Mooring Lines in Recovery

March 27, 2023
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[Ed. note: Although Mooring Lines are not an “official” SR Tool, volunteer Stefan Neff and others have found them very useful in their recovery. This post represents Stefan’s views and analysis.]

I was recommended to use a process called Mooring Lines by a counsellor who said this tool is an important concept in addiction recovery. Also, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has recognized Mooring Lines as a helpful tool for individuals who are struggling with addiction.

What are Mooring Lines?

Mooring lines are metaphorical anchors that individuals can use to ground themselves when they are feeling overwhelmed or triggered by their addiction. They are a set of personal values, beliefs, and practices that provide stability and support during difficult times. Mooring lines are created by identifying the things that are most important to an individual and then creating a plan to prioritize and protect those things.

 How Do Mooring Lines Work in Addiction Recovery?

Addiction recovery is a challenging process that requires individuals to make significant changes in their lives. These changes can be difficult to sustain without a solid support system in place. Mooring lines provide a framework for individuals to identify their values and beliefs and then use them as a foundation for their recovery.

Mooring lines can be used in a variety of ways. For example, an individual might use their mooring lines to remind themselves of their commitment to sobriety when they are feeling tempted to use drugs or alcohol. They might also use their mooring lines to reconnect with their spiritual or religious beliefs, which can provide comfort and guidance during difficult times.

Benefits of Mooring Lines in Addiction Recovery

Mooring lines offer a number of benefits for individuals in addiction recovery. Here are just a few: 

  1. Increased Self-Awareness: Mooring lines require individuals to reflect on their values and beliefs, which can help them better understand themselves and their motivations. 
  1. Greater Resilience: Mooring lines provide a stable foundation for individuals to rely on during difficult times, which can help them weather the challenges of addiction recovery more successfully. 
  1. Improved Decision-Making: Mooring lines can help individuals make better choices by providing a clear set of priorities that guide their actions. 
  1. Increased Motivation: Mooring lines can provide individuals with a sense of purpose and direction, which can increase their motivation to stay sober and continue on the path of recovery. 

Mooring lines are an effective tool for individuals in addiction recovery. By identifying their values and beliefs and creating a plan to prioritize and protect them, individuals can create a stable foundation for their recovery. Mooring lines can help individuals stay focused on their goals, make better decisions, and stay motivated during the recovery process. 

Mooring lines Examples: Journaling, mindfulness/meditation, SMART meetings (therapy & case management appointments in some cases), recovery research (Sober Friends Club), exercise, diet, sleep and others. 

Now make a list of your own mooring line that will help you stay grounded and connected to your recovery or sobriety path.

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