SUGGESTED METHODS OF OBTAINING AND MAINTAINING
ABSTINENCE FROM SHOPLIFTING ADDICTION
Prepared by ShA telephone meetings held Tuesday & Thursdays, 7-8:30pm
Call (712) 432-3900 and use conference I.D. 3639492 followed by #
- Most importantly, every day: Practice
steps 1, 2 and 3: say out-loud “I
admit I am powerless over shoplifting and my life has become
unmanageable.” Ask your Higher
Power/God for help, and make a DECISION to let God/Higher Power be in
charge for today - sincerely ask for God/Higher Power’s will for you today. Say
the Third Step Prayer (from the AA
Big Book page 63) every morning.
- Stay focused on “JUST FOR TODAY”
– stay in the moment. Continually
ask your Higher Power for the willingness and strength to resist the
impulse to shoplift, and pray “God/Higher Power, what is Your Will
for me today? What is the NEXT RIGHT ACTION?” (It might be as simple as
teeth” or “wash the dishes”, “leave this place”, or “make a phone call to
another SA member”).
- Every day, focus on being of SERVICE
to others – call other SA members to both share and listen, attend an SA
meeting, do the laundry, help your community -- anything to be of service
to others. Service is the 12th
Step, and is a critical part of a proven SOLUTION to our disease problem.
- Focus on gratitude – every day!
Regularly say prayers such as “God, please help me remember today
that my health is worth more than anything I might get by stealing things.”
Write a GRATITUDE LIST of
at least 5 things you are truly grateful for
right now (i.e., your eye sight, ability to walk, beloved pet, a family
member or friend that makes a difference to you today, whatever makes you
feel truly grateful right now).
- Work all TOOLS of Recovery: Abstinence
from stealing just for today – no matter what, Sponsorship – find a
member who has what you want and ask how it was achieved and then take
their suggestions - be accountable to that person, SA Phone Calls
in-between meetings, attend SA Meetings (plus other in-person 12
Step mtgs. if there are no SA mtgs. locally), Write/Journal about
your feelings and/or situations, Pray and Meditate, practice
Anonymity including refraining from gossip, read SA and AA Literature,
and finally, practice being of Service to others – “a life of sane
and happy usefulness is what we are promised from working the 12 steps –
Service fulfills that promise”.
You Go Shopping…
- Check-in with yourself: Ask your HP for the willingness
abstinent. If stressed or feeling
impulsive, do not go shopping; ask a friend to go with you or for you.
- Use “Book-Ending” – call a SA
member right before you go shopping and immediately after leaving the
- Make up a shopping list and buy
only the items listed.
- Shop “on-line” or through
catalogs; check ads or catalogs prior to shopping to avoid impulsive
- Create or recycle gifts at home
for yourself or others.
- Go to yard sales or flea
markets where you are less likely to steal from individuals.
- Go through your house and
rediscover what you can still use and/or appreciate.
- Learn to barter with others for
- Only shop when you have the
money to pay for what you want/need.
- Take only your wallet, credit
cards, and cell phone into the store:
leave purse, backpack and any other bags in the car or at home.
- Call stores and have them
prepare goods for pick-up, if possible.
- Don’t wear baggy clothes or
coats that make it possible for you to conceal items.
- Commit to avoid stores from
which you have been told “not to return” or have been caught.
You Are Shopping…
- Use the phone - call an SA
friend for help while you shop at a store.
- Carry picture of loved one or
something meaningful in your hand to remind yourself not to shoplift.
- Keep hands in your pockets to
refrain from picking up extraneous items.
- Build a relationship with
employees; make your presence known.
- Shop with a specific purpose
and do NOT browse.
- Do NOT put any item in your
pocket, purse or bag before you have paid for it.
- Do not carry bag(s) from store
to store; return bag(s) to your car first.
- Video security cameras – remember
they’re always watching/recording - and more sophisticated than ever!
- STOP and THINK of the
consequences……before you act! PRAY for
the desire to stay abstinent – ask God/Higher Power for help! Remember
the “a,b,c’s” of “How It Works”
(pg. 60, AA Big Book), “God could and would if He were sought.”
- Pause when agitated. Listen to
your conscience. Many of us have
felt that God speaks to us in a “still, small voice”.
Go Forward in Recovery…
- Learn what “triggers” you to
shoplift (uncomfortable feelings, thoughts). As you discover them, write them
and make phone calls to SA members to discuss them.
- Accept responsibility for your
behavior – what you do DOES have an impact on you and other people.
- Save your receipts….bring them
with you to return items.
- Learn to substitute new
activities for shoplifting preventing loneliness and boredom. For example: start
a fun hobby,
volunteer, do a neglected task, get a part-time job, start reading and/or
exercising. Behaving honestly and
having integrity will grow your self-esteem.
- Find an abstinent SA member and
ask him/her how he/she got abstinence, ask them to be your Sponsor and let
that person guide you. A sponsor
helps us work the 12 steps and guides us up to the level of their own
recovery. Also, find a “SA buddy” and commit daily to each other.
- Join a SA group and contribute
by attending regularly and doing service (reading, sharing, leading, etc.). Also,
join an in-person 12 Step meeting
(DA, GA, AA, NA, FA, OA, etc.) to develop in-person support. A minimum of 3
committed meetings a week
(combined) is recommended.
- Keep your day count of
abstinence and share with others.
- Remember: the 12 Step PROMISES
of the program occur only when we keep in FIT SPIRITUAL CONDITION (see
pages 83, 84, and 85 in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous). Continue to practice
gratitude and service every day.
- Here are some helpful
© One Day At A Time
© Let Go And Let God
© This Too Shall Pass
© First Things First
© Keep It Simple
© H.O.W.: Honesty, Open-mindedness,
© HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired
© E.G.O.: Edging God Out
© G.O.D.: Good Orderly Direction
© Keep Coming Back
© You are never alone again!
© It Works If You Work It! So Work It – You’re Worth It!