Back in the 1950s, I think it was, there was a song called “Getting to Know You.” It was all about getting to know all about someone else. For my purpose as your recovery coach, I want you to get to know you!

I ask my clients to answer these following questions spontaneously and most of the time, they cannot; instead they have to stop and think. But then, once the answers start to flow, we have some real eye-openers! So for our purposes, after you have answered the question, please also think of an example that illustrates the answer. Don’t be surprised if your answers are surprising. So now here we go:

Who are you?

What are you?

What scares you?

What frustrates you?

What angers you?

What makes you sad?

What makes you jealous?

What makes you curious?

What makes you bored?

What makes you emotional?

What makes you want to stay?

What makes you want to leave?

What makes you feel generous?

What makes you feel selfish?

What makes you want to stay clean?

What makes you proud of yourself?

What makes you feel embarrassed?

What makes you feel smart?

What makes you feel self-confident?

What makes you feel insecure?

Getting to know you is incredibly helpful as we strive to stay in recovery. We learn what pushes our buttons and causes us to react in ways that may or may not serve us well. Staying in recovery is complicated, but the more we know about ourselves, the better we are able to simplify what otherwise could seem too much to handle.

Some of my clients compile and keep an ongoing precaution list to alert them to patterns of danger. I strongly encourage you to make such a list. Danger ahead is a signpost worth paying attention to. You might find a pattern emerging in much the same way as you find in your journal, but there are differences. The precaution list should be used in addition to the journal, not in place of it. Your journal entries are made at the end of the day as a reflection of the day, while the precaution list is an anytime entry which serves as part of the getting-to-know-you strategy.

It is so important to pay attention to yourself, to your reactions and to your responses to people places and things. Ignorance is not bliss.

Awareness is bliss.

The journal and the precaution list keep you from being blindsided. If there are inevitable triggers you must face because of where you work or where you are, you can be acutely aware of what these things are. Therefore you will be armed against danger that otherwise would sabotage your recovery.

Knowledge is power.

Learn and live.

Live and learn.