An inventory is when we basically take stock of our life. This means everything, not just the problem that got our attention. Inventories are done thoroughly when we include EVERYTHING on the list. This includes the positive and the negative, and later on I will make it easy for you to complete one with instructions so thorough it will make your head spin. I have yet to meet a person who does a particularly decent job listing the positive traits about themselves AND no one gets all giddy over the possibility of inventorying their fears, resentments and sexual history. Despite our collective reluctance, the list needs to be as complete and honest as we can bear.
A couple came to Northstar Community (a recovery church I co-pastor) looking for help for the wife’s drinking. He thought she had a problem, she did not agree with his assessment. During our conversation I asked the husband about his drinking habits. I do this to assess what we’re working with when we meet a family. He said, “I have one drink a night.” Sounds reasonable.
I replied, “Would it be possible for the two of you to go alcohol and drug free for thirty days? This will help us establish a bit of a baseline for whether or not there is a problem with alcohol in your family, especially since the two of you are not in agreement about the severity of the issue.” They agreed.
Within twelve hours the wife was in detox; after another twelve hours, her husband joined her. It turns out that his single vodka per night was poured into super-sized Yeti cooler. He was pounding the vodka but was technically accurate when he said he had “one drink” per night. Figuring this out saved him from detoxing in an unsafe manner. It helped the treatment team treat the real problem, not just the identified patient in the family (his wife).
When you do this inventory, problems will emerge. That’s reality. But because this is a spiritual program, we can trust that it is not a harsh reality intended to shame and blame. It is a pathway to healing. The more honesty you can muster, the better the support available to you will be because your team will be better informed.
If you are interested in taking this step, begin today by building a team of folks who can support your work. You need more details about how to build this amazing support group? Give Scott or Teresa a shout out! (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)