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Pros and Cons

Discussion in 'Sobriety Tips and Inspiration' started by portraitofjs, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. portraitofjs

    portraitofjs Member

    Hi everyone, just wanted to share something that helps me in recovery.

    I made a list of all the pros and cons of my relationship with drugs. Yes, there are "pros", but the "cons" obviously strongly outweigh them, or I wouldn't be seeking sobriety. The reason for this is that when I am in withdrawal or sober, I only remember the good feeling I get from being high. I never remember all the bad stuff that comes with it. Making a "pros and cons" list helps me remember that the bad outweighs the good.

    On this list, I also write my reasons for staying sober. I keep it with me and refer to it whenever I feel like using or get down on myself for being on the straight and narrow. Does anyone else do this, or something similar?
  2. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    Such a great idea to have a list like this when you're feeling down. Having a quick reference point is a very smart thing to do -- because when we are feeling like falling back into old habits, it can be hard finding those reasons why we wanted to quit in the first place. Remembering these reasons why we wanted to quit is essential in being able to stay on the recovery road.

    I make a lot of pro/con lists for many aspects of life so it's only natural that going through recovery is a smart time to write one of those lists.
  3. kjonesm1

    kjonesm1 Community Champion

    I love this idea! I need to start making lists like that and keep them in highly visible places. When I have urges I don't think of consequences, I only think of gratification. Maybe something like this can help me too. Thanks for sharing.
  4. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    It's always good to remind yourself of the "cons" during times of temptation. We often make excuses for our behavious, telling oursleves that "once more won't hurt", so it's good to have a concrete list in black and white (or whatever color you used!) to remind yourself that it's actually a really bad idea.
  5. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    That is really a great idea. Very clever of you to find a way to somehow help you recover and stay clean and sober. I hope it would totally work for you. Keep us posted! Best of luck. :)
  6. portraitofjs

    portraitofjs Member

    That's how it is for me, too. I think that's how it is for a lot of us. Many recovering addicts say, "your brain is your worst enemy" in withdrawal and it's true. We start trying to rationalize anything we can and we don't remember all the horrible negative externalities of our abuse - only how good it made us feel. Writing down the negatives helps me remember them when my brain is my enemy, maybe it will help others too.
    kjonesm1 likes this.
  7. jkendall

    jkendall Member

    Good idea. I think many people in recovery may go through a similar process mentally; but having a physical reminder may be an excellent way of really driving the points home. I also like that you include the "pros" for some reason; a type of open, honest refelction with oneself
  8. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I actually rushed to the thread eager to see what were the pros. I am glad this approach works for you Portraitofjs and writing things down seem to help in a lot of situations. I think it's a good approach to life in general. Write it down.
  9. kjonesm1

    kjonesm1 Community Champion

    And that's exactly what it is! We rationalise and tell ourselves 'oh it'll just be this once' or I've done so good a little won't hurt. When it's there in black and white you can't back out of what you have experienced and you're commitments.
  10. bluedressed

    bluedressed Community Champion

    Yeah, I do something similar - but mostly writing down the pros and trying to highlight how good a decision I've made and how kind to myself I'm being when I'm resisting an impulse to instead think about becoming the person I want to be etc.
  11. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    That is quite an effective idea in reminding yourself the reason why you want to be clean in the first place! It's because you know the cons can harm you and can eventually kill you. So in turn, it can motivate you to strive even harder to be 100% clean.
  12. CallipygianGamine

    CallipygianGamine Community Champion

    I like lists in general, so naturally I’m a fan of pro/con lists. They really put things in perspective when people are tempted to slip back into old habits, and sometimes we need reminders of why we wanted to let go of said habits to begin with. Putting it in writing like that is a solid way to go about it, especially as the cons for these types of things are usually much longer than the pros.
  13. Missfortune81

    Missfortune81 Member

    I'm not really much of a list-maker, but I may have to try this. I do think writing and journaling can absolutely put things in perspective. Also, it gets harder to hide from the truth once it's in front of you, laid out in black and white. I think this could be a very beneficial activity for anyone struggling with addiction or bad habits/behaviors.
  14. ZXD22

    ZXD22 Senior Contributor

    That is a great idea! Be sure to look at all the bad and the wrongs and just the sight of it might consider you to stop using the drug.
  15. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Writing or enumerating your reasons for staying sober will give you persective. This list can also serve as a subtle warning to your self. Whenever you're tempted to abuse a substance, you're reminded of what you musn't do and other dire consequences.