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Preventing Relapse: Two Notes I Keep In My Wallett

Daily meditation/prayer and having a plan when you are in relapse mode are two things NEVER to be taken lightly when in recovery from some sort of addiction.

Because of this fact, there are two handwritten notes I keep in my wallet with me at all times.

One is a “relapse emergency note,” in case I am ever feeling vulnerable with my sobriety and I am contemplating getting loaded. (Thankfully, I’ve never had to pull it out, but it’s nice to know I have it).

This is not my first go at recovery by any means, but it is the one that stuck – probably because I quit “trying” and just “did the damn deal.”

I wrote this note about 3 days after returning from my latest relapse, when not only was I petrified for my life, but totally vulnerable, totally broken, totally desperate.

It is very personal and I will keep it as such; but I strongly encourage you to write a note to yourself that will act as a last-ditch effort to remind yourself of the insanity you had escaped when you quit using/drinking.

The other handwritten note I have with me at all times is my own personal third step prayer.

I was struggling with feeling my emotions yet remaining spiritual after transitioning out of my treatment center.

It was recommended by the outpatient counselor that I write my own version of the third step prayer to say every day while hitting my knees. (I continue to do so today, however I’ll admit rarely from my knees.)

Since I had become willing to take every suggestion and recommendation as if they were “subtle commands,” I followed my counselor’s instruction and wrote MY version of the third step prayer.

Pen to paper – first draft, final draft.

It by itself, was a very spiritual experience.

The prayer itself, in my eyes, was and still is perfection.

I guarantee you that these are not my words but my Higher Power’s.

I will share my prayer with you, however, be sure to write your OWN VERSION.

Do not just copy mine.

“God,
Take my will and my life. Relieve me of my fear and insecurity and replace it with self-love and acceptance. Instill in me the principle of non-judgement towards myself, ever reminding me to be gentle on myself. Allow me the courage, the drive, and the focus to do today what needs to be done; to walk through what I need to walk through. May life radiate through my eyes, not the clouds of depression. May my actions bear witness to you, fulfilling your expectations and those of me or others. May I do your will always…clean, sober, and free.
Amen.”

-Marv