I work on daily, just trying to be grateful. Breaking that cycle of negativity goes a long way in my recovery program just to get to the place of using the tools to have a recovery program. Thank God for the saying, “progress not perfection”.

  3. This blog is fast becoming a new healthy tool for me in recovery. I need to add it to my tool box as just one of the things I do in my program in addition to praying every day, calling my sponsor, going to meetings and working with others. Right now I am working on step 6 and my character defects and these tools of recovery can help me to work on the defects that are the biggest problem as well as help to keep me sober one more day. Thank you for giving me one more tool for my tool box.

  4. It is always good for me to remember what tools I have for my recovery. I know that if I am not in recovery, than I am in addiction. And if I am in addiction, my life is unmanageable and I am powerless over “fill in the blank” but start it off with sex and drugs. But, I need to keep in mind that if I am in addiction, I will be lucky if I have a life because I know where my addiction takes me and I could easily end up with nothing or dead. So, I need to work my program every day and use the tools of recovery every day so that I might stay sober one day at a time. Today I rely on going to my meetings, calling my sponsor, working my steps, working with others and turning things over. There is more I could be doing on a daily basis. There is always more I could be doing. I know that I could be making more calls. That has always been an area where I could do more. And as I start to go to some of these new meetings that I have been going to I need to share and let them get to know me so that I am not isolating in the groups but rather becoming part of the group. I can then use the group as another tool in my recovery tool box. I need to do whatever I can because I am an addict through and through and I will always want to find a way to act out or work around my recovery. However, today I like what I have, I like the spiritual program that I have developed and the relationship that I have with my Higher Power. And just for today, my relationship with my Higher Power is in between me and acting out protecting me from a slip. I pray that it is there tomorrow. As long as I continue to use the tools that I know to use and continue to pray, turn things over, do the next right thing and do my part, that should happen because that is how this program works. So I will keep coming back.

  5. The tools for recovery are numerous. Books, meetings, phone calls, RM (this blog). But there is to me no greater tool to recover than a good sponsor. My sponsor helps me to stay on the road to recovery. The detours on that road are treacherous and can lead down the dead end of addiction again. A good caring sponsor is like a traffic cop. He will help you stay on course and warn you when you are in danger. I am finding this out now and better late than never.

  6. Tonight in one of my groups I was talking about this very topic. Recently there has been a lot of change in my life. There has been some anxiety and nervousness specifically around one particular issue. As a result, some old familiar thoughts had popped into my head a couple of times and I did not like it. This first time this happened I immediately called someone in the program to talk about it to get out of my head and to take the power away. After the second time, I brought it up in my support group to talk about it and make sure that I was doing everything that I needed to be doing to keep myself safe. What I found out was that I am not alone. These thoughts pop into our heads. The idea is what to do next. As long as it does not turn to obsession and compulsion I am told I am fine. And it did not. And I was told that as long as I continue to make the calls and talk about what is going on and use the tools of the program I will be ok. That is what I love about this program. I am given tools: all I have to do is use them when I need them. I was scared but now I know what I need to do. It is a healthy fear and for me that is ok. I need to always be afraid of my disease in a healthy way. And as long as I am, I will use the tools of the program to protect myself on a daily basis from the disease so that I will continue to be sober one day at a time.

  7. As I prepare for surgery next week I am focusing on my tools of recovery. I am working with my sponsors in both programs to do what I need to do so that I am safe during my recovery from surgery. I will not be able to go to a meeting for at least a couple weeks so I need to be sure that I am well equipped and prepared. I need to make use of the on line meetings, the tapes and ipod casts, phone calls, anything that I can add to my program to get me through. I have plenty of tools in my tool box and I am learning about new ones even this week from suggestions that are being given to me. That is what I love about that this program, the suggestions. And I pray that I never get too egotistical to take suggestions. I will continue to work on this throughout the rest of the week as I prepare. My Higher Power is with me and I have asked him to be by my side and it has helped take some of the fear away. I am excited to be here and I could never be here if not for this program and for using the tools that I had.

  8. I fell from sobriety because I did not develop or use my tools correctly.

    Today my tools are, phone calls, readings, meetings, and therapy.

    It is Monday at 8:30 in the morning, and I am leaving to go to therapy. I must do this because I am a sex addict. I need help, and I can’t do this alone.

