Writing an Inventory

Writing an Inventory

Writing an inventory is one of the most life changing steps an individual takes in recovery.

Much of an alcoholic or addict’s time has been spent up to this point trying to escape a straightforward facing of conflict and resolution. Taking this critical step can be unnecessarily daunting because of this tendency toward avoidance, but once begun, the inventory process becomes cathartic.

The initial challenge is finding someone trustworthy to share an inventory with; this decision should not be made hastily, but also should not be put off.

The key is to find someone who has a healthy life and attitude, who can be objective in giving feedback and direction, typically another individual with longstanding recovery.

When finding the right person, they may offer various formats for outlining all the resentments, dramas, conflicts and challenges faced. These formats are simply guides which create an opportunity to both write out and constructively analyze motivations behind action and decision making.

The transformation lies in determining the degree in which conflicts and challenges have been faced and acted upon with fear.

Taking inventory is a detailed account whereby an individual can recognize when fear, insecurity or self-seeking has motivated action more than core values.

The principals’ honesty, hope, faith, courage, integrity, willingness and humility are essential for maintaining recovery.

The intention is not to hold a standard of perfection against troubling life dilemmas, but to give a platform for an individual to express what they hope to see from themselves when confronting life’s challenges in the future, and what, if any, amends can be made for past situations.

Writing an inventory is a self-examining process, identifying the relationship between fear-based behavior and problem drinking.

Once this step is taken it becomes an insightful tool for self-awareness, empowering the individual to find principals and behaviors which inspire a new way of living.  

About the Reviewer: Chris Barnes

Chris BarnesChristopher Barnes has worked in health care for over thirty years. He is a graduate of Alabama State University where he earned a double Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work and Psychology in 1982. Christopher Barnes is currently the Director of Clinical services at The Discovery House where he has been employed for the past five years. Because of his extensive experience in health care & substance abuse he has an excellent rapport with constituents, clients, and other professional organizations in the counseling/social service community.

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