Stepping On The Stones

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This workbook is based on a traditional recovery program. This workbook is meant to be a self-help manual on your road to recovery. It does not, however, take the place of a professional therapist who is trained in addiction counseling. If you or a loved one is in need of counseling (which is a great tool on this journey) then I encourage you to explore the concept of individual counseling.

Joanna Johnson, MSW

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Stepping on the Stones: A New Experience in Recovery

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This workbook is based on a traditional recovery program. This workbook is meant to be a self-help manual on your road to recovery. It does not, however, take the place of a professional therapist who is trained in addiction counseling. If you or a loved one is in need of counseling (which is a great tool on this journey) then I encourage you to explore the concept of individual counseling.

Joanna Johnson, MSW

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452023908
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse
  • Publication date: 7/19/2010
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Table of Contents


How to Use This Manual....................5
Healthier Life Contract....................8
The Disease....................9
Drug/Alcohol Addiction Test....................11
The First Stone....................18
The Second Stone....................44
The Third Stone....................86
The Fourth Stone....................101
The Fifth Stone....................136
The Sixth Stone....................147
The Seventh Stone....................153
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First Chapter

Stepping on the Stones

A New Experience in Recovery
By Joanna Johnson


Copyright © 2010 Joanna Johnson, MSW
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4520-2390-8

Chapter One

How to Use This Manual

As you begin this incredible journey here are a few suggestions we found helpful. First of all, questions asked of you in the workbook are essential for your recovery. Answering them with honesty is important. Th is will eventually give you a great insight into issues about your disease that have been hidden by the behaviors of addiction. Th e space provided for these questions are only the beginning.

Use your notebook for additional space. If you intend to use this manual over and over (as we hope you will) then please answer all questions in your notebook. In the back of the workbook you will find your inventory sheets. When an inventory is called for, pull out a sheet and complete it. I suggest you have the following tools:

Seven stones all washed and labeled 1-7; Pencils (allows you to erase and re-write); Introduction CD (this will aid you in how to proceed); Journal or notebook for additional writing; Special treats for yourself for rewarding the completion of a STONE; A Pocket dictionary. This may be helpful for words in this manual if you are unsure of their definition; and "Healthier Life" contract. Sign, date and hang this contract where you can view it often. A reminder of this commitment will aid you in tougher-than-normal days. Take the Drug/Alcohol Addiction Test before and after.

The Stones

The stones are about energy and are symbolic to the creek you are about to cross over (meaning out of control compulsive obsessive behavior to a new understanding of self, which is the journey to recovery and self worth). The stones you'll use to represent this journey should not be real big and should fit in your hand.

If you want, use a marker, paint, crayon, or whatever you have to write a number on each stone. Each stone will be part of your image of walking the creek, and you will handle them a lot. As you are working a stepping stone, keep handling the stone. I choose to keep my stones in a circle, which is how I can most relate. My friends use straight lines and all kind of combinations. You will decide this for yourself. My first stone, by the way, is always with me as I always need to work and live within the teachings of the first stone.

How to Use the Website

Being able to talk to another recovering person working on our program may be a big help in your journey. Go to our website: www. Then go to the link for The Stepping Stones Forum. Create a user name and password. We encourage you to use it as a place to vent, to start making healthy friends in recovery and any suggestions are welcomed. If you would like to contact Joanna Johnson directly you can email her at:

How to Use the Discs

Disc 1 is the Introduction CD and it introduces you to the visualization of the creek. We suggest listening to this more than once before moving on and as often as needed until you can visualize the creek and see yourself ready to cross it. Also on disc 1 is my explanation of this part of the manual. Disc 2 is Stone One. Disc 3 is Stone Two and Stone Three. The reason we included discs with this manual is so that you can listen to the discs over and over and have continuous support and guidance whether you are listening to the discs separately, or while you're working the manual.

How to Do an Inventory

An inventory is a visual picture of your life experiences divided into different phases of time as identified by age brackets. Under each topic that you identify, go to the right side of your inventory sheet and find the age that you want to relate information positive and negative to. In the back of your manual are ten inventory sheets. Please use these and if you need more, just copy them.

Once you have completed an inventory and look at the page it is then easy to see your patterns and your personal accomplishments and personal failures. This will be a writing map for your questions and then for your recovery. If you need any more information go to our website as referenced above.

This first inventory is the hardest. The concept of personal inventories is a process you will continue throughout recovery and it becomes your key tool to knowing yourself.

