Personal Craziness Index

My PCI for March 08
I made a spreadsheet for my PCI and thought I’d share it here. It’s a great recovery tool but I can’t seem to stick with it. I’ll go along just fine for a few weeks and then start forgetting. What I need to do is tape the darn thing to the bathroom mirror. If your PCI is high, that’s not good. Your life is out of balance and your recovery is in danger. Low craziness = good recovery. The way it works is you list a few things in each category that are danger signs. I like to phrase mine positively. For example, under transportation, I have keeping the car clean and getting gas before the little light goes off. But you could have dirty car, and letting the gas get too low. Under physical health, I have eating on time, exercising, and flossing. After making your list, pick the seven things most vital to you and write them down.If I skip a meal, my PCI goes up a bit. To show this, I give myself a point for that item at the end of the day. Add up the points and that’s the day’s score. Low scores are good. If you forget to do your PCI, it’s an automatic seven.If you’re an addict, you really should buy Facing the Shadow, 2nd Edition by Patrick Carnes. It’s definitely well worth $20 plus shipping.


  1. GP — I’m wondering how helpful you found the PCI? My CSAT is really keen on me doing this big chart like you have done … and me being the addict that I am, I resist it. Of course, I want you to tell me it’s worthless — even though I know that discovering my patterns couldn’t possibly be worthless.

    I relate to TOB’s situation as a codie. I was just reading something I wrote around this time in 2005 about being horrible with handling finances. I haven’t gotten any better. My husband has enabled me. (Not to take his inventory — I am responsible for my own actions.)

  2. GP,

    I’ve been searching your site looking for clues about the other character defects, how something like financial behavior can be part of the unmanagability scenario.

    I said I wanted to ask questions and get a dialogue going, so hope this is the right place. There is a thread over at Junkie’s Wives Club about financial issues. We all seem to have them. My SAH is like a monkey with money. He’d probably wipe his ass with it if it would flush.

    As a COSA, I have serious financial issues. I don’t have any money. I don’t have a job. It’s part of my codie crap. I see this as part of my stuff, what I need to work on. When we’re broke (always), I don’t think, “Gee, I wish my husband made more money.” I ask WTF is wrong with me that I’m not taking care of myself financially?!

    My question is this: How do you view your financial circumstances and behavior in terms of being an addict? Is it related? If so, how have you dealt with this?

    Thanks Again For Your Voice and Rigorous Honesty,

  3. I saw a Carnes video talking about this topic about five years ago. I found it to be a powerful, if challenging tool to use. I too chose to identify positive aspects. Over time (as I forgot exactly what Carnes said), my list morphed nto tracking my top ten “top lines”, such as prayer/meditation, meetings, recovery phone calls etc. I gave myself only one point for each top line. This pushed me toward having a more balanced diet of top lines and not gorging myself on one tool. When I keep track of my top line usage, I find myself moving back toward happiness,joyfulness, and freedom. – Thanks

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