Ask yourself four questions about your use of alcohol or drugs, or other problem behavior.
Write down all the positive things you can think of. Example: alcohol helps me relax, makes me more sociable, etc.
It is important to recognize these “benefits” so you can figure out how you are going to replace them or deal with them.
This should be pretty easy, or you wouldn’t be here, but spend some time on this part. Write down as many bad things as you can, be specific. You are going to use this list to help maintain your decision to quit. It can be a useful group exercise. Some people like to keep a copy of this list in their pocket and look at it daily, adding more items when they occur to them.
This is a ‘going forward’ part of this process. Try to imagine the ways your life will be better without alcohol, drugs, or the problem behavior. This helps to reaffirm your decision to quit, and is a first step in the process of setting goals and changing your lifestyle.
There are some things you may be fearful of in quitting. You may dread the prospect of dealing with family, social situations, stress, or other aspects of daily life that you’ve grown used to having alcohol in. Be specific. It helps you plan for drinking/using situations, start developing new coping skills, and work to avoid returning to the problem behavior.
It can also be the starting point for dealing with irrational beliefs. It is likely that you are exaggerating, in your own mind, how difficult it is going to be to quit, and how hard it is going to be to live without the substance. Identifying those irrational beliefs is going to be important.
Most people find the CBA a useful ongoing tool. You can add to it often, and save old copies to refer to as months go by.