  9. I have discovered that there are lots of tools to keep me on the path to recovery. 12 steps though this blog, talking to my sponsor and therapist, reading books on recovery, and spending a little time each day on building your spiritual side, i.e. asking for help and giving up on trying to run the world. The beginning of this process has been disjointed because of the chaos left by my previous actions, and the personality defects that led to creating chaos. I want chaos out of my life – and the first tool is asking for help, from my higher power, from my sponsor, from my therapist. As these become more clear to me, I will hopefully consider there to be many more tools than there are problems!

    • Yesterday was a rough day for me. I was at work and could not help but to go into fantasy and re-call from past acting out experiences. This began to create the compulsion in my body and I had a hard time focusing on my work duties. I texted my sponsor and he asked me to book end on the way to the evening meeting and on the way home. I had a great meeting and book ended. But when I got home, I could not help but to engage in middle circle behavior.

      This morning I attempted to find a meeting, but was unable to find it. I worked out and texted my sponsor that I had engaged in my middle circle last night. And now, I am here on RM posting a share. As I struggle, I am grateful that I have the spiritual tool kit that keep me from going into the deep end.

  10. I am learning about the tools in this program; What they are, how to use them and when. However, one thing I am noticing is that I may not always be right about WHEN to use them, being so used to thinking the “wrong” way… so I’m working on just using them anyway and making them habits and routines. I know that sometimes I can’t rely on my own thinking to do what’s best for my recovery, so I think just doing it regularly is probably the best thing for me.

    Sometimes, I’m probably just going to have to just make myself make calls, go to meetings and post here. I’m not used to doing this and it’s new, so I’m sure I’ll have to force myself sometimes, but I know one thing, I DO want this new life I’ve started, and I definitely DON’T want the life in my addiction that I’ve left behind. I don’t want that back.

    So I will do what I have to do, learn the tools, use them when I’m having a hard time, AND when I’m doing great.

    One day at a time, I can do this.

  11. “I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they’re interested in”.
    Bill Gates

    Honest communication without blaming, shaming or case building has become one of the most powerful tools in my recovery toolbox. It allows me to express my feelings and emotions and prevents resentment from creeping into my life. Honest communication kindles intimacy and extinguishes my dark passenger.

  12. Once again an appropriate topic for me today. There are so many tools for me out there and in my own little tool box. I just need to use them. Tonight for example – I just wanted to stay at home and do my work. But I knew that the better thing for my recovery and for the support of my friends was to go to the meeting that I went to and the fellowship that I went to. I am glad that I did it because it took me away from me and that is always a good thing and it helped me support others which are also always a good thing. But it was a reminder that being of service to others and supportive to others is a great took for me to get out of my own head and it actually helps me feel better. I need to continue to use the tools at my disposal today and tomorrow so that I can continue to feel better. Right now my life is not as manageable as it should be and not as peaceful and serene as it should be. I need to use more of the tools of the program to help me to get my life back to where it was. I have a lot going on. But I can still have a lot going on and have serenity and peace too. So I will do as much as I can to use these tools to help. I will pray for help as I do every morning to my Higher Power. I like how my life has been and I don’t want to go back to how it was.

  13. Good morning! Thanks to those who have shared. I hope you will find that although my blog
    shares are compact that you can consider me an active participant. I don’t know what to say at times. My middle circle includes overwork and scanning “want” ads on the Internet. Both are trickling in very subtly. Tools prepare me for that and divert me before these knock me out. RM here is great, prayer and a realistic plan /schedule for the day are also good for me. I’m tempted to avoid these steps by lingering here too! So folks, thanks for reading. Onward in trust!!

  14. Lost balance today. Let others determine my schedule. Didn’t make calls. Went to the gym. I was just so vulnerable because my taxes may take all the money I have in the bank. So I’m afraid to face them. I asked for an extension. The anxiety makes me want to escape very badly. One book I’m reading calls this getting stuck. This is when any tools that I have I can reach for. It’s too late to call. But I have RM. Thanks to all. I’m just begging God to let me sleep. I know just pleasuring myself tonight is not the end of the world. But at this stage I’m sure I won’t be able to handle it. And doing it would be for the wrong reasons. I’m frustrated. But fully aware of what is going on. I’m going to just keep breathing. Be good to myself. Gentle. Skip some routines and just get to bed as if I were sick. Which I am tonight. Thanks for reading.

