This page is a work in progress
FIRST STEP PREP
I. EXAMPLES OF POWERLESSNESS OVER ALCOHOL AND/OR MOOD-ALTERING CHEMICALS (at least five examples of each).
B. DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR
C. ACCIDENTS AND/OR DANGEROUS SITUATIONS CAUSED
D. PREOCCUPATION WITH CHEMICAL USAGE
E. LOSS OF CONTROL OF CHEMICALS AND BEHAVIOR
II. EXAMPLES OF UNMANAGEABILITY (with or without the chemicals and at least five examples of how it was unmanageable).
A. FAMILY LIFE
B. SOCIAL LIFE
C. SPIRITUAL LIFE
D. BUSINESS OR WORK LIFE
E. FINANCIAL LIFE
F. PHYSICAL CONDITION
G. EMOTIONAL LIFE - Examples of destructive feelings. Please include resentments, self-pity, anger and fears.
FIRST STEP SHEET
"We admitted we were powerless over chemicals (drugs and alcohol) and our lives have become unmanageable."
To help you look at your powerlessness and unmanageability, please complete this worksheet using specific examples and by being very honest.
1. List kinds, amounts, and frequency of the drugs/alcohol you used.
2. Where did you hide your supply? (alcohol or drugs)
3. How did you protect your supply? (alcohol or drugs)
4. List the times you have attempted to control or quit using chemicals? (Telling yourself you wouldn't use and then did; give examples.)
5. How often have you lied to your parents, teachers, or concerned people about your chemical use so people didn't know how much you were using? (Give examples.)
6. How did your use affect you physically?
7. How did your relationship with your parents, brothers, sisters, and other family members change as a result of your use?
8. How often did you lose or change friends due to your use? (Hanging around people who used more vs. non users)
9. How did your use affect school performance? (Grades, skipping classes, and relationships with teachers.)
10. How did your using affect your job? (Being late, fired, quit, or stealing from your job.)
11. How did your use affect your spiritual life (values, morals)?
12. How did your use affect your personality (mind, will, emotions)?
13. What kind of strange or insane behavior did you have due to your use?
14. How many times have you experienced a loss of memory or blackout as a result of your use?
15. What kind of destructive behavior toward yourself and others did you have due to your use?
16. How often have you been in dangerous situations and accidents because of your use? (Give specific examples.)
17. How has your use affected you financially?
A. What did your supply of alcohol or drugs cost for an average week?
B. What fines, court costs, or probation fees have you or someone else paid due to your alcohol and/or drug use?
C. How much have you or someone else paid in attorney fees as a result of your alcohol and/or drug use?
D. What medical bills associated with your alcohol/drug use have you or someone else had to pay?
E. Due to your alcohol/drug use, what has it cost you or someone else to repair or replace damaged property?
F. Estimate the amount of money that your drinking/using has cost you in lost jobs and lost time at work.
G. List which of the expenses you paid yourself.
18. How has your use affected you legally?
AFTER COMPLETING ALL THE ABOVE QUESTIONS HONESTLY AND OPENLY;
19. Do you think you have a problem with alcohol and drugs? How do you label your problem?
20. Why do you think you need to be in counseling?
21. How do you work your First Step on a day-to-day basis?
22. What are the benefits for you remaining sober and drug-free?
23. How has your life become unmanageable? (Messed up - give specific examples.)
24. How are you powerless over chemicals? (Felt controlled by drugs, alcohol, craving to use.)
Please write down Step Two.
1. What do you understand this statement to mean?
2. What does "a power greater than ourselves" mean to you? Does it mean Jesus and the Holy Spirit? Are you aware of this power and how?
3. What has happened in your life which made you believe that you need help from a source outside yourself?
4. What does insanity mean to you?
5. Give examples of your insane behaviors.
6. Explain how your personal philosophies and your personal code of morals has failed to keep you sober.
7. If you have been unable to achieve the goals that you want in your life, do you feel that your own power and will would be able to achieve different goals in the future?
8A. Explain how you feel about reliance on a Jesus Christ the Lord. Do you believe that it shows weakness or cowardice?
