Recovery Workshop: Lesson Seventy-Two
Health Monitoring V
At this point in health monitoring you have established a Daily Monitoring process to assist you in generating a surge of awareness in particular developmental areas. You have also developed a Weekly Monitoring process that you are using to help you avoid complacency in those areas of your life that you have identified as important to you. You have learned that these monitoring tools are not static, they must evolve to be useful. You have learned that there are several ways to monitor your health (mechanical monitoring, fluid monitoring, external monitoring, etc.) and that the use of these monitoring techniques should shift as your needs/skills shift.
The final aspect to Health Monitoring is to gradually decrease your Weekly Monitoring to Monthly. How you go about this will be left up to you. You no longer need to be shown each step of the way. You now have the skill and experience to take a concept and develop your own path.
So, here is the concept:
Weekly monitoring should take place a minimum of six months post-addiction. How do you know if you are 'post-addiction'? Well, if you monitor yourself for several months and have had little to no problems on the addiction/recovery side of things...and have been focusing primarily on developing the healthy aspects of your life...then consider yourself 'post-addiction'. For addiction to return after that point would require a conscious decision on your part to allow it to return or, a complete collapse of all that you have learned. Neither will be likely after how hard you have fought to restore honor and integrity to your life.
Once you have achieved this weekly monitoring for six months post-addiction, consider expanding your monitoring to once every two weeks for six months. Then to once a month for several years. The more natural your monitoring becomes, the more complete will be your transition. However, beware. The longer you go between monitoring sessions, the greater the potential for complacency to set in.
Another consideration in 'fine tuning' your Monthly Monitoring is to generalize the content of your assessment. For example, when I first began health monitoring at the monthly stage, my assessment was fairly long. Each month, I would sit down with myself (and later in my life, with Christy) and go over several pages of areas that I wanted to keep an eye on. As the years passed, my monthly monitoring was eventually generalized to include three main areas of assessment:
1) My overall emotional balance
2) Where I was deriving the majority of my stimulation
3) Where I was draining the majority of my energy
These three questions would then trigger any of the follow-up questions and/or action plans that I needed to engage in. I'm not suggesting that you use those same questions...eventually, you will need to determine how best to assess yourself.