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Getting Honest About the Middle Circle

One of the things we hear at meetings is that people some­times relapse into their addiction.  Invariably, we hear that the slip was preceded by Middle Circle behaviors.  We may think we can get away with Middle Circle behaviors because they aren’t in our Inner Circle and they aren’t so bad.  We are mistaken.  Over time these behaviors gradually increase in intensity and duration until a slip is inevitable.  We share this with you in hopes that you won’t have to make the mistakes some of us made.  The Middle Circle is not a place to hang out.

Staying current with our sponsors about Middle Circle behav­iors and preoccupations, and sharing honestly in meetings, can help stop this kind of escalation.  Try to get clear about where temptation may arise.  Triggering places where we are likely to walk, we agree not to walk.  Provocative phone calls we are tempted to make, we choose not to make.  We stay away from certain publications or keep them away from us.  In the face of challenging situations, we encourage you to take whatever action you need to avoid feeling triggered.

If you don’t yet have a sponsor and are struggling to stay sober, we suggest you commit to staying current with a specific person about your Middle Circle behavior.  This is better than checking in with lots of different people.  Committing to stay updated with one person will help you to see yourself more clearly.  It will support you in taking the steps necessary to move out of slippery activities.