8B. Do you believe in a Higher Power, not the Blessed Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
9. Describe the power that you might be willing to trust. What characteristics would that power need to have?
10. What characteristics does Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous attribute to your Higher Power?
11. How do you address your Higher Power? (name)
12. How does your Higher Power address you? (name)
13. Are you satisfied with your spiritual life? Explain.
14. If your Higher Power could change you in any way, what changes would be made?
15. Are you willing to say your old ways have not worked very well and you need to try a new way of living?
16. If you are suffering from a spiritual sickness, do we need a spiritual answer? (yes or no) Explain.
17. Is Step Three the beginning of a spiritual journey? (yes or no) Why?
Please write down Step Three.
1. What does "made a decision" mean to you?
2. Is this decision made on the feeling of hope for better things to happen in your life? Explain.
3. How are your feelings keeping you from living and working Step Three?
4. What does it mean to you "to turn your will and lives over?"
5. What is the difference between turning your will over and turning your life over?
STEP FOUR PREPARATION
This is not a fourth Step!
Please write down Step Four.
1. Being phony, conning, becomes part of our way of life when you are not being honest. We seem to have to look good to others, and being ourselves just doesn't seem to be enough sometimes. How have you been phony in the past? How are you being phony right now while attending Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous? Write specific examples.
2. Most of us have not had much experience in admitting mistakes and admitting when we are wrong. Can you think of examples of your being in the wrong and admitting it? Write specific examples.
3. Learning how to accept situations we can't change and how to understand those people we think have wronged us are marks of personal growth. What do you know about forgiveness and understanding?
4. What are the characteristics of a good Fourth Step?
Please write down Step Five.
1. Why does a good Fifth Step start with the Fourth?
2. According to the 12 Step writings, almost anyone would be a good listener with whom to take a Fifth Step. I recommend that you talk to your counselor.
3. There are certain attributes in a listener which will contribute to the likelihood of a positive Fifth Step. What are they?
4. Who would not be an appropriate listener for a Fifth Step? Why?
STEPS SIX AND SEVEN
Please write down Step Six.
Please write down Step Seven.
1. Steps Six and Seven are often frightening because they require us to deal directly with God. Are you afraid to deal directly with God? Why?
2. What are your character defects?
3. Why is it important in recovery to willfully choose to identify your character defects, to become aware of them, and to accept them?
4. Why is it important in recovery to willfully choose to ask God to remove your shortcomings?
Please write down the Eighth Step.
How can you begin to overcome negative feelings and gain the willingness to make amends?
One way to begin to overcome these negative feelings and to learn to live in harmony with ourselves and others is the making of the Eight Step list.
Write the names of those you feel you owe amends. Do not put why or anything else.
Names of People you Feel Uncomfortable With.
Please write down Step Nine.
What are the differences between making apologies and making amends?
There are some cases where direct amends are not possible. What are some of the reasons making direct amends may not be wise or possible?
How do you make amends when it is not wise or possible to do?
Please write down Step Ten.
There are three areas that require constant scrutiny and can lead to relapse if ignored. They are: (a) thoughts and motives; (b) feelings; (c) actions.
The three areas you should look at when you take a personal inventory are:
Why should you continue to take inventory even with years of sobriety?
The most common way of avoiding the inventory is by disguising and camouflaging your wrongs. Three of the more common ways to disguise and camouflage your wrongs are: (a) The Drunkalog; (b) The Blanket Admission; and (c) The Partial Admission.
The Blanket Admission:
The Partial Admission:
Please write down Step Eleven.
In what ways is Step Eleven like Step Two and Step Three?
As recovering addicts, there are several reasonable assumptions we can make about God's will in our lives? What are those reasonable assumptions?
Please write down Step Twelve.
Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome caused a recovering addict to become temporarily dysfunctional. How does Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome increase the chance of relapse?
What is your definition of relapse?
Think of the times when you have experienced what you would consider an urge or craving for alcohol or drugs.
What triggered your urge or craving?
What creates an atmosphere of high risk in your life?
What were the physical signs?
What were the psychological signs?
How can you recover from your chemical dependency?
List ten reasons that you have to become involved in a recovery program.
