The Final Five Lifestyle Repair Work Exercises

Take a moment to reflect upon the first Lifestyle Repair article and complete the described exercises. The purpose of these recovery lessons is to provide you with an outline of next steps in your personal rehabilitation journey.


Recovery Exercise 8.3: Say It Isn’t So

            The objective of this lifestyle repair exercise is to consider the role of denial in addiction.

                        When is being addicted not really being addicted? When addicts believe that they can stop their destructive activities whenever they want.


            Expanded Awareness & Reflection

  • In what ways would you describe yourself as an addict or as addicted?
  • In the past, how have you used denial to delude yourself or others?
  • What benefits, if any, have you derived from denial of the true state of affairs?
  • What benefits, if any, might you derive from honest confrontation with your denied



Recovery Exercise 8.4: Sorting It Out

            The objective of this exercise is to reflect on the feelings and emotions that may contribute to your addictive activities.


            The desire to seek out pleasurable sensations while suppressing your painful feelings is a key component of addiction. For many individuals, however, the pleasurable and painful feelings are hopelessly jumbled together. In such cases, sorting out your feelings can be a crucial step in your recovery process.


Expanded Awareness & Reflection

            Divide a page into two columns, one labeled “Pleasurable Feelings” and the other labeled “Painful Feelings.” Try to list a dozen or so types of feelings in each column. From there, write an essay about which of your two lists holds greater power over your actions. Is it pleasure or is it pain? How can you begin to free yourself of their power? Do you want to take control?


Recovery Exercise 8.5: Moving Forward with a Look Backwards

            The objective of this exercise is to consider how thinking about recovery as a five-stage process can help you heal.


            As discussed in early articles, James Prochaska conceives recovery in the following five stages:

  • Precontemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action
  • Maintenance


Prochaska’s model allows for relapse and anticipates the most, if not all, people in recovery will occasionally regress.


            Expanded Awareness & Reflection

            Consider your own journey through the Recovery Zone. What obstacles are there moving through Prochaska’s five steps? What kinds of Circumstances do you anticipate might prompt a relapse?

            Write your own behavioral prescription for a custom-designed, tailor-made “relapse inoculation” program; that is, a program that will help prevent relapses. In writing this program, feel free to use your own responses to other exercises in this article. Include your Relapse-Management Storyboard.


For further explanation of these first three recovery exercises please reach out to one of our staff members at BlueSky Behavioral Health today. Lifestyle repair is not an easy task; allow us to share our knowledge with you, and make your recovery process a smoother one.


Take a moment to review the first three exercises, and when ready proceed to the final two operations.


Recovery Exercise 8.6: Top Ten Rules

            The objective of this recovery exercise is for you to “know the rules” must live by in order to achieve recovery and avoid relapse. 


Expanded Awareness & Reflection

One way in which you can uncover “your rules” is to write an essay titled “The Top Ten Rules for My Recovery.” Your essay should list and discuss ten rules in order of increasing importance. Rule 1 must be absolutely critical to the success of your recovery. The rules should be your own and you may include guidelines from any source you select.


Recovery Exercise 8.7: Feeling the Rules

            The objective of this culminating recovery exercise is to understand and appreciate the difference between “knowing the rules and “feeling the rules.”

            Simply reading all the rules and suggestions presented in these two articles will do little for your recovery if you do not feel, that is, own, the rules by them your own.

            Individuals with alcohol addiction may be helped by rules such as,  “No more than one drink in a forty-eight-hour period for three weeks” but only if that rule makes sense to both of them at an intellectual and emotional level.


Expanded Awareness & Reflection

Now is the time to critically examine the list of rules that you prepared in the previous exercise.

            From there, draft an essay entitled, “Feeling the Rules.” In your essay, analyze each rule both from an intellectual level and an emotional level. Try to uncover your gut reaction to each of your ten rules.

            Can you follow your rules with more success than failure? How will you make each rule happen? Are you willing to put yourself in an uncomfortable position and do anything it takes to live a happier life?

            If you no longer want to feel stuck and defeated, reach out to a BlueSky Behavioral Health expert today, and pave the way to your new life.

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