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Bottom Line Behaviors

"Bottom-lines" are self-defined activities which we refrain from in order to experience our physical, mental, emotional, sexual and spiritual wholeness. Recovery begins by admitting that following our addictive path is making our lives unmanageable and we are powerless to stop. Each person in S.L.A.A. acts out differently. Therefore, our bottom lines are self-defined, and may vary from person to person. It is up to each one of us, with the help of our Higher Power, our sponsor, and others, to learn to recognize our addictive patterns. We can then set "Bottom Lines", or the behaviors which we refrain from in order to stay sober.

It is strongly suggested that you get the help of your sponsor or another trusted S.L.A.A. member when setting or changing your "Bottom Lines".

Here are some examples of possible Bottom-line behaviors:

  • Having sex with someone who is married or in another relationship

  • Pursuing a new relationship before ending an existing one

  • Having sex outside of a committed, monogamous relationship

  • Following someone home uninvited

  • Doing anything that could reasonably get me arrested

  • Lying to my spouse

  • Having anonymous sex

  • Going to strip clubs and peepshows

  • Having unprotected sex

  • Having sex when I don’t want to

  • Breaking a boundary of "no contact"

  • Pursuing inappropriate or unavailable people

  • Compulsively avoiding sex in a committed, long-term relationship

  • Not entering or leaving a relationship without consulting my Higher Power and trusted advisers

©2006 The Augustine Fellowship, S.L.A.A., Fellowship-Wide Services, Inc.
Excerpt from Setting Bottom Lines: A Pamphlet with Worksheets

Top Line Behaviors

"Top Lines" are healthy behaviors and activities we replace for our old unhealthy patterns.  We can't get sober and simply stop our destructive behavior in a vacuum.  We can take creative actions, and prove we are capable of making healthy choices. It can start with small additions to our daily routine.

Here are some examples of possible top-line behaviors:

  • Buying healthy food that I like

  • Getting enough rest

  • Exercising

  • Making three outreach calls each day

  • Making dates with people I care about (friends, sisters, nephews, parents, visit grandparents)

  • Going to meetings regularly

  • Meditating

  • Getting a regular massage

  • Praying

  • Reading program literature

  • Volunteering for service, program and otherwise

  • Going out dancing

  • Doing something creative that fills me with joy

"In maintaining my sobriety, I find it more useful to keep in mind what I call my top line rather than my bottom line. My top line is what I do want for myself, my program goals.  I want to integrate myself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually; to relate to others from a state of wholeness; to live making decisions from a place of freedom and clarity rather than compulsion and confusion; to feel sufficiently safe to stay open enough to find the little realities of life moving, rather than needing to get dropped off a cliff to get a thrill.  I want to be present, see things the way they are, and be glad to be alive.  These things are beginning to happen for me."

 ©1986 Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous p. 270

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