Optional Exercise: Create an Inventory of Your Needs and Possible Supports

two people having coffee

1. Turn your journal on its side so that you can create three wide columns across the full width of the page.

2. Title the left-hand column ‘Needs’. Write down any current needs or heightened needs that you anticipate possibly having during withdrawal. You might want to break them down by category, such as ‘Logistical’, ‘Emotional’, ‘Crisis support’, etc.

3. Title the middle column ‘Possible Supporters’. Write down the names of the people in your life whom you think might be able to play a part in helping your needs get better met. Also note any possible obstacles, conflicts, etc. that you might anticipate having with getting support from these people. And just leave blank any areas of need in which you can’t think of a possible person who could provide support.

4. Title the right-hand column ‘Actions/Strategies’. Note there any actions or strategies that you think might help you get your needs better met – including ways through which you might more effectively be able to meet them without the help of others. For example, if you have a tendency to “spiral out” late at night with intense or racing thoughts, and you’re worried you might need someone available to you to chat on the phone, consider building in some possible strategies that might help ease you more effectively into sleep. Or, if you’re worried about having to run certain types of errands but know you can easily handle other types, then consider setting up an “exchange” with a friend or neighbor where you help each other out. Also note any next steps that you might want to take to begin deepening or strengthening your connection to any possible supporters whom you are hoping to add to your “withdrawal team”.

5. When you’ve finished, take note of any areas where your identified needs do not have any people, actions or strategies next to them. These are areas that you may want to think more about, or even reach out to others who’ve been through or are going through withdrawal to discuss. TWP Connect may be a helpful resource.