An inventory is self disclosure. An inventory looks at an age span of your life and documents events and behaviors and feelings during that timeframe. It directs you toward a specific timeframe and associates the issues during that timeframe you will self examine. We have given you an example inventory in the back; use it to see how to fill in the categories.

Healthier Life Contract

I ____________________________________, commit myself to begin the wonderful journey of recovery.

I am committing to myself to:

Be clean and sober one day at a time Be honest in all my writing Give myself the right to cry Treat myself with respect

I will begin my journey of recovery by understanding that I will have difficult and very hard days and accepting that having very hard days will be alright. Perfection is elusive and unobtainable and therefore my goal is to begin each day anew, knowing that recovery is a process, not instantaneous.

___________________________ ____________ Signature Date

"There is a crack in everything God has made"

What are the stepping stones and why do we need to understand them as a prerequisite to recovery? Why is it important to understand the disease concept? So we can learn to live with the disease of alcoholism and chemical dependency.

The Disease

What makes us addicts is the disease of addiction and not the actual drugs or alcohol. Alcohol and drugs are what we do. It is not about behavior. It is about compulsive and obsessive action and about the way we think. Addiction is a disease of the brain and relates directly to our thinking and the way we interpret and disseminate information. It is the same thinking pattern that makes us prone to obsession and compulsion in all areas of our lives.

(Taken from the Narcotics Anonymous (NA) workbook)

Definition of Addiction: Being abnormally tolerant to and dependant on something that is psychologically or physically habit forming.

The term addiction is used in many ways to describe an obsession or compulsion or excessive physical dependency.

Example: smoking, eating, computer, video games, and some TV. Doing anything out of balance is the key.

Definition of Compulsive

The pattern of thinking that causes you to do things, not because you want to but because you feel you have to. Compulsive drug addiction is as above, but has the potential to harm oneself in spite of their desire to stop. This also applies to all other actions.

Example: eating past full, drinking until drunk and working too much.

Definition of Obsessive

A persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea, feeling, or task.

Example: The typical person forms tasks to seek relief from obsessive anxiety; this is about intrusive thought which can interfere with a person's clarity of mind. This is about imbalance.

Preoccupation is the key word.

Example: I want what I want when I want it. Another example would be seeing a pair of shoes and not getting the shoes off your mind until you go back to the store and buy them, regardless of having money for the shoes but having to have the shoes.

Let's talk first about your history:

How long have you been getting high? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

How long have you realized you have a problem with compulsive obsessiveness? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

Drug/Alcohol Addiction Test

Take the Quiz

Note: This test will only be scored correctly if you answer each one of the questions.

Please check one response for each item.

1. Have you used drugs other than those required for medical reasons?

() Yes

() No

2. Have you abused prescription drugs?

() Yes

() No

3. Do you abuse more than one drug at a time?

() Yes

() No

4. Can you get through the week without using drugs?

() Yes () No

5. Are you always able to stop using drugs when you want to?

() Yes

() No

6. Have you had "blackouts" or "flashbacks" as a result of drug use?

() Yes

() No

7. Do you ever feel bad or guilty about your drug use?

() Yes

() No

8. Does your spouse (or parents) ever complain about your involvement with drugs?

() Yes

() No

9. Has drug abuse created problems between you and your spouse or your parents?

() Yes

() No

10. Have you lost friends because of your use of drugs?

() Yes

() No

11. Have you neglected your family because of your use of drugs?

() Yes

() No

12. Have you been in trouble at work because of your use of drugs?

() Yes

() No

13. Have you lost a job because of drug abuse?

() Yes

() No

14. Have you gotten into fights when under the influence of drugs?

() Yes

() No

15. Have you engaged in illegal activities in order to obtain drugs?

() Yes

() No

16. Have you been arrested for possession of illegal drugs?

() Yes

() No

17. Have you ever experienced withdrawal symptoms (felt sick) when you stopped taking drugs?

() Yes

() No

18. Have you had medical problems as a result of your drug use (e.g., memory loss, hepatitis, convulsions, bleeding, etc.)?

() Yes

() No

19. Have you gone to anyone for help for a drug problem?

() Yes

() No

20. Have you been involved in a treatment program especially related to drug use?

() Yes

() No

About Scoring this Drug Addiction Test Questionnaire

This quiz is scored by allocating 1 point to each 'yes' answer - except for questions 4 and 5, where 1 point is allocated for each 'no' answer - and totaling the responses.