  15. Hi all
    paid the taxes. Nothing left in the bank. And now sick. Costly website has not turned out right. Just had 2 clients drop out and property that was to close may never now. Just tired and frustrated. Escape seems soooo much better right now. Ok that is one side of the record. Let’s turn it over. I still have an Ira. I’m feeling better than yesterday. Have loving friends and a website I can build on but that is functional. I have been sober going on 4 months. I’m realizing that when I get to this point at 11pm and start looking at want ads I did not utilize my tools today. Living like this is like holding my breath. Eventually I will turn blue. The gasp for air. Relapse. But relapse starts when I chose to get through the day without my healthy recovery steps, tools and routines. That describes the latter part of the day. I allow myself to sulk, fixate on something frustrating and being a perfectionist I can’t set it aside for later. Then frustration rises and needs relief. The typical cycle. Tomorrow I will give a limited amount of time to each item. If not resolved in that time I will let it go and move to the next. Thanks for reading. Please ad your own thoughts to the blog! We need you. I need you if you can identify with me!

  16. “Tools of recovery” Wow in the season the tools that I am using is connecting with others by communicating via text or phone. I love how one said “that keeping in contact with my fellows allows me to hear what I might be missing in the moment”. This I am learning for the first time. Love it!

  17. In my experience, the “tools of recovery” have been both a God-send and a stumbling-block.
    They’ve been a God-send because my addiction thrives on chaos and disorganization. In my addiction I want to plan nothing, get help from no one and live an “exciting” and “carefree” life with a “devil may care”, “take it as it comes” attitude. Living in such a way led me to contemplating suicide and acting out behaviors that were not just dangerous, but life-threatening.
    The tools of recovery…going to meetings, participating in meetings and the fellowship, getting a sponsor, making phone calls, building a daily of habit of spending time with my higher power, reading some type of recovery literature everyday, surrendering temptations and triggers, prayer…changed my life forever. They gave structure and order to my life. They got me through difficult times of temptation and struggle. They taught me some of the ways, big and small, all people have to learn to grow as human beings and live in the world. When I feel the desire to turn to my addiction and medicate a painful feeling or situation by acting out sexually, I know that I can surrender that faulty desire to God through prayer and call a friend in the program to make an “appropriate” connection because of the tools of recovery that were shared in the meetings and through the teaching and guidance of my sponsor.
    The tools of recovery have also been a dangerous stumbling-block for me. The first two times I came into recovery I was taught that the 12 Steps are the “program” of recovery. My sponsor showed me how in the “How It Works” section of our reading (from Chapter 5 of the AA “Big Book”) the terms “12 Steps” and “program of recovery” were always synonymous terms. The tools of recovery were the maintenance and support things we as addicts did day in and day out, but the working of the Steps was what brought about real healing, transformation and long-term, progressive recovery and victory over sexual addiction.
    However, when, after a few months of sobriety and working the Steps, I started feeling better and I got the idea that I could just live everyday for the rest of my life using the tools of recovery only and I would be “OK”, I failed to remember that sexual addiction is “cunning, baffling and powerful”. By not continuing to thoroughly and honestly work the Steps I unknowingly switched back to living in my own power and believing I could manage my disease through just using the tools on a daily basis. That led, as it always has, to the insanity of the first “lust” drink, the phenomenon of craving and the debilitating cycle of acting out obsessively.
    I am so thankful for the tools of recovery. I don’t know how I would live day to day without them. I also know that, for me, unless I work through the 12 Steps and practice steps 9,10,11 and 12 on a daily basis the tools can do little to nothing to keep me from falling back into a sexaholic nightmare.

  18. Tools of Recovery. For me are the following:
    1. My new sponsor who is slowly trying to steer me towards recovery away from my addiction.
    2. Making regular phone calls to other members and connecting. Sharing our experiences, strengths hopes and fears.
    3. Doing the next right thing even though I almost never want to do it. Walking away from the computer, making a phone call, checking in rather than phasing out,
    4. Attending meetings, meetings and more meetings, Being a part of a fellowship and not being alone.
    5. Reading daily recovery literature and and journal ling.
    6. Doing step work and making a commitment to do a bit of step work every day.
    7. Seeking and following directions.

  19. 2 years ago, I was being manhandled by my addiction. I had no awareness, I was in denial, and I would give in to these urges that I thought I could fight on my own self-will. While I have a strong self-will, it is no match to a one to one fight with my addiction. As I got into 12 step recovery, I was introduced with tools (prayer, phone calls, meetings, sponsor, literature, journaling, and step work). I tend rely on meetings, journaling, step work, and literature. I’ve strayed away from prayer and rebell against instruction…Progress not perfection. Today, I am faced with the question, Am I really willing to turn it over to my higher power. Am I willing to let go of the juggernaut of self will and rely on my higher power. Am I willing to let go of self sufficiency and instead live on God sufficiency. Surrender is one of the biggest obstacles in my recovery. One day at a time.

