7 Words Addiction Recovery Questionnaire Q21AR
Personal Study Material
Look at the lowest score/s you have recorded above, and then study the text below.
Try to deal with one issue at a time
Are you free from any kind of addiction problem?
Most people are very strongly impacted by their own dependency or that of a loved one. This can be alcohol or drugs, it can be unhealthy foods, it can be habitual behaviours such as gambling, sexual promiscuity, or internet games. Recognising your problem is a crucial stage of recovery because you will not seek to repair what is not admitted as damaged.
Are you ok with the extent of your bingeing?
Most substances and behaviours can be enjoyed in moderation without causing serious problems. However, if we binge – in other words, go to excess – then that is strong evidence that we have lost control over, and therefore are controlled by, our habit. Let this be taken as a sign, a warning, that all is not well.
Can you resist temptation?
Dealing with our addictions, we will certainly need to develop and exercise a degree of restraint. There will always be temptation, and we will always be at risk of succumbing to it. It is far easier to resist temptation when a policy decision has been made in advance, then social pressure or cravings can be combatted by strength of mind more easily.
Do you have a healthy and varied social life?
We are drawn, often completely unconsciously, to build our lives around people and situations where our unhealthy and unhelpful habits are hidden or disguised. If all your friends drink, then how can you be expected to do otherwise? By having a wide circle of friends and associates, we give ourselves a chance to enjoy life without always needing to resort to substances or other unsavoury habits.
Do you spend enough quality time with close friends?
Quality time with close friends requires nothing to make it special except the warmth of understanding and the joy of shared experiences. As we move deeper into addiction, we tend to drift away from intimacy with those who know us well, who would challenge us to recognise the truth that our social life is no longer quite so rewarding without the help of our beloved habit.
Do you spend time exploring new ideas and activities?
A healthy life will always offer new horizons of experience. It is completely natural to expand as time goes on. Yet there is a real tendency to close down the reach of imagination and the willingness to try new things as we get more and more constrained by the need for our dose of whatever grabs us.
Do you feel loved?
Love is not a pink and fluffy illusion that teenagers and others dream of – it is a powerful healing force that strengthens will and motivates a person to do their best. If we are loved, we can build our lives with greater sensitivity and a constant sense of being worthy and appreciated for who we are. Self-destructive behaviour is then much less likely.
Are you a deeply caring person?
Caring for another gives life deeper meaning. Quite often the reason we why we relax our self-control is because we are too wrapped up in our own problems and worries. It is much more wholesome to share your life with another person or people, and that really does mean caring for them – sometimes at considerable expense of time and energy.
Is your home life happy?
A good home is a source of nourishment on all levels. It provides nurture in the form of rest and relaxation, as well as loving support. Although it may be convenient and less troublesome to live alone, it is not very comforting. Nor indeed is a home where the background atmosphere is one of tension, mistrust or antipathy. Such a constant source of irritation tends to make us reach out for unwholesome comfort elsewhere.
Are you mostly in control of your life?
Without doubt, life can be quite difficult! At times we can feel out of control and somewhat insecure and, as a result, in need of comfort. Such times can be avoided – or at least minimised – if we become better at managing things. We all want to do what we want to do! Yet sometimes we have to do what we have to do. Control of your life improves as soon as you come to terms with that. There are bills to pay and duties to fulfil; by getting on with it early and clearly, stress is reduced.
Can you easily access the strength to make changes?
Most of us have greater potential strength than we call upon day to day; we keep it in reserve for times when push comes to shove. Yet we need properly to understand the saying ‘use it or lose it’! It is of paramount importance to employ our deepest resources to deal with addiction. It’s a killer. Push has come to shove and we need to find the oomph to do what needs to be done now, while we still can.
Are you really willing to let go of unhelpful habits?
Your addictions will not stop of their own accord. Without a clear decision to face up to them, they are altogether much more likely to increase their grip. Be reasonable! Even with a clear decision and willingness to let go of these habits, it’s a tough task to become free. So there really isn’t much chance of success without even a clear sense of the will to give up. Yes, we all know it’s hard; do it anyway!
Are you expecting to be happier in future?
Expectation is an important aspect of creativity. Largely, we create the circumstances of our lives out of our belief of what will come to pass – so if we expect things to get worse, then they probably will! At first, it requires a constant mental discipline to train ourselves towards a general state of optimism. This is done by putting cynicism aside, actively looking for the good in every situation, and by speaking words to reflect a positive attitude even if we do not feel it. Be careful how you think and what you say – what comes out of your mouth is even more important than what you put in it!
Do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person?
Lots of people are fed up with religion, with all of its dogma, moralism, blame and stuffiness – not to mention the frequent misuse of power by the priestly class over the common herd. Still, let’s not chuck out the baby with the bathwater. Surely there is something more meaningful to life than fame and fortune? Whatever you call it, that subtle force of goodness and love can be called upon and it will respond. It will carry you through the impossible dark hours when nothing else can.
Can you ask for and receive help?
Asking for help is important. It gets you admit that you have a need, and focuses your mind clearly on what that need is. Also of course, it diminishes the burden of life – a problem shared is a problem halved. It is no less important to learn how to be able to receive help. No one can live without a measure of cooperative support; it is simply impossible. So put aside your independent pride and find a more comfortable attitude towards sharing your troubles. By receiving support, you are enabling another person who needs to give support; there need be no loss of dignity in the transaction.
Do you quickly release resentments?
Resentment is like a poison – to the body and the mind – it does nobody any good to hold on to it. However unfairly or insensitively you feel you have been treated, the pain of that and the damage done to is worsened if you hold on to a grudge. It is certainly in your own best interests to forgive – or at least forget – injustices against you. The feeling of self-pity that usually goes along with this can so often trigger self-harming bevaviour.
Are you mostly free of shame and guilt?
Any thought that you hold about yourself is to a great extent self-fulfilling. So if you feel ashamed, you will tend to behave shamefully; if you feel guilt then you will tend to be blamed. Acting the martyr, the scapegoat, can be attractive for people who will not take full responsibility for their lives.
Blaming others is always a mistake! You agree?
One of the greatest misunderstandings in the world is that we should blame and punish the “guilty”. It really is a terrible mistake, and creates such a horrible atmosphere of moralistic judgement. Blame always creates more problems than it could ever solve; it is essentially wrong. BY all means we must prevent certain antisocial behaviour, but let that be with understanding and kindness. So if you find yourself doing anything motivated mainly by blame or guilt, then stop doing it. Let the consequences unfold.
Are you ready for a new beginning?
In order to give up your serious addictions, you will need to create a whole new life style based around a new set of behaviours, attitudes, and perhaps even friends and certain stressful aspects of your work. It’s actually quite a big deal. It’s no good thinking that everything can carry on pretty much as before – you are just kidding yourself!
Can you trust?
To live with trust takes courage and practice. Trust, in this context, is not so much a feeling as a choice of mental attitude. It’s taking a blind step into an unknown future with nothing but faith to let you know that you will be OK. Even then, there may well be times when you are not OK, and you have to deepen your trust further still.
Are you willing to let go?
Letting go is life’s big secret. So many pressures lead us to think that we’d be foolish to surrender control (and indeed that is often the case, since recklessness is no answer either!). Yet typically people try to hold on to the past, try to have power over the future, try to stay forever young, and try not to allow life’s changes to occur. These are the illusions that we must surrender. We need to learn to trust that life has its own surprising way of looking after us.