A sobriety tool chest is the place where all of the tools that an addict learns to stay sober, at meetings, in sessions, etc.
The more active work that an addict does during their sobriety process, the more tools they gather in their sobriety chests. Sobriety chests are vital in times of weakness or temptation.
It is all engrained of course, almost sub-consciously, but when things begin to go wrong, the addict digs down into their chest, gabs whichever tool will be most effective, uses it, G-d willing survives, and moves on.
A sobriety tool chest can be one of two things. A. It can be a self-replenishing chest, if the addict goes, on a regular basis to meetings, sessions, etc. Depending upon what type of treatment they are taking part in. B. The tool chest can lose more and more of their content each time they are used.
Depending upon how well you use whichever program it is that you do use, the more full your tool chest remains. When the tool chest begins to get depleted, that is when the problems begin.
The way we build our sobriety tool chests is by learning new techniques for handling situations. If we learn to handle stress more efficiently, we build up our chest. If we learn to cope with our families we build the chest. Every new tool we learn, the more full the chest becomes, until we build up a strong bank of skills for handling capable of helping us through virtually any situation that our addiction might throw our way.
As these each situations comes our way, we use up a tool. It’s quite a lot like a video game where you have the sword of blah blah for this, and the dagger of blah blah for this, etc. Once you use them up, you then have to follow through on some other action to regain the tools.
So addicts go to meetings, or groups, work with sponsors, therapists, etc.
They learn new principles, new tools for dealing with issues, etc. Each of the new “tools” that they learn, go right into the box. The goal is to keep the box so full, so plump and overflowing with back up, that no matter what were to happen, it could not de-rail your sobriety.
And, of course, the larger the issue, problem, or disaster, the more tools are drained.
Let us say, that G-d forbid, and I mean a huge G-d forbid here, both of your parents were suddenly killed in an automobile accident. Your toolbox would be utterly depleted within moments, perhaps, an hour. So what to do?
Refill it as quickly as humanly possible.
Hit the groups, the meetings, the sessions, and the one on ones. Go, go, and go. Because the theory is, that until that box is thoroughly refilled, the addict will not be safe, or prepared for the next, life event that occurs.
Ultimately we learn that life is life, “it is what it is”, and that well basically, stuff just happens.
This is the whole philosophy behind maintaining a solid spiritual program.
We learn to handle sorrows, joys (births, weddings, etc.) and that unfortunately, even the good stuff passes. But, if we learn that the good stuff goes, so must we learn that that bad stuff does as well, and can see the light at the end of the tunnel, MUCH more quickly.
The way I look at it is this.
One can either go to school, get an education, and learn to do and handle things that others can not, or they can go on living from pay check to pay check.
The toolbox is the paycheck.
Definitely need one, but there are ways to need one less.