Utilize this checklist daily or weekly to determine where you are in your recovery. Likewise, you can use it to determine which areas you might need to work on more persistently. Identify the top 3-5 biggest concerns at this time and work on them one at a time.
1. APPREHENSION ABOUT WELL-BEING: A fear, uncertainty, or lack of confidence in the ability to stay clean and sober.
2. DENIAL: Beginning to minimize that things are as bad as I once thought or that people made me believe they were. I begin to deny that I really have or had a serious problem with drinking/using.
3. ADAMANT COMMITMENT TO SOBRIETY: I secretly have stated that I would never drink again. I won't share this with anyone but I am convinced that this is so. Once I have done this, I have lost the urgency of pursuing a daily program of recovery.
4, COMPULSIVE ATTEMPTS TO IMPOSE SOBRIETY ON OTHERS: I am focusing more on what others are doing than what I am doing. I am imposing my views and issues on others rather than working on the only one that I can change.
5. DEFENSIVENESS: I find myself becoming up tight, angry, defensive, argumentative when anyone talks about recovery or where they see me in my recovery program.
6. COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR: I have become involved with overwork and/or compulsive involvement in activities. I schedule things so tight that it is difficult to get everything done. It is as if I am trying to run away from something.
7. IMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR: I find myself acting and reacting very impulsively. As I look at it, my impulsive behavior is an overreaction to periods of stress and anxiety or even boredom and routine.
8. TENDENCIES TOWARD LONELINESS: I am isolating and withdrawing from people. I usually have valid reasons, but usually they are excuses. As I isolate myself, I become lonely and then react by becoming impulsive rather than seek out other people and relationships.
9. TUNNEL VISION: I focus exclusively on one area, preoccupy myself with it without looking for other alternatives or asking other people if they can assist me in seeing new or different choices. Sometimes I preoccupy myself with the negative, thus assuming a victim position which confirms the belief that I am helpless and being treated unfairly.
10. MINOR DEPRESSION: I feel depressed, or bored. I feel listless, flat, down. I find myself wanting to sleep a lot.
11. LOSS OF CONSTRUCTIVE PLANNING: I am doing a lot of wishful thinking rather than sitting down and thinking through and planning my daily activities.
12. PLANS BEGIN TO FAIL: Due to lack of planning, failure to follow through, lack of attention to detail, things begin to fail.
13. IDLE DAYDREAMING AND WISHFUL THINKING: I find myself doing a lot of daydreaming and wishing things were different than they are.
14. FEELING THAT NOTHING CAN BE SOLVED: I sense a feeling of failure, I'm not sure why, it may not be real. I feel like "I've tried my best and it isn't working out."
15. IMMATURE WISH TO BE HAPPY: I have a wish to be happy without really spending time to think what happiness is, how it comes about, or how I would know when I have it.
16. PERIODS OF CONFUSION: I feel confused more frequently than before and it seems to last longer.
17. IRRITATION WITH FRIENDS: I find myself becoming more and more irritated with my friends. They seem to annoy me and a I find myself withdrawing.
18. EASILY ANGERED: Overreactions become more frequent. Outbursts of anger, frustration, resentment and irritation. People report that they see and feel that I am angry much of the time.
19. IRREGULAR EATING HABITS: I am beginning to overeat or not eat regular meals. Well-balanced meals are replaced by less nourishing junk food.
20. LISTLESSNESS: Periods when I am not able to initiate action, inability to concentrate, anxiety and severe feelings of apprehension. I have a feeling of being trapped or of not seeing a way out.
21. IRREGULAR SLEEPING HABITS: I'm having nights of restlessness and fitful sleep. I go from 12 to 20 hours at a time when I don't seem to be able to get any sleep or rest. This happens until I am completely exhausted.
22. PROGRESSIVE LOSS OF DAILY STRUCTURE: What seemed to be a fairly good daily schedule and routine diminishes. Inability to sleep results in oversleeping. Meal structures disappear. Complaints of inability to keep appointments become more common and social planning decreases. I feel rushed and overburdened at times and then I face blocks of idle time in which I don't have anything to do.
23. PERIODS OF DEEP DEPRESSION: I feel more depressed, more frequent, more disruptive and longer duration. These periods generally occur during nonstructured time periods and are amplified by fatigue and hunger. During these periods I tend to isolate and react to human contact with irritability and anger while at the same time complain that nobody cares about me.
24. IRREGULAR ATTENDANCE AT TREATMENT MEETINGS: Attendance at meetings become sporadic. Therapy sessions are scheduled and then missed. I begin to rationalize my reasons for missing these meetings. The effect of therapy is discounted and loses its priority in my value system.
25. DEVELOPMENT OF AN "I DON'T CARE" ATTITUDE: I begin to feel very strongly that I don't care what happens.
26. OPEN REJECTION OF HELP: I am beginning to cut myself off from good sources of support and help. I do this sometimes through fits of anger or open discounts. Other times, I do it through the simple process of quietly withdrawing from others.
27. DISSATISFACTION WITH LIFE: I being to think, "Life is so bad I might as well get drunk or use because I can't get any worse." Rationalization, tunnel vision, and wishful thinking begins to give way to the harsh reality of how totally unmanageable life had become in the course of this period.
28. FEELINGS OF POWERLESSNESS AND HELPLESSNESS: My thought processes are scattered, judgement is distorted, concentration and abstract thinking abilities are impaired.
29. SELF-PITY: I have become indulgent in self-pity. This is called the PLOM (Poor Little Old Me) Syndrome. This self-pity often is used as an attention-getting device in treatment, therapy or with my friends or family members.
30. THOUGHT OF SOCIAL DRINKING/USING: The hope that perhaps I can drink/use in a controlled fashion begin to emerge. Sometimes I challenge these thoughts and put them out of my mind; other times I entertain them. I think that by drinking I could eliminate some of my feelings and emotions.
31. CONSCIOUS LYING: I am lying and rationalizing my behavior excessively. In spite of being able to recognize this, I feel that I am unable to interrupt this pattern.
32. COMPLETE LOSS OF SELF-CONFIDENCE: I feel overwhelmed by the inability to think clearly or initiate action. I feel as if I am trapped in a box and need help to get out.
33. UNREASONABLE RESENTMENTS: I feel very angry with the whole world in general and an inability to function. This anger is sometimes generalized, at other times it is focused at a particular scapegoat, at other times I turn it toward myself.
34. DISCONTINUES ALL TREATMENT: Attendance at meetings has stopped. I have dropped out of professional treatment/therapy in spite of realizing that I was acting irrationally and need help. I have broken off all my relationships with the professional staff and helping agents.
35. OVERWHELMING LONELINESS, FRUSTRATION, ANGER AND TENSION: I feel totally overwhelmed and feel that there are not available options except to return to drinking/using, suicide or insanity. The fear of insanity is intense. There are also intense feelings of helplessness and desperation. Often, drinking is an impulsive behavior with little or no conscious planning.
36. START CONTROLLED DRINKING/USING: The efforts of control have taken two general patterns: I have tried to control quantities while drinking/using on a regular basis and I have tried to engage in one short-term and low consequential binge.
37. LOSS OF CONTROL: I am losing the ability to control, sometimes it happens very quickly, sometimes after varying patterns of "controlled drinking." I, however, quickly return to drinking/using which is marked by symptoms as severe or more severe than presented during the last episode of active addiction.