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Good Questions

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Image by Pauline G., Waterville, Ohio USA

Here is a simple question that has helped me numerous times: how important is it? Asking myself this helps me reframe how I think about problems and situations and spurs me to ask myself these follow-up questions:

Is it worth my sanity and my abstinence to keep obsessing over a problem? The answer is always “No, it is not.” Without spiritual, emotional, and physical recovery, I cannot maintain contact with my HP, who helps me live a happy, useful life. I need my Higher Power’s presence and power to stay sane and abstinent. Therefore, sustaining recovery is my most important priority. Worrying, catastrophizing, and ruminating over a problem or situation gets in the way of my recovery.

What is the worst-case scenario, and how likely is that to happen? Usually the worst-case scenario is not as bad as I initially make it out to be, nor does it often happen. I find comfort by reminding myself that even if it does, my Higher Power will be there to help me through it.

Is this a problem that I need to solve now? Problems always seem large and urgent when I’m in the middle of them, but they usually aren’t as big or as pressing as my mind makes them out to be. If I can’t let go of obsessing over one, then I write it down on a piece of paper and put it in my God box. This symbolizes turning it over to my Higher Power.

Is this even my problem to solve? Sometimes, it is actually someone else’s problem. My codependency has only convinced me that is my responsibility to solve it for them.

Asking these questions also helps me remember that what occupies my thoughts today will soon be a faint memory. Instead, I need to look at the big picture and reflect on what I have already overcome with my Higher Power’s help. A lot of those past problems seem small and unimportant now, so most likely what I’m dealing with now will seem the same way in the near future.

Whether large or small, important or unimportant, I can get through anything with my sanity and abstinence intact by working the Twelve Steps and relying on my Higher Power.

— Ginny F., Park City, Kansas USA

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