seemingly irrelevant decisions
(Monti, Abrams, Kadden & Cooney, 1989, Segal et al., 2002)

As you learned in Module 9, “seemingly irrelevant decisions” are choices like going out somewhere, or walking past a pub or not getting out of bed in the morning. 

On the face of it these decisions don’t really have anything to do with drinking, using or feeling depressed.  On the surface they seem to be not really worth worrying about (or are seemingly irrelevant). 

Although it is difficult to see these choices when we are right in the middle of a situation, each small decision you make over a period of time can step by step lead you closer to problems.
But, it is often through “seemingly irrelevant decisions” that we little by little work our way closer to a high-risk situation that could bring on our symptoms or lead to drinking/using.

The best way to tackle this problem is to think about each choice you make, no matter how “seemingly irrelevant” it is to drinking, to using, or to feeling depressed.  Just so you are prepared for possible dangers ahead. 

Use your problem-solving skills to help you choose the low-risk decision to avoid putting yourself in a high-risk situation for drinking, using or feeling depressed. 

Remember, it is easier to simply avoid the high-risk situation before you are actually in the middle of it.” 

In Module 9 you worked out a plan to help you spot those situations and decisions you have made in the past that have appeared to be “seemingly irrelevant” but have led you slowly down the path to a relapse. 

You also tried to identify what barriers there were that stopped you from seeing these decisions for what they were.

Your “Seemingly Irrelevant Decisions” worksheet also asked you to tick those skills you have learned through the SHADE program that you could use next time these situations come around.

So, you have already done the preparation you need in order to avoid falling victim to seemingly irrelevant decisions.  You just need to practice those skills out there in the real world. 

Use your worksheet as a guide and a reminder for what to do.

Remember, no matter how un-important you think a particular decision is, you need to remind yourself that it could be a seemingly irrelevant decision that leads you closer to a relapse.  Practicing these skills regularly to help you keep true to yourself and the goals you have set.
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