Daily Moral Inventory: Relapse Prevention Tool for Substance Abuse
Today we will be discussing the DMI, also known as the Daily Moral Inventory. It is a tool that helps identify certain attitudes we have expressed throughout the previous day.
What is the DMI?
The DMI is a tool we recommend and utilize for the one recovering from addiction as week as the family members of the one in recovery. When used consistently and properly, this resource acts as a mirror giving us valuable insight about what motivates our behavior by training our minds to be more aware of our way of thinking. Ephesians Chapter 4 verse 23 says we are to be renewed in the spirit of our minds.
In a chemically dependent family it is common to see the problems of others instead of recognizing them in one’s own self. If we are truly honest, we will see that we spend very little effort monitoring our individual attitudes, actions and reactions. The reason is that most family members pick up the same traits as those with the addictions by using defense mechanisms such as denial, blame, projection, rationalization and other characteristics. These mechanisms can blind someone of their own character defects, but is quick to point them out in others. What character faults we tend to pick out in others is also ones we struggle to overcome ourselves. For a dysfunctional family to experience any degree of healing or restoration, they must first begin looking at themselves. This is not something that is often done naturally, but has to be learned.
First we need to become still before God. This is accomplished by allotting for daily Quiet Time to focus on prayer and meditation.
Prayer is an inner journey that draws us close to God. It is communication with God taking time to talk and listen.
Another important factor is journaling. It is important to write down the impressions God give us, or the emotions and thoughts that we are experiencing.
We can use the journal later as a reference to see the struggles we encountered and how we overcame the challenges.
How to Conduct the DMI?
So, exactly how can one conduct a DMI on themselves? Using a provided chart, we simply inventory the last 24 hours of our life to record both the positive and negative attitudes.
We think about our relationship, or things troubling our mind and heart. We need to look beyond the offenses “caused” by others and examine our own reactions expressed due to someone else’s behavior.
The DMI Sheet
When we look at the DMI sheet we see a list of negative attitudes on the left and a list of positive attitudes listed on the right. Along the top of the chart are 31 columns for each day of the month. So one sheet will last you through one month.
Beginning with day 1, we move along each row and mark if you either had a positive or negative for that specific attitude. For example, “yesterday, did I have self-pity or did I experience serenity. You would be a check mark by one of the attitudes you experienced, then move onto the next attitude listed.
After completing the DMI, we need to take our negative reactions to God in prayer and ask Him to help us in our defects while thanking Him for the positive ones we experienced.
In Summary, the DMI will help us reflect the attitudes that we can change within ourselves rather than looking to change the faults in others. If we are proactive and consistent in this process, with prayer we will begin to see God change our mindset and how we see ourselves in others.
Download your own DMI sheets and ask God to help you in the areas you know you may be struggling with.