How do you plan to use your Higher Power to help you to stay clean and sober?
What have you already done to build a support system?
How are you currently using that support system?
Keep in mind that urges or cravings normally decrease in frequency and severity as your sobriety progresses. List below specific steps you can take to help you survive an urge or craving to use.
What five things must you do each day in order to maintain sobriety?
THE DISEASE MODEL
Chemical dependency is a disease which is progressive, chronic, potentially fatal and has identifiable symptoms. Yes or No?
How is the disease of chemical dependency progressive?
What does it mean when we say that the disease of chemical dependency can't be cured?
Is the disease of chemical dependency fatal or potentially fatal? Explain your answer.
In what ways does the disease injure the user?
When an addict stops using drugs does the disease go away? Explain your answer.
The disease of addiction does not absolve you of the responsibility should relapse occur. Why is this true? It is true because...
Loss of control is often used as an excuse to explain away a relapse. Explain why this is a poor excuse.
What types of symbolic communication do you use which communicate the drug culture?
List three blocks to communication.
Which of these blocks to communication do you find yourself doing? Explain your answer.
List five ways to resolve conflicts.
List five ways to begin to rebuild broken relationships by verbal communication.
Three actions that I can do to communicate my love to are:
What is the definition of self-esteem?
What are the roadblocks to building sound self-esteem?
Why does low self-esteem often lead to self destructive behaviors such as substance abuse?
Low self worth can be transferred into self confidence. What are some of the ways this can be done?
List three goals that you have had in your life.
How has your alcohol and/or drug use affected your goals?
In the following exercise you will set goals in some very important areas of your life. In each section you will identify where you are now, what you want, and what you will have to do to achieve your goal.
USING THE FORMAT ABOVE, WRITE YOUR OWN GOALS BELOW.
Where I am now:
What I want:
What I must do:
Where I am now:
What I want:
What I must do:
Where I am now:
What I want:
What I must do:
In what ways are goal setting and problem solving the same?
In what ways are goal setting and problem solving different?
What are the biological signs of stress?
What are the psychological signs of stress?
Give three examples of how you use denial in your life:
People often act different than normal when they are under stress. Give three examples of task oriented reactions to stress.
Give three examples of how you use denial in your life.
Give three examples of how you use projection in your life.
Why can the unhealthy reactions to stress lead to relapse?
There are healthy reactions to stress. What are they?
What are the five sure signs of overstress?
What should you do when you notice these signs in your life? ANSWER: Ask God for the warning signs and make an agreement with God and yourself that something has to change. Identify what is stressing you and begin to search out options to resolve it.
Chemical dependence has two components: psychological and physiological dependence.
Define physiological dependence. What are its signs?
Define psychological dependence. What are its signs?
What signs of dependence do you have?
Define physiological withdrawal. What are its signs?
Define psychological withdrawal. What are its signs?
When the brain is effected by drugs the personality and behavior changes. Write down and explain three ways that your personality changes when you do drugs.
Write down and explain three ways that your behavior changes when you do drugs.
MANAGEMENT OF EMOTIONS
Have you ever felt that nothing in your life was working no matter how hard you tried?
List five things that you have done under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol or to obtain them which has made you feel guilty or ashamed.
Do drugs make you feel differently? List at least three examples.
Can negative emotions trigger a relapse? How?
What must a person in recovery do about negative emotions?
Is the following statement true: "There will be less need for turning to drugs if you are less upset about a situation." Why is this so?
Is it true that all feelings that are uncomfortable must be changed?
How are uncomfortable feelings moved out?
What is your definition of co-dependency?
What are the personality traits of a co-dependent?
What is your definition of enabling?
What are the personality traits of an enabler?
The co-dependent and the enabler both help keep the addict in the family continuing to use. Why is this true?
How does "tough love" help break the addiction cycle in an addicted family?
What is different about you from non-chemically dependent people?
What are the characteristics of an addicted family?
Why doesn't the addicted personality go away when a person stops using?
Why doesn't the addicted family automatically change when the addict stops using?
How do the characteristics of the addicted personality increase the chances of a relapse?
What can be done to help the addicted personality recover?
What can be done to help the addicted family recover?