  20. “Listen to advice and accept instructions and in the end you will be wise.” This was on the white board of a small choir room in a small church in Pompano Beach FL October 23, 2007. Three parts to this sentence for me listen,.accept, wisdom. As an addict I ONLY listened to my self centered impulses. What did I want, when did I want it, how did I want it. It did not matter if I brought pain and distruction to myself or others. Accept… um yeah… the only thing on that is nothing…. I was too angry to accept the sky was blue. I lived my life on confrontation so my resentment tank would always be full for when my addict was ready to come out for a ride. Wisdom… again nothing.

    In the last four years I have listened, quite intently actually. I may not have heard all the time what was being told to me but I listened and things began to seep in. Accept that one was really really tough but if I was to listen to others that HAD been where I am and HAD been in the pain I am in I had to accept that this program worked for me and I could fake it until it would work for me. Wisdom…. I have none I have some sobriety, I can listen and hear today, I work on my acceptance on a daily basis. Wisdom I trust will come. I only share my experience, strength and hope, just as those before me did.

  21. Tools of Recovery
    Right now I am dealing with the consequences of my addiction, the wreckage. It’s all around me, my relationships, my finances, my health, they are all sick but healing. I am going using several tools, all that have been at my disposal in the past but scarcely used.
    The number one is practicing the belief that I am powerless, number two is that a higher power could restore us to sanity and three turning over my will and my life to my higher power. Obviously step one two and three, but I have been carrying that around in my conscienous every waking moment.
    I’ve also been vigilantly working my program each day and going to a meeting daily. I’m growing and changing daily and hopeful for today.

    • More Tools
      Another tool I am benefiting from is the gift of other people’s sobriety. I have been going to twelve step meetings of other programs for which I am co-addicted and it’s amazing to hear the stories of long term sobriety. 10 15, 29 years! What is so moving is not where they came from but where that they are now as a result of the program. They live by the same affirmations, One Day at a Time, Surrender, and Acceptance I am using to guide me. It really is beginning to take hold because it keeps it in my conscience.
      I am grateful for the people who have come before me and the stories they share that provides inspiration and affirms my program.

  22. This is a good topic for me today, as I am on a business trip and my addiction was very much tempting me, and I consequently acted out one of my inner circle behaviors. Instead of reading what I read in “acting out” behavior, I should have been reading from one of my tools in my tool box. How much better that would have been!!! This website is one of those tools. I have just started recovery and thought I was doing so well. Now I know I need to access my tools more frequently. Especially when I am being tempted, I should access my tools.
    One thing I liked from reading from this string, is that “if I’m not in recovery, I’m in addiction”. I think that is profound.
    I also need to pray more, and become closer to my God. I have tools, I have choices, and I will choose to use the tools instead of acting out.

  23. I am learning about tools that I now have. A sponsor, calls my step work journaling, brothers in the program my online meetings reading and understanding so well that without my tools I will act out. I wish I had my tools like my sponsor in April this year. I acted out and it came back to haunt me I had to confess to my wife and I may lose her now. It is so hard to accept and understand the pain I have caused but I must trust God and let her go and concentrate and be committed to my recovery. I have been sober 50 days and truly in recovery for 1 week. I’m a praying and I am talking and I am working my first step and I have to trust that God will take care of me and my wife and that I will continue everyday to use my tools and stay committed so I can become the best man I know I can be for me. I need to learn how to love and how to feel loved please God help me because I am so lost I trust you I believe in you and I need you

  24. tools are what i asked my therapist about the first meeting i had with him .my personality is such that im a fixer . i like to have ways i can work out my problems .tools for me are going to meetings ,seeing my therapist ,talking to members of the group ,talking with my sponsor and journaling.The most powerful tool is one i am only now learning how to use .my faith is a powerful tool and when all other tools are not enough i can always hand over my problem to my higher power .

  25. As I am just beginning my recovery, I am still looking for the tools of helping me stay sober. I also am working on trying to figure out my path – and how I am going to do it. I do realize that there is a higher power and I have to rely upon that. Feeling so out of control, self-hatred, angry, sad; I have to learn to take those feelings interpret them correctly and respond accordingly. I agree that keeping in contact with my fellows. Helping them, helps me.

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