So in other words, please score one point for each if you answered the following:

1) Yes 2) Yes 3) Yes 4) No 5) No 6-20) Yes

Your Drug Addiction Symptoms Test Score

1-5 = Low Level 6-10 = Moderate Level 11-15 = Substantial Level 16-20 = Severe Level

Anything above the substantial level indicates a serious problem. Even at moderate levels though you should get help - because inevitably before long you will be at the substantial level and above - and it becomes that much harder to beat your addiction.


Addiction is a chronic disorder precipitated by a combination of genetic, biological, and social factors. It is characterized by obsessive compulsive behavior.

Stages of Addiction

1. Use- when a person uses drugs or alcohol either in a social environment or under a doctor's care

2. Misuse- when one self medicates or exceeds the prescribed amount

3. Abuse- continued use of alcohol or other drugs in spite of negative consequences

4. Dependency/Addiction- compulsive and obsessive use of substance

Stage 1:

The user realizes quickly that a substance can change the reality of any situation. The more the user takes a drug or increases drinking the more they feel they are in control when it is really the drug that has the control

Stage 2:

This stage involves taking drugs over the prescribed amount or buying illegal drugs. Tolerance begins to be developed and the user may suffer from hangovers.

Stage 3:

Begins with an increase in frequency of substance use, solitary use may occur as well as loss of control. Mood swings become more frequent as well as hiding use. Consequences appear in the form of deterioration of relationships, problems at work, etc. Denial grows.

Stage 4:

At this stage an individual may use substances just to feel normal rather than to reach a euphoric feeling. Loss of control usually sets in such as; arrests, theft, prostitution, etc. The individual has paranoid feelings and isolates themselves from the world.

The Stages of Change

Precontemplation- users do not intend to change behavior and may not feel there is even a problem

Contemplation- users acknowledge a problem and want to make a change but are not sure of how or when to do it

Preparation- users make a commitment to change and begin to make a plan for treatment

Action- users begin to change their usual habits as well as environment

Maintenance- users work to continue sobriety and prevent relapse


Recovery is the process in which an individual realizes that they have a problem with drugs or alcohol and begins to take necessary steps to overcome their dependency and begin to work through all the underlining problems of obsessive, compulsive, and manipulative behaviors and habits.

When I think of addiction, what do I feel, and what comes to mind? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

What other areas in your life, besides the use of alcohol or drugs, do you recognize as compulsive in nature and obsessive in actions? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

How does your compulsive and obsessive thinking act out each day? Remember, alcohol and drugs are only one form of compulsive behavior. ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

For example: I went to lunch and next door was the mall. I did not need anything but I told myself I had a few minutes so I would just look. I walked out with $300.00 dollars worth of clothing, none of which I needed, all of which I wanted. This happens a lot.

Look at your life and look at all the categories which you would consider to be obsessive and compulsive. How have they affected your family, relationships, work, and education, mental physical and spiritual health? To better assist you with organizing your thoughts, use the below chart for answers.

See the example inventory in the back of the manual.

Now let's do a positive self-assessment. We all possess positive traits. Look at the areas of your life that you are good at. (Statistically, people with the disease of addiction have more than average intelligence, creativity and emotional intuitiveness.) So why are we so hard on ourselves?

The First Stone

Admit powerlessness and compulsive obsessiveness (addiction)

Admit means: to grant entrance to a place into the mind and to confess to oneself or others that you have done something right or wrong.

To tell on oneself or to disclose or reveal.

Example: to admit you have gained weight instead of buying bigger clothing or to admit to something you did not do so another person will like you.

We need to learn how to tell ourselves the truth which means admitting to ourselves we may have a problem embracing something new like beginning a journey of recovery.

So what does this mean to you personally? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

To admit means to tell on ourselves and ask, "Why is that important?" If we are not willing to "tell" on ourselves and discuss and accept that we have a problem, then we can't go any further. These questions will aid you in determining if you have a problem.

Write down five things you have had to admit that were difficult. How did you feel after you admitted your actions? Why you did decide to tell on yourself, who did you tell, and were you 100 percent honest? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

Have you admitted to yourself that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________


Excerpted from Stepping on the Stones by Joanna Johnson Copyright © 2010 by Joanna Johnson, MSW. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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  • Posted June 14, 2012

    I loved this book! It is an easy read, which contrary to the ov

    I loved this book! It is an easy read, which contrary to the overview is not traditional. This book is definitely a new experience in recovery and in my opinion very important.

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