The Problems List Directions:

The aim of this exercise is to identify your current perception of what is happening in your life. It will give you a “big picture” of what has brought you to this point. It will help you discuss with your therapist and others in recovery about what is wrong.

It is critical that you make this list as complete as possible, because doing so will make your recovery that much stronger.

At first you may feel uncomfortable and afraid of making this list. This is to be expected. Our recommendation is to just start.

If necessary, do what you can, take a break, and come back to it.

You may find that as you write, more layers of problems are revealed.

Because it may feel unnerving, make it a point to check in with your therapist and/or sponsor with what is coming up.

“To Thine Own Self be True” is the proverb.

This is your first chance at empowering yourself, and taking care of yourself by showing up, bearing witness, and getting honest with yourself.

List all of your problems here. Include both sexual (for example: running up a large credit card bill with escort services or online pornography sites, lied to my boss/wife about lunchtime liaisons, have to get HIV test) and non sexual (for example, my child is having difficulty in school, my car transmission is making funny noises, air conditioner seems to be on the fritz, etc.

The question is this: are you able to develop the critical recovery skill of having “smart feet?” That is to say, you can be terrified of the exercise, sense in your heart that the truth might set you free,  shut the reasons and excuses off in your head, and take action anyway?

Recovery is not available to the people who desperately want it, or need it because their life depends on it. It is available to those who DO IT.

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