“For too long most of us found it familiar, almost comfortable to remain in the cycle of acting out, feeling demoralized, swearing off, and then acting out again.”
I had established my circles before sobriety and found that I spent far more time in my middle circle than my inner circle. If I could just stay in my middle circle, I thought, I might not feel so demoralized. At least my sobriety date would be intact. But the middle circle heads in one direction.
A favorite acting-out place was thirty miles from home. I often headed there around eleven o’clock at night. I would feel physical changes from anticipation. My car had a mind of its own, and I was just along for the ride.
I told myself I would stay only until a certain time, but before I knew it, it would be six o’clock in the morning and I would rush home and back to work with another sleepless night. I would tell myself never again, yet, after a few hours’ rest that evening, I was back in the cycle.
Awareness of my circles had an effect, however, and I began going home earlier. Then one night, driving to act out, in a flash of clarity, I said, “I don’t really want to do this.” I turned around and headed home. My car and my fledgling recovery had both reached a turning point. A well-defined middle circle helped me spot the cycle, and eventually steer clear of my inner circle.
When I use them, these tools work wonders. What circle am I in right now?